What is British about contemporary British Fiction Discuss with reference to any two authors from the second half of the course. Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Harold Pinter's The Caretaker.
The question of "what is British about contemporary British Fiction" is an interesting one in a number of ways.
Both of them are distinctive, and in many ways ground-breaking plays written by playwrights who are , in their way, regarded as quintessentially 'English' or 'British' in nature: if such as thing as British literature exists, it would be found within their work.
First of all is there such a thing as "being British" At the most basic level "being British" would be someone who is born, raised or who hold British nationality. In this case both Pinter and Stoppard meet this crude "British" definition. Being British is also essentially an idea rather than a reality. It can be seen as adherence to a number of supposed national norms that the British display. Eccentricity, independence, an indomitable nature, reserve, politeness, intelligence, genius, empire, arrogance are all characteristics which can be said to be 'British', and thus it can be seen to be a number of often contradictory things.
'Contradiction' is one of the hallmarks of Absurdist Theatre and thus it is apt that The Caretaker is one of the first works of drama to be written within the genre called The Theatre of the Absurd. What can be said to be particularly 'English' about this work. ...