REVISITING A HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 10 ½ CHAPTERS – ABOUT TWO EXPLANATIONS OF EVERYTHING AND THE UNRELIABLE NARRATOR
Keywords:A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters (novel), Julian Barnes, historiographic metafiction, accelerated recontextualization, archive fever
The paper offers a reading of the novel A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters by Julian Barnes introducing current theoretical frameworks dealing with the relationship of history and fiction from the perspective of the second decade of the 21st century. Although the novel explicitly deals with the issue of history, it was often insufficiently addressed in the critical analyses of Barnes’s work as well as in the treatment of history in fiction, especially in terms of the analysis of structure and the treatment of time explained as the experience of the present. Considering the processes Mark Currie defines as crucial for understanding the relationship of time in fiction, time-space compression, archive fever and accelerated recontextualization, the paper offers an insight how those function in the novel from the standpoint that the late XX century fiction is no longer considered to be a part of our ‘contemporary’ setting.
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