Issue Details: First known date: 2014 2014
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'This paper will develop a reading of J. M. Coetzee’s novel The Master of Petersburg (1994) alongside ideas that Coetzee develops in Giving Offense: Essays on Censorship, which was published in 1996 by the University of Chicago Press the year he began teaching as a visiting Professor at the Committee of Social Thought at Chicago. That elements of these two books might be related can be inferred from the overlap involved in the writing process of each (the first essay in Giving Offense appeared in print in 1988 and Coetzee worked on essays related to the book from then until 1996). The Master of Petersburg appeared after Age of Iron (1990) and was followed by Disgrace in 1999. It might be paired with Foe, which appeared in 1986, as a novel that explicitly engages with the work of another novelist: Daniel Defoe in Foe and Dostoevsky in The Master of Petersburg. This essay will consider how an understanding of excess that involves thinking outside of or beyond reason can be witnessed in both of these books. Excess will further be linked to related ideas of “offense” and “refraction” or “perversion”: each of these terms involves elements of “going beyond” an already given perspective in order to generate new meanings and new understandings of the “true.” These processes are revealed through a comparison of themes developed by Dostoevsky in “At Tikhon’s”—a chapter that was censored from the original published version of his novel Demons (see Dostoevsky, Demons 749–87), because it was considered perverse, offensive and excessive—and The Master of Petersburg, which enters into dialogue with it. (Introduction)

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    y The Comparatist no. 38 October 2014 8116350 2014 periodical issue 2014
Last amended 27 Nov 2014 15:35:17