"The waters return": myth and mystery in Graham Swift's Waterland.




Schrock, Laura.

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The following chapter will engage Waterland in isolation from Swift’s other novels and collection of short stories, not because these texts do not mutually illuminate one another, but because Waterland deserves a treatment of the kind of depth that warrants an extended, concentrated study. That chapter seeks specifically to counter several of the blatant misreadings of the narrator’s posture and intent within the novel, and to adequately evaluate that posture and intent as they emerge within the full context of the wealth of literary devices Swift employs, including irony, mythical imagery, and scriptural allusion. The mythical images and allusions that are touched upon by other critics comprise here the central study; close reading, biblical hermeneutics, and specific strains of French feminism will interact to allow for a reengangement of Waterland beyond the exhausted circular terms of deconstructive relativism.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 64-65)