Issue Details: First known date: 2013 2013
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'This article examines how photographs in J.M. Coetzee’s novel Slow Man focus questions about the muteness and mutability of the historical record, particularly in the context of migrancy, while elaborating the metafictional dynamic between the protagonist Paul Rayment and his nominal author Elizabeth Costello. Drawing on the work on photography of Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag, the article argues that the dispute among the characters over Drago’s “forgery” of one of Rayment’s Fauchery photographs foregrounds how the past, in the retrievable form of a static photographic image, is available for reinterpretation and reconfiguring in the present. Whereas in the novels of a writer like W.G. Sebald black-and-white photographs are included as a sign of the silence around personal histories touched by communal trauma, in Slow Man colourless photographs function as a thematic motif to highlight such silences, and more centrally to emphasize how a personal history can be as readily assimilated to a collective history as superimposed over it.' (Editor's abstract)

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Last amended 28 Aug 2013 13:28:17
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