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This image has been sourced from online.
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This image has been sourced from online.
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This image has been sourced from online.
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This image has been sourced from online.
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y Life & Times of Michael K single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1974 1974
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

"From the author of Waiting for the Barbarians, another startling and disturbing portrait of today's South Africa, a land and a people beset by violence and siege. Coetzee here tells the story of a handicapped young man who has worked as a municipal gardener in Cape Town. His mother is dying, and she wishes to return to her birthplace out in the veldt. Without the required transit passes, mother and son set out on a journey that will end in death for her and in a new but temporary life on an abandoned farm for him. His respite in isolation and peace does not last long, however; grotesque reality soon returns to trouble this quiet new world. Against the solitude of this private drama, Coetzee paints an eloquent and pained picture of his homeland and of the bureaucrats, doctors, army deserters, and camp guards who reveal the stress and qualms of their existence and who uneasily sense that there is no conclusion to their troubles and no future for their lives." (Source: Libraries Australia)

Notes

  • Epigraph:

    War is the father of all and king of all.

    Some he shows as gods, others as men.

    Some he makes slaves, and others free.

  • Editions and translations have been updated for Life & Times of Michael K by Eilish Copelin as part of a Semester 2, 2013 scholar's internship. The selection and inclusion of these editions and translations was based on their availability through Australian libraries, namely through the search facilities of Libraries Australia and Trove (National Library of Australia).

    Given the international popularity of Coetzee's work, however, this record is not yet comprehensive. Editions and translations not widely available in Australia may not have been indexed. Furthermore, due to the enormous breadth of critical material on Coetzee's work, indexing of secondary sources is also not complete.

  • Other formats: Also sound recording and large print.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Johannesburg,
      c
      South Africa,
      c
      Southern Africa, Africa,
      :
      Ravan Press , 1974 .
      Note/s:
      • Bibliographic details for this edition taken from verso of title page of Vintage 1998 edition. This item not sighted.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Secker and Warburg , 1983 .
      8028643355669840392.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 249p.
      ISBN: 0436102978
    • Johannesburg,
      c
      South Africa,
      c
      Southern Africa, Africa,
      :
      Ravan Press , 1983 .
      3086188075088490934.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 250p.
      ISBN: 086975159X, 9780869751596
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Viking , 1984 .
      6112879070956022309.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 184p.
      ISBN: 0670427896
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Penguin USA , 1985 .
      8348654539797939402.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 184p.
      ISBN: 0140074481
    • Harmondsworth, Middlesex,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Penguin Books , 1985 .
      3580491520678650668.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 249p.
      ISBN: 0140074481, 0140071156
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Vintage , 1998 .
      7685132027501352950.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 184p.
      Reprinted: 2004
      ISBN: 0099268345
Alternative title: Historien om Michael K
Transliterated title: The story of Michael K
Language: Danish
    • Copenhagen,
      c
      Denmark,
      c
      Scandinavia, Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Hekla , 1984 .
      2719861906707068993.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 215p.
      Edition info: 1st ed.
      ISBN: 8774741225, 9788774741220

Works about this Work

From Dissensus to Inoperativity : The Strange Case of J. M. Coetzee’s Michael K Daniele Monticelli , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: English Studies , vol. 97 no. 6 2016; (p. 618-637)
'This article develops a comprehensive reading of Life & Times of Michael K, one of J. M. Coetzee’s most controversial novels, which has provoked strong feelings and an intense debate among critics since its publication in 1983. Scholarly works on the novel have tended to explore the ethical dilemma raised by the enigmatic life of the protagonist and his apparent unrelatedness with its “times”, focusing on the issues of absolute alterity and its (un)representability, while denying any political import to the novel. These interpretations draw on a conformist understanding of politics that transforms the social outsideness of Michael K into his political irrelevance. The argument developed in this article takes instead the reconceptualizations of (emancipatory) politics by Jacques Rancière and Giorgio Agamben as a basis for a thorough political reading of Michael’s outsideness. The notions of “dissensus” and “inoperativity” help to disclose, behind Michael’s apparently unpretentious life, a complex strategy aimed at maintaining his distance from power, while keeping power itself at a distance.' (Publication abstract)
Who’s Appropriating Whose Voice in Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K? Patricia Merivale , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Approaches to Teaching Coetzee's Disgrace and Other Works 2014; (p. 152-159)
Who’s Appropriating Whose Voice in Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K? Patricia Merivale , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Approaches to Teaching Coetzee's Disgrace and Other Works 2014; (p. 152-159)
From Dissensus to Inoperativity : The Strange Case of J. M. Coetzee’s Michael K Daniele Monticelli , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: English Studies , vol. 97 no. 6 2016; (p. 618-637)
'This article develops a comprehensive reading of Life & Times of Michael K, one of J. M. Coetzee’s most controversial novels, which has provoked strong feelings and an intense debate among critics since its publication in 1983. Scholarly works on the novel have tended to explore the ethical dilemma raised by the enigmatic life of the protagonist and his apparent unrelatedness with its “times”, focusing on the issues of absolute alterity and its (un)representability, while denying any political import to the novel. These interpretations draw on a conformist understanding of politics that transforms the social outsideness of Michael K into his political irrelevance. The argument developed in this article takes instead the reconceptualizations of (emancipatory) politics by Jacques Rancière and Giorgio Agamben as a basis for a thorough political reading of Michael’s outsideness. The notions of “dissensus” and “inoperativity” help to disclose, behind Michael’s apparently unpretentious life, a complex strategy aimed at maintaining his distance from power, while keeping power itself at a distance.' (Publication abstract)
Last amended 15 Apr 2016 16:19:05
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