Memory and the Splitting of the Self in John Banville’s The Sea

Bożena Kucała

Abstract


This article explores the problem of the self in The Sea by John Banville. The narrator’s professed lack of a stable identity coexists with a multiplication of his different “selves.” It is argued that the splitting of the self in Banville’s novel is more complicated than the split between a narrating self and the subject of narration, common to retrospective first-person narratives. Due to the intensely visual and time-defying nature of his memory, the protagonist seems to revive the past and achieves the sense of a simultaneous existence as two beings. The narrator’s need to locate himself at a fixed point in his narrative, combined with his inability to adopt a definitive perspective, results in a permanent erosion of identity.


Keywords


John Banville; The Sea; memory; selfhood; identity

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/lsmll.2016.40.1.9
Data publikacji: 2016-07-27 14:57:56
Data złożenia artykułu: 2016-03-01 17:25:25

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