Образ Гамлета как «вечный образ» мировой литературы в структуре романа Грэма Свифта «Отныне и навсегда»
This article will focus on features of Graham Swift’s subjective narrative in “Waterland”. It examines the structure of subjective narrative of the novel and personality representation and features of the character analyses. Ideas and concepts are implemented in characters; they not only have distinctive psychological features but represent nonlinear historical concepts. Paradoxically reinvented biblical motifs are applied to characterize personages. Characters in Swift’s novels have strong ideological basis, concepts help understand their existential nature.
The article «Epistemological crisis in Graham Swift’s novels Waterland and Last Orders» focuses on exploring forms of representation of distrust in history and disbelief in learning the past in Graham Swift’s novels. Philosophical and historical concepts are central to both books, both examine the ways of getting the knowledge but are very different in scale.
English literature of the end of the XX century represents rationality crisis caused by social cataclysms, wars and destruction of the XX century. Chaos and unstable reality, unapprehensiveness of the world and narratives about this world – history – topics typical of Graham Swift’s writing. Shift of ideological paradigms, caused by change in social systems, and destroying explanatory schemes has brought discredit to historical narratives of the end of millenium. Literature of the end of the XX century in general pays special attention to these topics, but for Graham Swift’s writing they are most significant.
Epistemological crisis of contemporary history resulted in distrust in traditional historiography and traditional historical sources; it gave rise to a very special type of literary writing, represented by novels of A.Carter, J.Barnes, P.Ackroyd, A.Byatt etc. They wrote about living in crisis, history, both public and private and explored existential questions in their novels. Personal history was mythologized in XX century; private history is at the forefront of writers’ interest: they shifted from epic social pictures to existential framework of living. Graham Swift is known to be obsessive about exploring history and the ways people get knowledge.
Historical process in Graham Swift’s novels is always nonlinear; it is not determined by direct cause-effect relation. History in his writing is not characterized by a gradual advance; progress as a form of social development is typically negated. “Knowing” as a problem of learning the past on both philosophical and common sense levels is central to all Swift’s novels but is of particular interest in Waterland and Last Orders. It is the way Swift interprets learning the past distinguishes Waterland and Last Orders. Waterland represents a metaphysical picture of the world history, regional and natural history and family life of several generations, while the space of Last Orders is narrowed to a funeral day of one of the characters giving a fine example of «everyday life» philosophy.
It is supposed that Graham Swift’s novels epitomize a postmodern view on historical process: he is critical to the very idea of having reliable knowledge about the past; he rethinks the idea that history might “be learnt” at all, his characters distrust the knowledge they get.