The traitor as patriot : Guy Burgess, Englishness and camp in Another Country and An Englishman Abroad
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This article focuses on the representation of the spy Guy Burgess, one of the famous Cambridge ring, in two very successful British heritage films, An Englishman Abroad (John Schlesinger, UK, 1983) and Another Country (Marek Kanievska, UK, 1984). The article argues that the films rely on popular notions of Englishness as politically safe and non-extremist, thus fabricating a view of the past that misrepresents Burgess in the effort to normalize him. Similarly, stereotypical views of gay men as frivolous and non-ideological are amply exploited in the films' portrayal of their protagonist. Burgess's upper-class English roots are used to package him as part of the heritage experience, while his homosexuality is not only presented as the reason for spying, but it is also constructed as a camp performance, effectively defusing the threat of ideological commitment and political betrayal. The radical, lethal and devoutly Marxist Burgess is thus stripped of his ideology and turned into a safe national icon.
Girelli , E 2012 , ' The traitor as patriot : Guy Burgess, Englishness and camp in Another Country and An Englishman Abroad ' Journal of European Popular Culture , vol 2 , no. 2 , pp. 129-141 . DOI: 10.1386/jepc.2.2.129_1
Journal of European Popular Culture
© 2011 Intellect Ltd. This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/uk/. This license requires that original authorship is properly and fully attributed and the Journal and Intellect are recognised as the original place of publication.
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