Acts of Visitation: The Narrative of J.M. Coetzee
This study traces, in J.M. Coetzee's fictional and non-fictional production, an imaginative and intellectual masterplot deriving from Coetzee's perception of European presence in (South) Africa as having its origin in an act of illegitimate penetration and fraudulent visitation. In Coetzee's novels, the historical and political problem of a hostile occupation and unfair distribution of the land finds a correspondence in the domestic space of house and farm, and the uneasy cohabitation of its occupants, along with the relation between hosts and guests. The seminal dimension of the categories of penetration and visitation is highlighted, as these are shown to operate not only on a spatial level but also on an epistemological, physical, psychological, hermeneutic, metafictional and ethical one: we encounter literary and psychological secrets that resist decipherment, bodies that cannot be penetrated, writers depicted as intruders, parents that ask to be welcomed by their children. This study also identifies, in Coetzee's narrative, an ethical proposal grounded on a logic of excess and unconditionality - a logic of 'not enough' - lying behind certain acts of hospitality, friendship, kindness, care, and guidance to the gate of death, acts that may transform prevailing unequal socio-historical conditions and hostile personal relationships, characterized by a logic of parasitism and intrusion. As the figure of the writer progressively gains explicit prominence in Coetzee's literary production, special attention will be paid to it, as it alternately appears as secretary and master, migrant and intruder, pervert and foe, citizen and neighbour. Overall, "Acts of Visitation "analyzes how Coetzee's works depict the (South) African land, the Karoo farm, the familial household or the writer's and literary character's house as simultaneously contending and redemptive sites in which urgent historical, ethical, and metafictional issues are spatially explored and dramatized.
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PART 1 PENETRATION AND VISITATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
PART 2 THE WRITER AS HOST AND GUEST
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Afrikaner Age of Iron André Brink Anya apartheid argues asserts Attridge barbarian girl Beckett becomes belongs Cape Town character child Coet Coetzee’s fiction Coetzee’s narrative Coetzee’s novels colonial confession Country critical Curren Daniel Defoe dark Defoe’s depicted Derek Attridge Derrida Diary discourse Dostoevsky Doubling the Point Dusklands Elizabeth Costello emphasis Essays exile exploration eyes farm father feels Foe’s Friday Friday’s Gordimer Heart Henry James’s hospitality intrusion J.M. Coetzee Jacobus Coetzee Jacques Derrida JC’s Jerusalem Prize John John’s Kafka kind labour literary text literature live London Lucy Lucy’s Lurie Lurie’s Magda magistrate magistrate’s Marais Master of Petersburg metafictional Michael Michael K narrator one’s parasite passage Pavel penetration plague political postcolonial present question Rayment relation relationship Robinson Crusoe Samuel Beckett secret sense sexual shame South African context story Summertime Susan tell tion torture tradition truth Vercueil violent vision visitor words writer zee’s