Chapter

Conviction and prejudice: <i>Arthur & George</i>

Peter Childs

in Julian Barnes

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780719081064
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700020 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719081064.003.0011
Conviction and prejudice: Arthur & George

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Arthur & George is a book about unlikely pairings and questionable divisions. It is a fiction about truth and relativity, perception and rationality, fear and authority. Drawing on the real-life investigation by Arthur Conan Doyle of a miscarriage of justice, it explores the borderlines of nationality and ethnicity, evidence and imagination, doubt and faith, fact and fiction, endings and beginnings. It underlines the power of narrative to weave a plot from scraps of unsubstantiated information, in which the key factors are conviction and prejudice. Part of the intrigue of the book is directed at the play on distinctions between fact and fabulation, and Barnes seems deeply sceptical throughout his fiction of the notion of an accurate version of events.

Keywords: Arthur Conan Doyle; justice; Julian Barnes; conviction; prejudice; fabulation

Chapter.  8626 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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