Saturday on Dover Beach : Ian McEwan, Matthew Arnold, and post-9/11 melancholia

  • This essay revisits Ian McEwan’s extremely successful novel Saturday, and interrogates its exemplary assessment of the British cultural climate after 9/11. The particular focus is on McEwan’s extensive recourse to the writings of Matthew Arnold, whose melancholy outlook on culture and anarchy McEwan basically translates into the 21st century without much ideological fraction. This relapse into Victorian liberal humanism as consolation for a Western world besieged by the contingencies of terrorism is extremely problematic. Not only does it wilfully ignore the transcultural realities of modern Britain, it also promotes an ahistorical and apolitical mode of critical inquiry which may be called reductive at best in view of the global challenges that the novel addresses.

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Author details:Lars EcksteinORCiDGND
Publication series (Volume number):Zweitveröffentlichungen der Universität Potsdam : Philosophische Reihe (82)
Publication type:Postprint
Publication year:2011
Publishing institution:Universität Potsdam
Release date:2012/04/12
Source:Hard Times. - ISSN: 0171-1695. - 89 (2011) 1, S. 6-10
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät / Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
DDC classification:8 Literatur / 82 Englische, altenglische Literaturen / 820 Englische, altenglische Literaturen
License (German):License LogoKeine öffentliche Lizenz: Unter Urheberrechtsschutz
External remark:This article was first published in Hard Times Magazine:
Hard Times. - 89 (2011) 1, p. 6-10
ISSN: 0171-1695
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