Issue Details: First known date: 2014 2014
AustLit is a subscription service. The content and services available here are limited because you have not been recognised as a subscriber. Find out how to gain full access to AustLit

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In this article, I argue that J.M. Coetzee’s autobiographical trilogy can be read as a set of texts in which the author responds to the problem of cynical self-doubt, as it is described in Coetzee’s writings on confession from the mid-1980s. Against Derek Attridge’s critical view of the relation between Coetzee’s autobiographies and these early writings, I argue that Coetzee’s texts do not passively abide by the author’s early scepticism, but rather inspect the grounds of cynical self-doubt and show its position to be intellectually confused. I specifically demonstrate that Coetzee’s texts present cynical self-doubt as an intellectualisation of akratic failure (weakness of will). The texts not only analyse the crisis from which cynical self-doubt emerges, but also try to look beyond a sceptical perspective. With this in mind, this article will read Coetzee’s autobiographies as writings that “aspire to a condition of gossip”. In this aspiration, the autobiographies point to an ethic of assent they themselves cannot yet fully inhabit.' (Author's abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 10 Mar 2014 14:50:16