Utopic, Heterotopic and Dystopic Representations of England in Julian Barnes’sengland, England
Notably during the last two decades, the conceptualization of space has been as tremendously significant in literary and cultural studies as in other disciplines such as geography, architecture, and so on. Social and political issues such as nationalism, colonialism, globalization, and environmentalism have been integrated into literary studies with a special focus on their spatial dimension. Within this context, this paper suggests that Julian Barnes’sEngland, England (1998) engages in a similar endeavor and interrogates the notion of Englishness, among many others, by bringing into question England as a space upon which English nationalism has been socially constructed and culturally mediated. By dividing the narrative into three categories, as ‘England’, ‘England, England’ and ‘Anglia’, in accordance with the spatial transformation of England, Barnes’s novel encourages questioning to what extent the English nationalism has been imaginatively idealized, dismantled and reversed within a dynamic space. Specifically, by exploring the three representations of England as a utopic, heterotopic and dystopic space, thestudy argues that Englishness has been spatially shaped upon an idealized utopia, constructed heterotopia and anticipated dystopia, which eventually disclaims Englishness as an authentic, reliable force to build the future of the post-imperial England on.
Keywords - England, England, Julian Barnes, Heterotopia, Dystopia, Utopia