Volume 11, Issue 1 (2004)                   IQBQ 2004, 11(1): 23-30 | Back to browse issues page

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Payandeh H. The Universal Pandemic of Violence: A Narratological Reading of Ian McEwan’s Black Dogs. IQBQ. 11 (1) :23-30
URL: http://eijh.modares.ac.ir/article-27-5743-en.html
English Literature, Allameh Tabatabaee University
Abstract:   (4872 Views)
This paper aims to offer a critical reading of the contemporary English author Ian McEwan’s fifth novel entitled Black Dogs (1992). I postulate that literary critics have frequently read his fiction for what it is not. As such, McEwan’s thought-provoking engagement with cultural questions has more often than not gone unexamined owing to a critical blueprint that, reducing his oeuvre to the topoi of violence, or to a gallery of obnoxious characters branded as psychopaths, typecasts him as a writer of disturbing, salacious fiction. Arguing that McEwan writes to dissect and criticise contemporary cul-ture, I offer a reading of his novel as a literary intervention into a cultural debate. I argue that of cru-cial importance in McEwan’s novel is the question of the narrative structure through which the differ-ent segments of Black Dogs are recounted. Drawing on the narratological concepts and terminology in-troduced in the works of Gَerard Genette and Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, I examine the complexities of the narrative discourses of McEwan’s novel and its interlinking thematic analogies. Based on this read-ing, I conclude that McEwan’s intervention in the ongoing cultural debates of today makes of him a se-vere critic of our time.
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Received: 2010/06/15 | Accepted: 2003/06/15 | Published: 2010/06/15

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