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Title: From nowhere to nowhere: J.M. Coetzee interprets the role of the author
Keywords: J.M.Coetzee, authorship, performance, truthfulness, interpretation, ethics
Issue Date: 31-Mar-2009
Citation: MEERA THILAGARATNAM (2009-03-31). From nowhere to nowhere: J.M. Coetzee interprets the role of the author. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: J.M. Coetzee's four recent books, Youth (2002), Elizabeth Costello (2003), Slow Man (2005) and Diary of a Bad Year (2007), appear to present a shift in tactics within his oeuvre. As part of a long trajectory of related concerns that reach back to Coetzee's earliest writings, this quartet of books invites us to consider anew facets of authorship, through the emergence of different textual and rhetorical strategies. These works contain some of Coetzee's most personal reflections upon the possibilities and the hesitations of writing but they also subvert these ¿realities¿ by using such strategies as mock-autobiography and alternative narrative or authorial personae. This thesis explores these issues through five major and inter-related ideas. These are writing truthfully; the interpretive-performative aspect of authorship; writing as ethical action; writing as the denial of power; and writing as public intellectualism. Despite his equivocal findings on almost every aspect of writing, we can conclude that Coetzee's interpretation of the author gives the voice of the writer its due as a seeker of truths albeit with moments of blindness.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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