Event date:

DeSiC Scholarly Meeting

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).