Democracy as Simulacrum: Incredulity towards the Metanarrative of Emancipation in Ian McEwan’s Saturday

Seyed Javad Habibi


Laying bare simulacrum–oriented aspect of the western democracy in the contemporary world within almost single day--15 September 2003-- is what McEwan highlights in his novel Saturday (2005). To substantiate this hypothesis, the compatibility between Lyotard’s definition of postmodernism (incredulity towards metanarrative of emancipation) and the contemporary assumption of democracy are dovetailed to frame the argument concerning incredulity towards the metanarrative of emancipation. Then, based on this backbone, the speculation of postmodern democracy as simulacrum gets developed. The concluding section of this study deals with the ramification of dominating “simulative democracy” that is hegemonic control: a phenomenon, which according to Baudrillard, begets terrorism.

Full Text:



“Allegory.” M. H. Abrams (1999). A Glossary of Literary Terms. 7th ed. Boston: Heinle & Heinle- Thomson.

Baloch, Qadar Bakhsh (2006). “9/11: The Big Lie Review.” The Dialogue. 142-152.

Baudrillard, Jean (2003). The Spirit of Terrorism. Trans. Christ Turner. London: Verso.

Bertens, Hans (2007). Literary Theory: The Basics. 2nd ed. London: Taylor and Francis:

Boyers, Robert (1985). Atrocity and Amnesia: The Political Novel Since 1945. New York: Oxford University Press.

Butler, Heidi (2010). “The Master's Narrative: Resisting the Essentializing Gaze in Ian McEwan's Saturday.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction. Volume 52, Number1. 101-113.

Cowell, Alan (2004). “Ian McEwan Hints at a Coming Novel.” New York Times. December 6, 2004.

“Casus belli.”Merriam Webster’s Dictionary.11th ed. 2003.

Deleuze, Gilles (1983). "Plato and the Simulacrum," October. Volume 27 .45-56.

Heber, Nicole (2007). “Ian McEwan’s Saturday, 9/11 and Neuroscience. Proceedings of ‘Sustaining Culture:Annual Conference of the Cultural Studies Association of Australia(CSAA).6-8 Dec.2007, UniSA, Adelaide.

Isherwood, Jennifer (2006). Violence, Narrative and community after 9/11: A Reading of Ian McEwan’s Saturday. M.A Thesis: the Graduate College of Bowling Green State University.

James, David (2003). “‘A Boy Stepped Out’: Migrancy,Visuality, and the Mapping of Masculinities in Later Fiction of Ian McEwan.” Textual Practice. Volume17, Number 1. 81–100.

Jameson, Fredric (1981). The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially symbolic Act. New York: Ithaca.

--- (1991). Postmodernism or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham: Duke University Press.

Kosmalska, Joanna. “Dichotomous Images in Ian McEwan’s Saturday: in Pursuit of Objective Balance.” Text Matters 1.1 (2011): 268-75.

Kowaleski, Elizabeth Wallace (2007). “Postcolonial Melancholia in Ian McEwan’s Saturday.” Studies in the Novel. Volume 39, Number 4. 465-480.

Lemay, Eeic and Jennifer A. Pitts (2010). Heidegger for Beginners. Hyderabad: Orient Black Swan.

Lyotard, Jean-Francois (1984). The Postmodern Condition: a Report on Knowledge. Trans. Bennington, Geoff and Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Malpas, Simon (2003). Jean- Francois Lyotard. London: Routledge.

Mistry, Rohinton (1987). Tales from Firozsha Baag. Toronto: Penguin Books Canada.

Poster, Mark ed. (1988). Jean Baudrillard, Selected Writings. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Root, Christina (2011). “A Melodiousness at Odds with Pessimism: Ian McEwan’s Saturday”. Journal of Modern Literature. Volume35, Number1. 60-78.

Rorty, Richard (2005). “ A Queasy Agnosticism.” Dissent. Volume 52, Number 4. 91-94.

Siegel, Lee (2005). “The Imagination of Disaster.” The Nation. 11 Apr. 2005

Simpson, Stuart(2005). “Walking among the Lonely Crowd.” Spiked. 4 Mar. 2005.

“simulacrum.” Merriam Webster’s Dictionary.11th ed. 2003.

Smith, Philip (1997). “Civil Society and Violence: Narrative Forms and the Regulation of Social Conflict.” The Web of Violence: from Interpersonal to Global. Ed. Jennifer Turpin and Lester R. Kurtz. Urbana : University of Illinois Press.


  • There are currently no refbacks.




eISSN : 2550-2247

ISSN : 0128-5157