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Title: From the Actual to the Possible: Cosmopolitan Articulation of Englishness in Julian Barnes' Arthur & George
Other Titles: 從現況到可能:朱利安.拔恩斯《亞瑟與喬治》中世界主義想像的英國身份
Authors: 楊承豪
Yang, Cheng-Hao
Keywords: 英國性;朱利安.拔恩斯;《亞瑟與喬治》;倫理關係;世界主義
Englishness;Julian Barnes;Arthur & George;ethical relation;cosmopolitanism
Date: 2013-06
Issue Date: 2016-05-13 14:41:45 (UTC+8)
Abstract:   朱利安.拔恩斯於2005年出版的《亞瑟與喬治》批判國族主義式的英國身份,提供我們重新檢視與想像英國性的可能。一般制式化的閱讀大多著重於此文本中種族歧視和法律無法伸張正義的議題,而大都數的評論也的確迎合這般「讀者文本式」閱讀的期待。本文論點為《亞瑟與喬治》解構獨霸式的英國國族身份,並透過世界主義重新想像英國性,將身份解構轉變成倫理的關係,而整本小說所要探討的,即是亞瑟與喬治二位均非「正統英國人」之間的倫理關係。解構英國性並非輕估國家身份的重要性,而是要抗拒一種獨霸式的國族主義身份。在《後殖民的憂鬱症》一書中,保羅.吉爾羅伊問道:「在現今越來越分歧但也愈加同質的世界,什麼樣的批判性觀點能夠培養和異己共存的能力和慾望?」一個世界主義式的國家身份想像不僅能夠回應吉爾羅伊的問題,也能將對英國性的討論,從現況中根深蒂固、停滯和帶有歧視的國家身份主體,轉向到被重新賦予可能的倫理關係,思索每個主體獨一性中差異性的連結。在《亞瑟與喬治》中,差異並未造成二個差異性極大主角之間的障礙,相反地,差異奠定了亞瑟和喬治之間倫理關係的基礎。
  Julian Barnes’ Arthur & George (2005) critiques the nationalistic particularism of English identity and offers the possibility of reconfiguring Englishness. An institutionalized reading of the novel would draw the reader’s attention to the issues of racism and miscarriages of legal justice, and most reviews conform to these readerly expectations. I would argue that this novel works on the deconstruction of the total and totalized English identity, and this deconstruction is coupled with a cosmopolitan articulation of Englishness to facilitate ethical relation and solidarity between the two “unofficial Englishmen”: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edalji. The deconstruction of the English identity does not discredit the value of national identity, but it turns away from a totalized national identity. In Postcolonial Melancholia, Paul Gilroy asks, “ . . . what critical perspectives might nurture the ability and the desire to live with difference on an increasingly divided but also convergent planet?” (3). A cosmopolitan articulation of national identity could be a response to Gilroy’s question, as it will shift the focus of the discussion on Englishness from the actual—the entrenched, static and prejudiced national identity, to the possible—the ethical engagement, and the productive relatedness of existent differences in the singularity of each subject. In Arthur & George, differences do not constitute the obstacle between the two main characters, but rather the very reason for Arthur to reach out toward George.
Relation: 文山評論:文學與文化, 6(2),159-190
The Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture] Articles

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