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Title: Imagining Europe in selected works by Caryl Phillips, Ian McEwan and Kazo Ishiguro.
Author: Lin, Ching-huan
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis aims to explore the changing imagination of post-war Europe in contemporary British literary works by Caryl Phillips, Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro. It suggests that these authors, rather than exploring Britain's relationship with Europe defensively, show British national identity to be deeply ingrained with a consciousness of Europe. Recognising the demand for new cognitive maps of Europe after the end of the Cold War, Phillips, McEwan and Ishiguro see that new modes and models of European identity are needed at a time when memories of the overlapping histories of racism, dehumanisation and violence are being collectively refashioned, and when European self-understandings are being reorganised in the twentieth-century contexts of decolonisation and globalisation. The thesis demonstrates that these writers' works not only deal with the British Empire and its aftermath, with the traumatic experiences of two world wars, and with the domestic tensions of multiculturalism and ethnic conflict; they also reflect critically on ongoing processes of European expansion and integration. Situated within a longstanding tradition of Europe as an idea or ideal characterised by ambivalence and driven by a cosmopolitan ethos, the thesis looks at Phillips's, McEwan's and Ishiguro's respective representations of an imagined Europe, using qualifying adjectives-'black', 'double', 'cosmopolitan'-to set universal ideals against the open wounds of history, unmet demands for justice, and the realities of uneven power. These three connecting strands emphasise the need for a cosmopolitan worldview that takes full responsibility for humanity, both in the Europe of the past and the Europe of the present. In examining the idea or ideal of Europe from the vantage point of Britain, the thesis contributes towards the further understanding of a troubled continent, demonstrating the salience of otherness to its necessarily unresolved vision of itself
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available