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Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Weretiuk, Oksana
Title: The anonymous letter in the construction of racial prejudice (Julian Barnes, Arthur & George)
Other Title: Anoniminio laiško vaidmuo konstruojant rasizmą Juliano Barneso romane Arthuras & George‘as
Is part of: Acta litteraria comparativa, 2015, nr. 7, p. 85-96
Date: 2015
Keywords: Viktorijos laikų rasizmas;Anoniminiai laiškai;Pokolonialinė kritika;Istorinis romanas;Victorian racism;Anonymous letters;Postcolonial criticism;Historical novel;Arthur Conan Doyle
Abstract: Straipsnio tikslas yra pristatyti Juliano Barneso romane Arthuras & George‘as aptinkamo rasizmo pokolonialinę interpretaciją. Kūrinys vaizduoja augančią rasistinę antipatiją indų kilmės pastoriaus George‘o Edalji šeimai. Romano autorius parodo, jog kitokia, tamsesnė odos spalva tampa pakankamu pagrindu pastorių apkaltinti – ne tik vietinėje bendruomenėje, bet visoje britų visuomenėje, įskaitant tokias valstybines įstaigas kaip policija, teismai ir net vyriausybė. Pasitelkęs anoniminius laiškus, J. Barnesas rasizmo nevaizduoja kaip atviros diskriminacijos ar agresijos Kitam, kūrinyje jis greičiau yra nematomas, besislepiantis po oda.
The article is an attempt to provide a postcolonial interpretation of racism in Arthur & George, a historical novel by Julian Barnes. The main character, George Edalji, the son of an English pastor of Indian descent and a Scottish mother identifies himself as “full English.” His birth, citizenship, education, religion, profession confirm his British status. More and more often, the intelligent, slow, too much introverted “hybrid” is exposed to acts fueled by the racial intolerance of the local community members, which occur behind the rectory fence of the vicarage. All the time the Edalji family suffers from the attacks of a poisonous racist’s anonymous letters. In Arthur & George, the author of Sherlock Holmes runs a private investigation in defense of George. He carefully reads all the letters and becomes certain of a growing aversion to the Edaljis and especially to the intelligent George, a solicitor. The novel shows race-based aversion to the dark-skinned neighbor, whose otherness was sufficient evidence of his guilt, not only for the local community, but also for most of British society, including public institutions such as the police, courts, and even the government. With the help of the anonymous letters, introduced into the plot, Barnes does not present racism as an act of overt discrimination or aggression, as Victorian-era British society is apparently free from racial prejudice. Invisible, “subcutaneous” racism operates insidiously.
Appears in Collections:Acta litteraria comparativa, 2015, nr. 7: Laiškas literatūroje ir kultūroje

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