Englishness Revisited: Contemporary Literary Representations of English National and Cultural Identity discusses selected works of British literature of the late 20th century, analysed in the context of contemporary debates on English national and cultural identity. Literary representations of Englishness, formulated by Peter Ackroyd, Julian Barnes, and Adam Thorpe are confronted with contemporary theoretical reflections on the role of narrative in the construction of collective identity, such as cultural poetics, postmodern philosophy of history, and narratology in order to describe the relationship between history, tradition, cultural and national identity and a literary work.
“Englishness Revisited is a valuable work. To my best knowledge, there is no other publication, either in Poland or internationally, that would treat the issue of British national and cultural identity in reference to the work of Peter Ackroyd, Julian Barnes, and Adam Thorpe in such comprehensive manner. Employed methodological perspective ensures that the issue of identity – analysed in reference to a limited time span and to British culture – stretches beyond these limits, while results of this analysis have universal resonance.”
Prof. Dr. Krystyna Kujawińska-Courtney
Karolina Kolenda is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Art of the Pedagogical University of Kraków. She is a literary scholar and art historian. Her research interests focus on contemporary British literature and visual arts, cultural geography, and landscape studies. She is also an art critic and a curator. She is an author of the book on cultural identity and British art after 1945, entitled Na (nie) swojej ziemi. Tożsamość kulturowa i sztuka w Wielkiej Brytanii po 1945 (Kraków 2016).