This is the best Brexit-Roman

On the day of the funeral for his mother, sits with Benjamin Trotter in the Bay of a converted mill, which he inhabited alone, overlooking the moonlit river, an

This is the best Brexit-Roman

On the day of the funeral for his mother, sits with Benjamin Trotter in the Bay of a converted mill, which he inhabited alone, overlooking the moonlit river, and listens to the sad folk song "Adieu to Old England". He thinks of the "feeling of deprivation", which is felt in England, everywhere, "this hatred of the financial and political Establishment" and the "silent indignation of the middle class, accustomed to comfort and prosperity, and had now noticed that your slipping away from it all".

These feelings are addressed output location and Humus for the split, the "Middle England", the latest novel by the British Jonathan Coe. He plays in an England of the Angry and the racists, the Draw and the world of strangers, the resentments and the frustrations. So, in the Land of Brexit.

"Middle England" stands for the "true" rural middle-class England of the Cricket Greens and the Norman Church beyond the big cities. The novel with this title is the third in a so not planned trilogy. The two preceding volumes, "First rites" (2002) and "class" (2006) had the same Central characters. As Trotter, the dreamy author, his best friend, Philip Chase, publisher of books on local lore, and Doug Anderton, besides Ben, a prototype of left-liberal Journalist.


He wrote with a 13'955 words of the longest sentence in English literature: Jonathan Coe. Photo:

The Original of "First rites" reportedly holds the record for the 13'955 words longest sentence in English literature. In a throwback to this record of Ben in one of the chapters of "Middle England", which consists of a single Stream-of-Consciousness-set speculated, about whether or not you get involved as an author or in the inner Emigration to escape.

The question has arisen Coe himself. He answered you with what is called in the English-speaking world, a "state-of-the nation novel", a fictional constructed documentation of the years immediately before and after the UK EU Referendum. "Middle England" has the ambition, as a founding work of the young genre called Brexit-novel. Benjamin Trotter, the "best unpublished writer in the country", meanwhile, is the beginning of 50. In his mill he writes to an infinitely long book. His friend Doug works as a newspaper columnist, estranged from his wealthy wife, their apartment in Chelsea, he uses but would like more – he is a representative of the London-centric "chattering class", a favorite enemy of the brexitfreundlichen Right - and left-wing populists. This middle-aged, liberal men suddenly find themselves surrounded by more and more small-minded, backward-looking people who pull you Ruin to Brexit -.

A complex narrative braid

As this happens, the Coe summarizes in a narrative braid, which in its complexity is reminiscent of the Victorian monoliths Anthony Trollope remembered, and that would take a detailed record is only marginally less space than the book itself.

Ultimately, human-to-human, but also behind the Historical back occurs. "Middle England" sets the focus on the specific events between 2010 and 2018, the processes Coe meticulously: Since the financial crash, the formation of the conservative-liberal Democrat coalition government of 2010, the London riots in the summer of 2011 and the Olympic games in the year after that, the choice of Jeremy Corbyns of the head of the Labour party, the far-right terrorist murder of the Labour members, Jo Cox, the referendum shock, and the next, always fierce in the increasingly intra - and extra-parliamentary trench warfare.

The figures are holders to place for political positions in the struggle for the British identity. This is particularly the case for Brexit supporters. Ben's father Colin, for example, was earlier working in a car factory in Birmingham and, as a widower, still insufferable has become. Colin is a "Gammon" (cooked ham) is So called for a couple of years, a certain type of older, white, male Englishman. They are against Immigration and have a ham because of their often alcohol-related high blood pressure juicy-colored faces.

In the coming times will serve to of this novel, perhaps as a reference work for historical Details.

Helena, the mother-in-law of Ben's niece, Sophie, is the big civil variant, a Eurosceptic, to the advantage of their Eastern European home help, and despised. Her son, Ian, Sophie's husband, seems to be the first world to be more open. Be racist resentment breaks through, however, as a dark-skinned colleague over him for a promotion.

Now, these small-minded archetypes, although the reality of a country that, at the end of last year, with racist stereotypes playing liars like Boris Johnson for Prime Minister chose. But as a reader of "Middle England" wishes often, the literary transposition would be to a head less than the reality, which is in-Brexit Britain as well more incredible than any fiction.

In coming decades, if the details of the Brexit-convulsions of new disasters are to be displaced, will serve to "Middle England" perhaps as a reference work for historical Details. As a novel, it remains a little too schematically. But it offers the best inventory of an era in which a country lost the head and then complete the orientation.

Jonathan Coe: Middle England. Roman. From the English by Cathrine Hornung and Dieter Fuchs. Folio, Zurich, 2020. 480 p., about 38 Fr.

Created: 11.03.2020, 08:05 PM

Updated Date: 11 March 2020, 08:02

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