Mapping New Jerusalem: Space, National Identity and Power in British Espionage Fiction 1945-79.
Goodman, Samuel Geoffrey
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis argues that the espionage fiction of Graham Greene, Ian Fleming and John le Carré published between 1945 and 1979 illustrates a number of discontinuities, disjunctions and paradoxes related to space, sovereignty and national identity in post-war Britain. To this effect, the thesis has three broad aims. Firstly, to approach the representations of space and sovereign power in the work of these authors published during the period 1945-1979, examining the way in which sovereign power produces space, and then how that power is distributed and maintained. Secondly, to analyse the effect that sovereign power has on a variety of social and cultural environments represented within spy fiction and how the exercise of power affects the response of individuals within them. Thirdly, to establish how the intervention of sovereign power within environments relates to the creation, propagation and exclusion of national identities within each author’s work. By mapping the application of sovereign power throughout various environments, the thesis demonstrates that the control of environment is inextricably linked to the sovereign control of British subjects in espionage fiction. Moreover, the role of the spy in the application of sovereign power reveals a paradox integral to the espionage genre, namely that the maintenance of sovereign power exists only through the undermining of its core principles. Sovereignty, in these texts, is maintained only by weakening the sovereign control of other nations.
PhD in English