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Ian McEwan$
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Dominic Head

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719066566

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719066566.001.0001

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Towards the ‘implicate order’: The Child in Time

Towards the ‘implicate order’: The Child in Time

Chapter:
(p.70) 4 Towards the ‘implicate order’: The Child in Time
Source:
Ian McEwan
Author(s):

Dominic Head

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719066566.003.0004

This chapter analyzes Ian McEwan's The Child in Time, his first fiction to be clearly longer than novella length and his first sustained attempt at a social novel. It suggests that this work can be considered a ‘Condition of England novel’ in some respects because of its projection of a fourth or fifth-term Thatcherite government becoming increasingly authoritarian. This chapter also discusses McEwan's sources in popular science to show how a post-Einsteinian conception of the plasticity of time and space allows the central character to intervene in the past and guarantee his own future.

Keywords:   The Child in Time, Ian McEwan, social novel, Condition of England novel, popular science, time and space, Thatcherite government

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