J.M. Coetzee and the idea of the public intellectual
In September 2003 the South African novelist J. M. Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, confirming his reputation as one of the most influential writers of our time. J. M. Coetzee and the Idea of the Public Intellectual addresses the contribution Coetzee has made to contemporary literature, not least for the contentious forays his work makes into South African political discourse and the field of postcolonial studies. Taking the author’s ethical writing as its theme, the volume is an important addition to understanding Coetzee’s fiction and critical thinking. While taking stock of Coetzee’s singular, modernist response to the apartheid and postapartheid situations in his early fiction, the volume is the first to engage at length with the later works, Disgrace, The Lives of Animals, and Elizabeth Costello. J. M. Coetzee and the Idea of the Public Intellectual explores Coetzee’s roles as a South African intellectual and a novelist; his stance on matters of allegory and his evasion of the apartheid censor; his tacit critique of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission; his performance of public lectures of his alter ego, Elizabeth Costello; and his explorations into ecofeminism and animal rights. The essays collected here, which include an interview with the Nobel Laureate, provide new vantages from which to consider Coetzee’s writing.
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Afrikaner Age of Iron allegorical reading allegory Amy Gutmann animal rights apartheid argues argument Barbarians becomes body Cambridge Cape Town censors censorship Chandos claims Coetzee's fiction Coetzee's novels confession consciousness context corpses critics culture Curren D. H. Lawrence David Attwell David Lurie death Derek Attridge discourse Disgrace dogs Dostoevsky Doubling the Point Ecofeminism edited Elizabeth Costello essay ethical experience female Gordimer Heart human intellectual interpretation interview irony J. M. Coetzee language Lawrence lecture literal literary literature Lives of Animals London Lucy Lurie's Magistrate Master of Petersburg mean metaphor Michael mode moral Nadine Gordimer narrative Novel Today novelist performance Peter Singer philosophical political position postcolonial question radical rape reader reason relation resistance response Secker and Warburg sense sexual South Africa speak story suggests sympathetic imagination thought tion torture tradition University Press violence voice woman women words writing