Merhaba Misafir

Memory as an unreliable source of history and/or the simulacrum of the past in Julian Barnes’s England, England


Writer of a great number of novels, short stories and essays, Julian Barnes has always been reckoned into the post-modernist canon of English literature especially with the theme of suspicion and defiance of metanarratives dominating his fiction. Much of Barnes’ reputation in the last decades of the twentieth century stems from his fearless questioning of totalizing and blindly-accepted narratives that have a claim to ultimate knowledge and meaning. Barnes’ England, England, his eighth novel written under his own name, presents the reader with the problematic nature of issues like national identity, Englishness and documented history with a satirical tone and political implications. Barnes emphasizes the fallibility of human memory in his questioning of history writing and the notions of reality and authenticity, which is reminiscent of Baudrillard’s considerations of meaning and history in the modern world. In this respect, Barnes’ post-modern novel England, England openly problematises history writing with explicit references to Baudrillard’s theory of the ‘simulacra’, asserting that documented history is nothing but unreliable copies of the actual past created by a defective memory system. This article illustrates the way Barnes utilizes Baudrillard’s theory in an attempt to problematise the claim of personal histories to the status of official history, the simulacrum feigning originality.

Yayınlandığı Kaynak : Türkiye Sosyal Araştırmalar Dergisi
  • Yıl : 2019
  • Cilt : 23
  • ISSN : 1301-370X
  • Sayı : 198
  • Sayfa Aralığı : 67-78
  • IO Kayıt No : 91300
  • Yayıncı : Akademisyenler Birliği