Written to Dialogise: Ian McEwan's Atonement and Sweet Tooth

Faculty/Professorship: Fakultät Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften: Abschlussarbeiten 
Author(s): Kehler, Barbara
Publisher Information: Bamberg : Otto-Friedrich-Universität
Year of publication: 2021
Pages: 248
Supervisor(s): Houswitschka, Christoph; Fischer, Pascal
Language(s): English
Dissertation, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, 2020
DOI: 10.20378/irb-51762
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY - Attribution 4.0 International 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-irb-517621
In the intertext of Atonement (2001) and Sweet Tooth (2012), McEwan unmasks monological writing and reading processes which destructively deny the individual subject its complexity. Empowering the individual subject to fight its ideological determination, he suggests (literary) possibilities of dialogical involvement to unbind the individual subject into critically thinking its social and historical situatedness. Writing a readerly text of writerly potential which requires the reader’s active participation to become an instrument of dialogue, McEwan introduces two acting writers, Briony Tallis and Tom Haley, who are familiar with intertextual theory and share McEwan’s dialogical approach to the literary text. They critically mediate Briony’s and Serena’s development from monological to dialogical subjectivity by personalising different stages of intertextual theory (Saussure, Bakhtin, Kristeva and Barthes) and its advancement of dialogue and dialogical subjectivity within each protagonist’s literary development. Allowing his readers to observe how Briony Tallis and Tom Haley meticulously write and criticise Briony and Serena, protagonists who initially author but finally write their context when they unlock the critical potential of the intertextual process in dialogising the readerly and the writerly, McEwan provides his readers with a space in which to try their critical potential: reading Atonement and Sweet Tooth and daring to assume the responsibility of dialogical double agency (Barthes and Genette), they might not only become aware of monological and dialogical writing and reading processes but they might join in productively exploring narrative possibilities to dialogise (their) individual subjectivity.
GND Keywords: McEwan, Ian; Atonement
Keywords: Ian McEwan, Atonement, Sweet Tooth / Saussure, Bakhtin, Kristeva, Barthes, Genette / monologue, dialogue, intertextuality, subjectivity
DDC Classification: 820 English literature  
RVK Classification: HN 5835   
Type: Doctoralthesis
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/51762
Release Date: 3. November 2021

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