The Department of Studies in Culture invites everyone to its second scholarly meeting on the 27th of January 2023 at 11.30 in room 215. DeSic Scholarly meetings are a series of scholarly events organized by the Department of Studies in Culture and featuring a wide range of cultural topics. The first meeting will be hosted by dr Urszula Kizelbach who will present a lecture entitled “Shakespearean allusions and uncomfortable truths in Ian McEwan's Nutshell”. Everyone is welcome!
In this ingenious rewriting of Shakespeare’s tragedy, McEwan returns to the 18th-century tradition of the self-conscious narration, presenting the unborn Hamlet who addresses his audience straight from his mother’s womb. In a Tristram Shandy-like fashion, Hamlet presents an alternative story of his life, enriched by his digressions about modern society, social media and the Western way of life. In my pragma-stylistic analysis of the novel, I want to investigate the homodiegetic narration and the narrator’s ideological viewpoint. I will use the theory of impoliteness to evaluate Hamlet’s offensive remarks and his uncooperative attitude towards his mother Trudy and the world around him. I want to demonstrate how intradiegetic impoliteness is manifested by Hamlet’s expression of impolite beliefs as a character in the story. I also want to check if (and how) the implied author might express his impolite views through the protagonist’s discourse and what could be the potential face-threatening consequences for the reader (extradiegetic impoliteness). In my analysis, I wish to demonstrate how impoliteness can serve as a useful tool for literary characterisation and how it can be employed to characterise the author-reader communication in fiction. This lecture introduces my latest research from my upcoming book “(Im)politeness in McEwan’s Fiction: Literary Pragma-Stylistics” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023).