Masters and Slaves: Britain's Cultural Selves in Jon McGregor's 'So Many Ways to Begin'

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper will explore the representation of self and other in Jon McGregor’s So Many Ways to Begin (2006); it will argue that this novel functions as a cultural diagnosis of contemporary Britain’s crisis of identity. What will be seen is that McGregor presents a complex, and philosophically sophisticated meditation upon both the idea of self-identity and the manner of its construction; through Carter’s journey, he incarnates the Hegelian master-slave death-struggle and presents a form of reconciliation between the two that allows both to co-exist within the same conceptual space and at the same time. Ultimately, what will be argued is that Jon McGregor is a young artist of considerable note who has valuable things to say about the possibilities and potential for the harmonious coexistence of cultural selves and others.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventOtherness and the Arts - University of Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 8 Aug 20089 Aug 2008


ConferenceOtherness and the Arts


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