J.M. Coetzee and the Power of Narrative


J.M. Coetzee and the Power of Narrative
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This book is a consideration of various themes and techniques ranging across famous South African writer J. M. Coetzee's whole oeuvre. It aims to discover the "how" rather than "what" or "why": where does Coetzee's work derive its power? A discussion of themes, influences, and allegorical meanings tends to bleach out the experience of reading; and this experience is surely the only reason for choosing Coetzee's narratives over anyone else's. It examines the type of resistance to be found in his work, a resistance which seems to have little basis in a political belief or a rational philosophy of justice. The book also traces the effects of Coetzee's choice of point of view in each of his books--how it interacts with questions of complicity and impressions of realism, as well as how it relates to the subject matter and characters he is dealing with in each case. It is also an exploration of the place of the comic arts in Coetzee's work. This is a subject which has routinely been dismissed by critics who have failed to discern any humor in the novels. The contention is that a sense of the ridiculous and absurd is implicit in much of Coetzee's narrative prose and can be seen in the underlying structure of all his books. This study delves into his use of language and languages: the choice of tenses, the surprising flights of imagery to be found amidst the taut elegance of his narrative style; and also the multilingual sensibilities he shares with many of his characters, not excluding the non-verbal language of music.

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508 g
18 mm
152 mm
229 mm
Cambria Press

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