Storytelling and the Concept of the "Self</I> in Ian McEwan’s "The Child in Time, Black Dogs, Enduring Love</I>, and "Atonement</I>
0. INTRODUCTION 7
0. Introduction For over a decade Ian Russell McEwan found himself trapped in the role of the shocking sensationalist, caricatured by the British press as Ian Macabre, Ian Makesyouqueasy, and the Clapham Shocker. I The collections of short stories McEwan wrote at the beginning of his career, First Love, Last Rites (1975) and In Between the Sheets, and Other Stories (1978), as well as his first two novels The Cement Garden (1978) and The Comfort of Strangers (1981), were reviewed with an eye an the scatological, psychopathological, or pornographic. Isolating the "dirty" bits of his work, critics and scholars of the late 1970s and early 1980s either tended to condemn McEwan as obscene or praise him as liberated.2 The Child in Time (1987) was the first of McEwan's novels not to achieve a succAss de scandale. It marked the beginning of the author's public transformation from an enfant terrible of the 1970s to one of the most revered "storytellers" of contemporary British culture. McEwan's examination of great philosophical concepts such as truth and reality, his prismatic exploration of the uncertainties and complexities of interpersonal relationships, and his critical but sympathetic study of human nature earned him a panoply of awards, including the 1998 Booker Prize for his novel Amsterdam (1998). The Child in Time, Black Dogs (1992), Enduring Love (1997), and Atonement (2001) retain elements of the existential void, the "emotional and spiritual waste land of frustration [.. non-communication, isolation, and la nausse"3 depicted in McEwan's early fiction. However, despite...
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