Volume 5, Issue 3, September 2020, Page: 107-111
The Noise of Time: Shostakovich in Biofiction
Li Jin, Department of Foreign Languages, College of Zhongbei, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China
Received: Aug. 29, 2020;       Accepted: Sep. 11, 2020;       Published: Sep. 21, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.ellc.20200503.15      View  121      Downloads  39
The life of Dmitri Shostakovich, a Soviet composer and Russian intellectual who was censored under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, features in many bio-works. Julian Barnes’s The Noise of Time is a reconstruction of the well-known composer’s life story, and it confronts the readers with the deconstruction of biographical conventions. In the novel, Barnes uses biographical and fictional techniques in portraying a person’s life to reflect on the relationship between art and history, artist and power, and shows that historical truth is t reconstituted, reordered, or reconstructed in a selective way. This article is focused on the narrative modes and re-presentation of the historical subject in The Noise of Time. By emphasizing formal features and their impact upon perception and interpretation of history, this analysis considers the genre of biofiction as a narrative for achieving a sense of “poetic truth” of Shostakovich’s time. By relating history with the theory of neo-historical biofiction, Barnes reminds us that history might have been concealed in totalitarian society but could also be restored among the many stories by and about the individual—to connect the histories with his stories. Thus, we should regard The Noise of Time as an amphibious art form, which ideally has both to obey the constraints of evidence and to respond creatively to the challenge of making literary form and meaning.
Julian Barnes, The Noise of Time, Narrative, Biofiction
To cite this article
Li Jin, The Noise of Time: Shostakovich in Biofiction, English Language, Literature & Culture. Vol. 5, No. 3, 2020, pp. 107-111. doi: 10.11648/j.ellc.20200503.15
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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