Disinterring the English Sublime: Haunted Atmospherics in The Buried Giant

Shaw, Kristian (2022) Disinterring the English Sublime: Haunted Atmospherics in The Buried Giant. In: Kazuo Ishiguro: Twenty-First Century Perspectives. Manchester University Press. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

In ‘Disinterring the English Sublime: Haunted Atmospherics in The Buried Giant’, Kristian Shaw frames the novel in relation to the political climate of twenty-first century Britain. Drawing on Ishiguro’s own comments relating to nationalism, populism and the recent rise in xenophobic political rhetoric, Shaw suggests Ishiguro’s post-Arthurian landscape contains allusions to mythical constructions of Englishness which were also deployed during the 2016 EU referendum campaign. Despite being published in the months leading to the referendum, the novel carries a clear anticipatory logic, gesturing to the nationalist violence and cultural amnesia which would come to define the subsequent post-Brexit period. The chapter goes on to demonstrate how Ishiguro utilises the fantasy genre to expose the fallacious nature of our foundational myths and warn of the dangers in assuming a backward-looking national perspective to attend to our troubled present. In developing these ties, Shaw argues The Buried Giant attempts to disrupt what he terms the ‘English sublime’, forcing us to consider ‘the internal ailments affecting the body politic’ and pointing towards the need for England to radically overhaul its comforting cultural imaginary.

Keywords:Kazuo Ishiguro, Brexit, English Literature
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
ID Code:49182
Deposited On:09 May 2022 14:43

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