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Synopsis

Representing a wide range of critical and theoretical perspectives, this volume examines J.M. Coetzee's novels from Dusklands to Diary of a Bad Year. The choice of essays reflects three broad goals: aligning the South African dimension of Coetzee's writing with his "late modernist" aesthetic; exploring the relationship between Coetzee's novels and his essays on linguistics; and paying particular attention to his more recent fictional experiments. These objectives are realized in essays focusing on, among other matters, the function of names and etymology in Coetzee's fiction, the vexed relationship between art and politics in apartheid South Africa, the importance of film in Coetzee's literary sensibility, Coetzee's reworkings of Defoe, the paradoxes inherent in confessional narratives, ethics and the controversial politics of reading Disgrace, intertextuality and the fictional self-consciousness of Slow Man. Through its pronounced emphasis on the novelist's later work, the collection points towards a narrato-political and linguistic reassessment of the Coetzee canon.

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