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y Doubling the Point : Essays and Interviews selected work   interview   essay  
Issue Details: First known date: 1992 1992
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Nadine Gordimer has written of J.M. Coetzee that his “vision goes to the nerve center of being. What he finds there is more than most people will ever know about themselves, and he conveys it with a brilliant writer’s mastery of tension and elegance.” Doubling the Point takes us to the center of that vision. These essays and interviews, documenting Coetzee’s longtime engagement with his own culture, and with modern culture in general, constitute a literary autobiography of striking intellectual, moral, and political force.

Centrally concerned with the form and content of fiction, Doubling the Point provides rigorous insight into the significance of certain writers (particularly modernists such as Kafka, Musil, and Beckett), the value of intellectual movements (from structuralism and structural linguistics on through deconstruction), and the issues of political involvement and responsibility—not only for Coetzee’s own work, but for fiction writing in general. In interviews prefacing each section of the book, Coetzee reflects on the essays to follow and relates them to his life and work. In these interviews editor David Attwell, remarkably well attuned to his subject, prompts from Coetzee answers of extraordinary depth and interest (Harvard University Press).


  • Table of Contents:

    Author’s Note

    Editor’s Introduction



    The Comedy of Point of View in Beckett’s Murphy (1970)

    The Manuscript Revisions of Beckett’s Watt (1972)

    Samuel Beckett and the Temptations of Style (1973)

    Remembering Texas (1984)

    The Poetics of Reciprocity


    Achterberg’s “Ballade van de gasfitter”: The Mystery of I and You (1977)

    The First Sentence of Yvonne Burgess’ The Strike (1976)

    A Note on Writing (1984)

    Jerusalem Prize Acceptance Speech (1987)

    Popular Culture


    Captain America in American Mythology (1976)

    The Burden of Consciousness in Africa (1977)

    Four Notes on Rugby (1978)

    Triangular Structures of Desire in Advertising (1980)



    The Rhetoric of the Passive in English (1980)

    The Agentless Sentence as Rhetorical Device (1980)

    Isaac Newton and the Ideal of a Transparent Scientific Language (1982)



    Time, Tense, and Aspect in Kafka’s “The Burrow” (1981)

    Robert Musil’s Stories of Women (1986)

    Autobiography and Confession


    Confession and Double Thoughts: Tolstoy, Rousseau, Dostoevsky (1985)

    Obscenity and Censorship


    The Taint of the Pornographic: Defending (against) Lady Chatterley (1988)

    Censorship in South Africa (1990)

    South African Writers


    Man’s Fate in the Novels of Alex La Guma (1974)

    Into the Dark Chamber: The Writer and the South African State (1986)

    Athol Fugard, Notebooks, 1960—1977 (1984)

    Breyten Breytenbach, True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist and Mouroir (1985)

    Nadine Gordimer, The Essential Gesture (1989)




    Sources and Credits



* Contents derived from the Cambridge, Massachusetts,
United States of America (USA),
Harvard University Press , 1992 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Editor's Introduction, David Attwell , 1992 single work essay (p. 1-13)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: Doubler le cap : essais et entretiens
Language: French
    • Paris,
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Editions du Seuil , 2007 .
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 343p.
      Edition info: 1st ed.
      • Publication date: 3 May 2007.
      ISBN: 2020817276, 9782020817271
      Series: y Le don des langues Paris : Editions du Seuil , 1946 8135177 1946 series - publisher essay

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