Vernon Halliday and the Judge: Editorship and Newspaper Power in Ian McEwan's "Amsterdam"

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GRIN Verlag, 2011 - 28 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 1999 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1 (A), University of Kassel (FB 8 Anglistics), 4 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Ian McEwan′s ability to present his settings and themes in detail has been already noticed. In his novel Amsterdam he exellently describes for example the Lake District when Clive Linley hikes to find inspiration or the composing process when Clive tries to write the perfect ending for his symphony. But these are not the only passages where he uses his knowledge of perfectly drawing the reader into a certain theme. He also shows in this novel that he has deep insight into the media and especially in how modern newspapers are made. Media and especially the newspaper is one of Ian McEwan′s main themes in Amsterdam. Besides Vernon Halliday, who as the editor of the British national daily The Judge is the character the most involved in the printing press, also George Lane and McEwan′s secret main character Molly Lane are linked with the media. George owns a small part of the Judge and therefore is one of the proprietors to whom Vernon is responsible. Molly was part of the media establishment as well. She worked as critic for a magazine and later married George. I will show in this paper that McEwan succeeded in portraying his character Vernon Halliday in a way that strongly resembles an editor of a national daily newspaper in Great Britain today. He even managed to hint at changes that happened during the last decades in how editorship is characterized by using George Lane as old fashioned proprietor to counterbalance the modern editorship of the Judge. It will also become obvious how comprehensive McEwan′s knowledge of the relationship between the media and politics is and how he weaved this aspect into the novel. Furthermore, I will point out that Ian McEwan portrays the Judge throughout his novel as a quality paper on its way to become a downmarket tablo

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