Carnivalizing conservatism: a Bakhtinian analysis of Hanif Kureishi, Pat Barker and Zadie Smith in the context of the post-Thatcher era
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AbstractHanif Kureishi, Zadie Smith and Pat Barker engage with the changing shape of late twentieth-century Britain through their simultaneous engagement with conservative and magic realist discourses. Recognizing the pervasiveness of Margaret Thatcher's legacies in the post-Thatcher era, the three authors challenge conservative discourses through magic realist narrative strands that expose the homogenizing effects of Thatcherite nationalism. Homi K. Bhabha's discursive engagement with nation in conjunction with his conception of a hybrid third space, extended in my modem reading of M. M. Bakhtin, is extremely relevant to a critical reading of their texts. While Kureishi, Barker and Smith emphasize the denaturalizing effects of magic realist or carnivalesque moments, their texts also stress discursive overlap and in doing so recall Bakhtin's recognition of the interrelatedness of time and space. The interplay between alternate and official discourses, if read in the context of chronotopic layering, suggests a reevaluation of the concept of 'nation.' By acknowledging the interpenetration of alternative and conservative discourses, Kureishi, Barker and Smith re-form "Britishness."
Bibliography: p. 136-144