the gradual erosion of communal ideals in the face
of a selfishindividualism (Our Fathers), O’Hagan’s work repeatedly returns
to points of disconnection where characters lose their way, values become
discredited, and dreams begin to unravel. Published in 2008, O’Hagan’s
collection of essays and journalism, The Atlantic Ocean: Essays on Britain
and America, offers some interesting aetiologies for these tropes in his work.
Missingness is a condition of contemporary British society, he argues in
the introduction, for throughout the 1970s and 1980s Britain ‘had