Existential Spaces and Cultural Identity in Esther Freud's I Couldn't Love You More


  • Laura-Corina Roșca Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania





This article aims to explain how the categories of space and time, notions that emphasize the major role played by perception in shaping contemporary fiction, have been given a new dimension in British writer Esther Freud's novel I Couldn't Love You More (2021). In our approach, we start from the premise that literature and art reshape cultural identities and portray the way they might have been impacted by various historical events. By discussing representations of cultural identity in Esther Freud’s novel, we try to detect possible correspondences between external spatial-temporal configurations and the inner world of the perceiving subject in order to offer an interpretation of what this correlation implies at the level of the literary text and the interdisciplinary dialogues it generates. From our point of view, one of the ideas explored in the novel is the spiritual anxiety of individuals who find themselves trapped in an ambiguous reality, trying to discern the fundamental aspects of human existence in an atmosphere which enhances emotional tension. Identity is a prominent theme of reflection in Esther Freud's novel as well, recognizable at the level of the complex relationships the novelist creates between characters, which reflect the diversity and unpredictability of human nature itself.

Keywords: identity, space, time, contemporary fiction