Masters and slaves: Britain’s cultural selves in Jon McGregor’s So Many Ways to Begin

Shortt, D. (2009) Masters and slaves: Britain’s cultural selves in Jon McGregor’s So Many Ways to Begin. Double Dialogues, 10. ISSN 1447-9591

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Abstract

This paper will explore the representation of self and other in Jon McGregor’s So Many Ways to Begin (2006); it will argue that this novel functions as a cultural diagnosis of contemporary Britain’s crisis of identity. What will be seen is that McGregor presents a complex, and philosophically sophisticated meditation upon both the idea of self-identity and the manner of its construction; through Carter’s journey, he incarnates the Hegelian master-slave death-struggle and presents a form of reconciliation between the two that allows both to co-exist within the same conceptual space and at the same time. Ultimately, what will be argued is that Jon McGregor is a young artist of considerable note who has valuable things to say about the possibilities and potential for the harmonious coexistence of cultural selves and others.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Education
Date Deposited: 12 May 2010 18:45
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/305

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