POSTMODERN RECEPTION OF AN IMAGE OF DOCTOR DEE (U. ECO, P. ACKROYD)

Abstract

Postmodern literature radically reconsiders traditional values and ideas, abandons the established standards and gives provocative non-canonical interpretations of some immortal characters of the world literature. The article analyzes this tendency through the interpretations of John Dee’s character in postmodern novels «Foucault's Pendulum» by Umberto Eco (1988) and «The House of Doctor Dee» by Peter Ackroyd (1994), each of them, in their own way, reconsidered the traditional comprehension of the Faustian scientist. The former gives an ironic sketch of John Dee’s life in the insert story of «Foucault's Pendulum», the latter presents a monumental description of the alchemist in the context of his own and the author’s time. But both authors pursue an obvious goal, showing fundamental ambiguity of receptions and the absence of absolute Truth, they synthesize different, sometimes opposite, opinions of John Dee, using a playful narrative mode they degrade the traditional image of the magician.

About the authors

G. G. Ishimbaeva

Bashkir State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov.sv@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1825-0097
Russian Federation

N. R. Lenkova

Bashkir State University

Email: morenov.sv@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1825-0097
Russian Federation

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