Document Type

Article

Language

eng

Format of Original

27 p.

Publication Date

Fall 2014

Publisher

Johns Hopkins University Press

Source Publication

ELH: English Literary History

Source ISSN

0013-8304

Original Item ID

doi: 10.1353/elh.2014.0028

Abstract

This essay examines the so-called “turn to beauty” in British fiction since the 1990s as a response to the political and social consequences of Thatcherism. Focusing primarily on four texts—Jonathan Coe’s What a Carve Up! (1994), Julian Barnes’s England, England, (1998), Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty (2004), and Zadie Smith’s On Beauty (2005)—this essay argues that conceptions of beauty and beastliness delineate possible boundaries to the neoliberalism with which Thatcherism is associated. Two distinct phases of the beauty/beastliness rhetoric are identified: an ironized utopianism in the 1990s; an ambivalent embrace of global humanism in the 2000s.

Comments

Published version. ELH: English Literary History, Vol. 81, No. 3 (Fall 2014): 1083-1110. DOI. © Johns Hopkins University Press 2014. Used with permission.

Share

COinS