Artistic symbols as support of a biased imagination

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Ian McEwan has indulged in macabre plots whose point of interest resided in the power of imaginary over the allegedly rational reality. In novels like Atonement, Enduring Love, On Chesil Beach and Amsterdam he pointed out how approaching the world scientifically can be as misleading as doing it on the religious or literary ways. The target of my paper is to spot those common places of fanaticism and narrowed perspectives which have constituted the origin of many tragedies. The main line of demonstration follows epistemological researches: namely the catastrophic nature of an incomplete knowledge. The biased understanding of a phenomenon is a great temptation, as Karl Popper put it, because it relies on comfort and quick results that can lead to advantageous actions in a matter-of-fact order of things, but not otherwise. From the cultural studies point of view, Ian McEwan’s works can be understood as an ironical mixture of private with public and boredom with imagination. More often than not, what engenders a tragedy is the sheer boredom, the desire to live something significant. Such a conjured tragedy may be identified with a sluice facilitating the passage from postmodernism to post-post-modernism.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Specific Literatures


  • imagination, Postmodernism, science and literature, biased understanding
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)10-16
JournalArs Aeterna
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 1
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

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Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Felix Nicolau, 2017 Dec 14, Representaciones del espacio hostil en la literatura y las artes. Hernandez, A. A. & Pereda, P. D. (eds.). Santiago de Compostela: Andavira editora, p. 419-429 41

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding

Felix Nicolau, 2016 Jul 23, Bucharest: Fractalia. 256 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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