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Narrating Britain into the Twenty-First Century:
Backwards? Forwards? Sideways?

University of Edinburg

The paper explores the new horizons of British novelistic practice in terms of the structure and substance of imagination underlying the literary works. Reading the popular figure of James Bond as indicative of a certain gratification in fantasy of the national British imagination, I look at projections of Britain in the new writing of several contemporary authors with a view to observe how they accommodate change. I thus delineate three modes of envisioning reality, as compensation, nostalgia or evasion. The broader question that I seek to address is how the writers of today tap into the reservoirs of modernist experimentation to forge the new literary consciousness of the twenty first century.

British novel, national consciousness, fantasy, James Bond, Astérix and Obelix, the CIA, modernism, WWII, VE, Tony Blair



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