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dc.contributor.authorTan, Ian Xing Longen
dc.identifier.citationTan, I. (2021). Ian McEwan's aesthetic stakes in adaptation as political rewriting: A study of Nutshell (2016) and The Cockroach (2019). Anglia, 139(3), 564-583.
dc.identifier.issn0340-5222 (print)-
dc.identifier.issn1865-8938 (online)-
dc.description.abstractThis essay will examine two of Ian McEwan’s recent novellas as political rewritings of William Shakespeare and Franz Kafka. McEwan’s Nutshell (2016) repositions the avenger figure in Hamlet as an unborn child whose melancholic awareness of the condition of modern existence allows him a mode of ironic commentary about the possibilities of moral and political choices in a world soon to be destroyed by climate change and nuclear apocalypse. The Cockroach (2019) turns Kafkaesque absurdity into political satire as the protagonist-turned-insect first encountered in The Metamorphosis (1915) is arrogated a position of absolute power in a fictional dystopia eerily resonant of Britain on the verge of Brexit. I argue that McEwan’s re-scripting of these two works of canonical literature imbues his narratives with political resonance, as the formulations and distortions of the physical body in his two novellas map onto the articulations of political belief. In effect, McEwan posits the Foucaultian notion that the body is determined by symbolic systems of power. However, he succeeds in turning the gaze back onto the political by instantiating the radical dimension of a subject whose coming into being is already a political act and event. In other words, McEwan’s artistic intervention in rewriting the narratives of Hamlet and Gregor Samsa explodes the hermeticism of the family drama in the originals by relocating the theatre of subjectivity within the sphere of the political.en
dc.subjectIan McEwanen
dc.subjectWilliam Shakespeareen
dc.subjectFranz Kafkaen
dc.subjectLiterary adaptationen
dc.subjectPolitical aestheticsen
dc.titleIan McEwan's aesthetic stakes in adaptation as political rewriting: A study of Nutshell (2016) and The Cockroach (2019)en
dc.description.versionPublished versionen
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