Surviving Trauma and Chaos in Nigel Farndale’s Accidental Fiction

  • Laurent Mellet
Keywords: contemporary fiction, Farndale, trauma, intimacy, accident, survival.


Nigel Farndale is the author of two novels so far, A Sympathetic Hanging (2000) and The Blasphemer (2010). Both striking plots rest on a number of motifs the copresence of which reads as quite contemporary. Caught between politics beyond their reach or in which they find themselves involved, and a deceiving or deceived intimacy, Farndale’s lost characters endeavour to survive through complex forms of social or love Darwinism. In The Blasphemer, religion and terror, faith and guardian angels become to Farndale new connecting elements between the world and the self. Equally post-millennial is the acute significance of the challenge to survive: plots teem with accidents, and past as present characters do or do not manage to survive the chaos of the world and the havoc wrought in their individual lives. Farndale’s most modern touch might be deciphered in his accidental —i.e., both totally fortuitous and based on accidents— narrative and writing, grounded on the unexpected and misleading random.

Author Biography

Laurent Mellet
University of Burgundy