Undecidability and Identity Crisis in Martin Amis’s Night Train


Associate Professor of English Literature, University of Kurdistan


Martin Amis is one of the prolific novelists and dominant voices of contemporary England who has been studied from different theoretical outlooks. One of his recent novels which has not been much critically studied is Night Train. What aggrandizes the novel is its involvement in ontological questions. Being a detective story which endeavors to undermine the very techniques of detective fiction, Night Train is under the control of a number of intertexts, the most dominant of which is astrophysics. Applying Jacques Derrida’s concept of Undecidability, the present author endeavors to find the narratological manifestations of the concept and analyze them in the novel. The result delineates that Amis, by applying some particular narratological techniques like baring the techniques of detective fiction and an indeterminate ending, has been able to reveal some of the concerns of contemporary man on the verge of his entering the third millennium.