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The old English agony

John Fowles's Englishness makes a triumphant return in his tormented, magnificent journals

By Julian Evans   November 2003

Book: Journals, vol 1 Author: John Fowles Price: (Jonathan Cape, ?30)

The chief characteristic of Englishness as an element of the English novel in the last 60 years has been its revolt against itself. Englishness of the pre-multicultural kind was rarely seen as a domain to be anatomised with affection; more often it occupied a shallow grave, the casualty of satire and ridicule. The breaking wave of new identity that came with the work of Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi, Kazuo Ishiguro and others, and that has settled into the groundswell of energy personified by the Zadie Smiths and Monica Alis…

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