Editions and translations have been updated for Slow Man by Eilish Copelin as part of a Semester 2, 2013 scholar's internship. The selection and inclusion of these editions and translations was based on their availability through Australian libraries, namely through the search facilities of Libraries Australia and Trove (National Library of Australia).
Given the international popularity of Coetzee's work, however, this record is not yet comprehensive. Editions and translations not widely available in Australia may not have been indexed. Furthermore, due to the enormous breadth of critical material on Coetzee's work, indexing of secondary sources is also not complete.
'Sympathy, understood to be the capacity to suffer with the other, has long been regarded as one of the major vehicles to inspire an ethical communion. By minimizing differences through identification, sympathy helps us resonate with other beings and to exist in relation to them. This thesis examines the ethical endeavors on the vexed question of sympathy in four works by J. M. Coetzee - - The Lives of Animals (1999), Disgrace (1999), Elizabeth Costello (2003) and Slow Man (2005), all of which manifest Coetzee's notable interest in a fully-engaged sympathetic imagination into depraved and deprived human or nonhuman subjects. ' (Thesis summary)
Since its publication, J.M. Coetzee's Slow Man has been received unenthusiastically. Its relative neglect suggests its failure to interest its readers as either a narrative to be read for the plot or as a text to be analyzed according to the prevailing values guiding contemporary literary criticism. Anticipating its own reception, Slow Man asks readers to consider the meaning of the novel’s failure to interest us greatly. Focussing self-consciously on an uninteresting character living in unremarkable times, Coetzee’s novel eschews a critical paradigm that invests in political urgency to make the ethical point that there are alternative values for judging the worth of a novel or character. In its search for affirmative values, Slow Man responds to the dilemmas of postcolonial postsecularism by suggesting that there are worse things a novelist might do than write an uninteresting book.