PL EN


2013 | 48 | 2-3 | 93-102
Article title

JOHN BANVILLE’S SHROUD: A DECONSTRUCTIONIST’S CONFESSION

Authors
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
This article analyses John Banville’s novel Shroud as the protagonist’s autobiography which both follows and resists the confessional mode. Axel Vander, an ageing famous academic and champion of deconstruction, faces the necessity to confront his real self, although he spent his entire academic life contesting the concept of authentic selfhood. Alluding to the infamous case of Paul de Man, whose deconstructionist theories have been reinterpreted in the light of the revelation of his disgraceful wartime past, Banville’s novel presents a man who veers between the temptation to fall back on his theories in order to uphold a lifelong deception, and the impulse to reveal the truth and achieve belated absolution. The article examines Vander’s narrative as an attempt at a truthful account of his life, combined with the conflicting tendency to resist self-exposure. Despite the protagonist’s ambivalent and selfcontradictory motivations, his account of his life belongs to the category of confessional writing, with its accompanying religious connotations. It is argued that the protagonist’s public denial of authentic selfhood is linked to his private evasion of moral culpability.
Publisher
Year
Volume
48
Issue
2-3
Pages
93-102
Physical description
Dates
published
2013-12-01
online
2014-02-13
Contributors
  • Jagiellonian University, Cracow
References
  • Anderson, Hephzibah. 2002. Ghost of a chance: Shroud, John Banville. New Statesman 18 November. 55.
  • Banville, John. 2003. Shroud. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
  • Bawer, Bruce. 2003. Double exposure: Shroud by John Banville. The New York Times. March 16. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/16/books/double-exposure.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm (accessed 16 Dec. 2011).
  • Davis, Alex. 2004. Gold standard: Shroud by John Banville. The Irish Review 31. 148-150.
  • De Man, Paul. 1979. Autobiography as de-facement. MLN 94(5). 919-930.
  • Eakin, Paul John (ed.). 1988. Fictions in autobiography: Studies in the art of self-invention. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Gusdorf, Georges. 1980 [1956]. Conditions and limits of autobiography. Trans. James Olney. In James Olney (ed.), Autobiography: essays theoretical and critical, 28-48. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Kaplan, Alice. 1998. Paul de Man and auto-biography. Sites: Journal of the Twentieth- Century/Contemporary French Studies 2(1). 25-37.
  • Kenny, John. 2002. A beautiful mourning: John Banville’s ecclesiastical dreams. Times Literary Supplement September 20. 19.
  • Markovits, Benjamin. 2003. “Aestheticise, aestheticise”: Shroud by John Banville. London Review of Books 2 January. 38-39.
  • Moore, John Reese. 2004. Wearing the shroud: Shroud by John Banville. Sewanee Review March1. xxxviii-xli.
  • Olney, James (ed.). 1980. Autobiography: Essays theoretical and critical. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Palazzolo, Pietra. 2005. Telling stories: Alterity and ethics in John Banville’s The Untouchable and Shroud. Critical Studies 26(1). 145-160.
  • Pascal, Roy. 1960. Design and truth in autobiography. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
  • Pedersen, Lene Yding. 2005. Revealing/Re-veiling the past: John Banville’s Shroud. Nordic Irish Studies 4. 137-155.
  • Rajan, Tilottama. 1991. Allegories of intertextuality: The controversy over Paul de Man. Modern Philology 89(2). 231-246.[Crossref]
  • Starobinski, Jean. 1980 [1971]. The style of autobiography. In James Olney (ed.), Autobiography: Essays theoretical and critical, 73-83. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Wiener, Jon. 1988. Deconstructing de Man. The Nation January 9. 22-24.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.doi-10_2478_stap-2013-0009
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.