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Politics, Satire, and Historical Consciousness in Contemporary American Novel

Olena Boylu

ISBN 978-3-8325-5556-6
140 pages, year of publication: 2022
price: 36.00 €
What is the role of the historical and political novel in our lives? Is it just a story from the past, or does it shape our historical consciousness? Can we rely on the information within this type of fiction? According to many historicists, we cannot. However, we can also question numerous ideologically shaped history books that look more like fiction than scientific sources. Hence, historically and politically loaded fiction has an equal chance in the formational process of our historical consciousness. Besides, through satire and humor, which a scientist omits in a history book, a novelist manages to affect its reader on a different scale and leave a deeper trace. As E.,L. Doctorow once stated, ``The historian tells you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like.''

Hence, this study analyzes several significant concepts such as historiography, historical consciousness, power, its elements, and the way it operates; traces major characteristics of historical and political fiction, and determines the role of satire within them. Eventually, through the analysis of several prominent contemporary novels, it provides vivid examples of all the concepts that have been discussed.

Keywords:
  • Historical Consciousness
  • Satire
  • Politics
  • Contemporary Novel
  • American Literature

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