Catalogue


J.M. Coetzee : South Africa and the politics of writing /
David Attwell.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1993.
description
ix, 147 p.
ISBN
0520078101 (alk. paper) 0520078128 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1993.
isbn
0520078101 (alk. paper) 0520078128 (pbk. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
3708748
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1993-11:
Literary jargon of professional exclusivity distinguishes, or mars, this deeply considered and wide-ranging examination of Coetzee's six novels to date. Attwell's analyses of Dusklands, In the Heart of the Country, Waiting for the Barbarians, Life and Times of Michael K., Foe, and Age of Iron center on the subtext in the fiction and on what Attwell calls "thematic resituations," through which means he sees an incremental movement to symbolic writing by Coetzee. Attwell's otherwise excellent presentations expose the affectations of a modish theoretician--there are code words and brand names in newly minted and canonized critical schools that obscure, rather than reveal, Attwell's commentary and Coetzee's meanings. Attwell writes, for example, that Coetzee's first six novels "constitute a form of postmodern metafiction that declines the cult of the merely relativist and artful," but, instead of "declining" the artful, Attwell's study inclines precariously at times to closet rhetoric. Yet underneath the patina is a solidity of careful criticism that "resituates" Coetzee in fields of moral, historical, cultural, and political concerns. Utilizing Coetzee's published literary criticism, Attwell also explores distinctions between Coetzee and South Africa's other liberal-humanist writers, particularly Nadine Gordimer, who, as an activist, stands in polarity from Coetzee's more cautious rationalism. M. Tucker; Long Island University/C. W. Post Campus
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1993
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Summaries
Long Description
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.
Unpaid Annotation
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.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introductionp. 1
Contexts: Literary, Historical, Intellectualp. 9
"The labyrinth of my history": Dusklands and In the Heart ofthe Countryp. 35
Reading the Signs of History: Waiting for the Barbariansp. 70
Writing in "the cauldron of history": Life and Times of Michael K and Foep. 88
Conclusion: Age of Ironp. 118
Notesp. 127
Works Citedp. 135
Indexp. 145
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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