Issue Details: First known date: 2016 2016
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'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)

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  • Appears in:
    y English Studies vol. 97 no. 6 2016 9969056 2016 periodical issue 2016 pg. 618-637
Last amended 31 Aug 2016 12:18:17
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