Reading Ian McEwan: An Introduction to Narratology
The short novel "The Comfort of Strangers" (1981) is used in the course as an entry point, "Atonement" (2001) as a turning point and "The Nutshell" (2017) as the terminal for our narratological journey. Looking back from 2017, "The Comfort of Strangers" is an end game and it can be used to study the basics of narratology such as action, story, tellability. To start tracing the devices McEwan uses in "Atonement," we need a detailed knowledge of focalization and unreliability as key notions. We will end up with tenses and fictional space as well as all imaginable types of narrators to turn to an inconceivable one who tells "The Nutshell" story. The course will use interactive techniques and collaborative work. Prof. Paul Cobley, the author of Narrative (2001, 2015) will be joining us to discuss theoretical issues via teleconference as well as in person.