restricted access The Anxieties of Authenticity in Post-2000 British Fiction

This essay argues that the issue of what it means to live an authentic life in the twenty-first century has been a significant trope in recent British fiction. Negotiating between universalizing humanist perspectives and the radically individualizing politics of late-capitalist philosophy, Tom McCarthy’s Remainder and Steven Hall’s The Raw Shark Texts pose the question of whether any authenticity of the self can be imagined in an increasingly globalized, mediated, and digitalized world. Contextualizing these novels within contemporary British writing, this essay locates a profound psychological anxiety as the dominant mode for engaging with authentic subjectification.