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Dreams, Nightmares and Empty Signifiers

The English Country House in the Contemporary Novel

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Urszula Terentowicz-Fotyga

Dreams, Nightmares and Empty Signifiers is the first study of contemporary literary representations of one of the most iconic topoi in English literature and culture – the country house. The book analyses nine contemporary novels, including Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, Ian McEwan’s Atonement, Sarah Waters’s The Little Stranger and Alan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child, by situating them in a broader context of manorial literary tradition. Analysing the different traditions of the novel of manners, gothic fiction and postmodern metafiction, the book identifies three principal variants of the manorial topos, which expound the country house as the locus of varied, often contradictory meanings.
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Works Cited

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Albers, Stefanie and Torsen Caeners. “The Poetics and Aesthetics of Ian McEwan’s Atonement.” English Studies 90.6 (Dec. 2009). 707–20. Ebsco. Web. 17 Jan 2013.

Alden, Natasha. “Words of War, War of Words: Atonement and the Question of Plagiarism.” Ian McEwan: Contemporary Critical Perspectives. Ed. Sebastian Groes. London: Continuum, 2009. 57–69. Print.

Ames, Jonathan. “Snobs: The Nonworking Class.“ Rev. of Snobs. The New York Times. Web. 13 March, 2005. Web. 13 May 2009.

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 1991. Print.

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