Playfulness as apologia for a strong story in Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth

Zdrojový dokument: Brno studies in English. 2015, roč. 41, č. 1, s. [101]-115
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Článek
Licence: Neurčená licence
Ian McEwan's penultimate novel, Sweet Tooth (2012), is a remarkable achievement, not only in the context of the contemporary British literary scene but also within the body of its author's work. Although it is written in the form of a spy thriller, with an element of romance, the novel by far transcends the limits of this genre. It provides an intriguing exploration of McEwan's favourite themes, but also contains a notable dimension of intertextual and metafictional playfulness, which in this case is highly self-reflective as he makes direct references to his own fiction, namely to his short stories from the collection In Between the Sheets (1978). Therefore, in terms of its thematic and narrative framework, Sweet Tooth can be especially linked with two of his earlier novels, The Innocent (1990) and Atonement (2001). This article argues that McEwan's use of playful narrative strategies is not a result of his intention to write an experimental text challenging the traditional notion of the story and the plot, but rather serves as a means of his defence of a strong story as a crucial factor of a quality narrative.
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