J.M. Coetzee: South Africa and the Politics of Writing

University of California Press, 11 jun. 1993 - 160 pagina's
David Attwell defends the literary and political integrity of South African novelist J.M. Coetzee by arguing that Coetzee has absorbed the textual turn of postmodern culture while still addressing the ethical tensions of the South African crisis. As a form of "situational metafiction," Coetzee's writing reconstructs and critiques some of the key discourses in the history of colonialism and apartheid from the eighteenth century to the present. While self-conscious about fiction-making, it takes seriously the condition of the society in which it is produced.

Attwell begins by describing the intellectual and political contexts surrounding Coetzee's fiction and then provides a developmental analysis of his six novels, drawing on Coetzee's other writings in stylistics, literary criticism, translation, political journalism and popular culture. Elegantly written, Attwell's analysis deals with both Coetzee's subversion of the dominant culture around him and his ability to see the complexities of giving voice to the anguish of South Africa.

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Geselecteerde pagina's


Contexts Literary Historical Intellectual
The labyrinth of my history Dusklands and In the Heart of the Country
Reading the Signs of History Waiting for the Barbarians
Writing in the cauldron of history Life and Times of Michael K and Foe
Conclusion Age of Iron
Works Cited

Overige edities - Alles weergeven

Veelvoorkomende woorden en zinsdelen

Populaire passages

Pagina 85 - Empire has located its existence not in the smooth recurrent spinning time of the cycle of the seasons but in the jagged time of rise and fall. of beginning and end. of catastropheEmpire dooms itself to live in history and plot against history.
Pagina 137 - ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE , Of YORK. MARINER: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of AMERICA, near the Mouth of the Great River of OROONOQUE; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. WITH An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver'd by PYRATES. Written by Himself.
Pagina 15 - He defines the other choice, that of rivalry - obviously a position he himself identifies with - as resulting in: a novel that operates in terms of its own procedures and issues in its own conclusions, not one that operates in terms of the procedures of history and eventuates in conclusions that are checkable by history (as a child's schoolbook is checkable by a schoolmistress).
Pagina 78 - Continuous history is the indispensable correlative of the founding function of the subject: the guarantee that everything that has eluded him may be restored to him; the certainty that time will disperse nothing without restoring it in a reconstituted unity; the promise that one day the subject - in the form of historical consciousness - will once again be able to appropriate, to bring back under his sway, all those things that are kept at a distance by difference, and find in them what might be...
Pagina 37 - I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on.
Pagina 3 - The point is that texts have ways of existing that even in their most rarefied form are always enmeshed in circumstance, time, place, and society — in short, they are in the world, and hence worldly.
Pagina 15 - ... schoolmistress). In particular I mean a novel that evolves its own paradigms and myths, in the process (and here is the point at which true rivalry, even enmity, perhaps enters the picture) perhaps going so far as to show up the mythic status of history — in other words, demythologising history ... a novel that is prepared to work itself out outside the terms of class conflict, race conflict, gender conflict or any of the other oppositions out of which history and the historical disciplines...
Pagina 107 - The planting is reserved for those who come after us and have the foresight to bring seed. I only clear the ground for them. Clearing ground and piling stones is little enough, but it is better than sitting in idleness.
Pagina 72 - What has made it impossible for us to live in time like fish in water, like birds in air, like children? It is the fault of Empire! Empire has created the time of history.
Pagina 15 - In times of intense ideological pressure like the present, when the space in which the novel and history normally coexist like two cows on the same pasture, each minding its own business, is squeezed to almost nothing, the novel, it seems to me, has only two options: supplementarity or rivalry.

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Over de auteur (1993)

David Attwell is Senior Lecturer at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Attwell is also the editor of J.M. Coetzee, Doubling the Point: Essays and Interviews (1992).

Bibliografische gegevens