Narrative engagement with Atonement and The Blind Assasin

Philosophy and Literature 29 (1):130-145 (2005)
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Two recent novels, Ian McEwan’s Atonement and Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin, are philosophically instructive. These books are interesting, I argue, because they reveal something about understanding and appreciating narrative. They show us that audience’s participation in narrative is much more subtle and complex than philosophers generally acknowledge. An analysis of these books reveals that narrative imagining is not static or unified, but dynamic and multipolar. I argue that once the complexity of narrative engagement is better understood, some prominent philosophical problems and debates concerning narrative dissolve.
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