Art, Arcadia and Images of Identity in John Banville’s Frames Trilogy

  • Alexander G. Z. Myers


Freddie Montgomery is captured and progressively framed by the interlocked narratives of John Banville’s Frames trilogy: The Book of Evidence (1989), Ghosts (1993) and Athena (1995). In each of the three novels, Banville’s narrator-protagonist emplots various works of art, be they real, counterfeit or metafictional, into his storied self, thereby crafting a Kunstwollen, an overly self-conscious and stylised discourse for his crisis of identity. Crucially, Banville’s artful narrative relies heavily on various aspects of the pastoral mode, including its characteristic nostalgia, its dynamic of retreat and return and its elegiac, redemptive project. Previous studies have neglected Banville’s use of the pastoral mode to facilitate Montgomery’s solipsistic narcissism and search for redemption and self-reification.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander G. Z. Myers
    • 1
  1. 1.ZurichSwitzerland

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