608609375212831207.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
3950816372169547223.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
4192768439702062876.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
4053805713911252437.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
5358745556837007307.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
2439188285251138980.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
755916907038288698.jpg
Image courtesy of publisher's website.
554835070439083580.jpg
Cover image courtesy of publisher.
y Diary of a Bad Year single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2007 2007
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'J. M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year is about loneliness, friendship and the possibility of love. It takes the reader from Australian democracy to Guantanamo Bay, from the meaning of dishonour to the creative truth of dreams.' (Publisher's blurb)

Notes

  • Included in the New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books List for 2008.
  • Editions and translations have been updated for Diary of a Bad Year 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.

  • Other formats: Also large print and electronic resource.

Affiliation Notes

  • Associated with the AustLit subset Australian Literary Responses to 'Asia' as the work contains a Filipino character.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2007 .
      4192768439702062876.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 178p.
      Edition info: 1st ed.
      Note/s:
      • Includes bibliographic references.
      • Publication date: 3 September 2007.
      ISBN: 9781921145636 (hbk.), 1921145633 (hbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Viking , 2007 .
      3950816372169547223.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 231p.
      Note/s:
      • Diary of a Bad Year was reviewed in numerous USA newspapers in late December 2007 - early January 2008 following its American release. Some major US reviews are included on AustLit.
      ISBN: 9780670018758, 0670018759
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Harvill Secker , 2007 .
      608609375212831207.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 231p.
      ISBN: 9781846551208, 184655120X
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Penguin Books , 2008 .
      755916907038288698.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 231p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: 28 October 2008.
      ISBN: 9780143114482, 0143114484
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2008 .
      2439188285251138980.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 178p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: 29 September 2008.
      ISBN: 9781921351839 (pbk.), 1921351837 (pbk.)
    • Detroit, Michigan,
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Thorndike Press , 2008 .
      5358745556837007307.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 376p.
      Edition info: Large print ed.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: 4 June 2008.
      ISBN: 9781410407146, 1410407144
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Vintage , 2008 .
      4053805713911252437.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 231p.
      ISBN: 9780099516224, 0099516225
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2012 .
      554835070439083580.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: xii, 178p., [2] leavesp.
      Note/s:
      ISBN: 9781921922367 (pbk.)
      Series: y Text Classics Text Publishing (publisher), Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012- Z1851461 2012 series - publisher novel 'Great books by great Australian storytellers.' (Text website.)
Alternative title: Dagboek van een slecht jaar : roman
Language: Dutch
    • Amsterdam,
      c
      Netherlands,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Cossee , 2007 .
      9121769473453719024.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 187p.
      Edition info: 1st ed.
      Note/s:
      • Includes bibliographic references.
      ISBN: 9789059361690, 9059361695

Works about this Work

“A Face Without Personality” : Coetzee’s Swiftian Narrators Gillian Dooley , Robert Phiddian , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Ariel , July vol. 47 no. 3 2016; (p. 1-22)
'Much has been written about the complicated intertextual relationships between J. M. Coetzee’s novels and previous works by writers such as Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Samuel Beckett, and, especially, Daniel Defoe. Relatively little has been written, in comparison, about any relationship between Coetzee and Defoe’s great contemporary, Jonathan Swift. We claim no extensive structural relationship between Coetzee’s novels and Swift’s works—nothing like the formal interlace between Robinson Crusoe and Foe, for example. We do claim, however, a strong and explicitly signalled likeness of narrative stance, marked especially by the ironic distance between author and protagonist in Gulliver’s Travels and Elizabeth Costello. We rehearse the extensive evidence of Coetzee’s attention to Swift (both in novels and criticism) and suggest that there is a Swiftian dimension to Coetzee’s oeuvre that is evident in several books, including Dusklands, Youth, Elizabeth Costello, and Diary of a Bad Year.' (Publication abstract)
Feste Ansichten in His Own Person : J.M. Coetzee Speaks Gillian Dooley , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: MediaTropes , vol. 4 no. 2 2014; (p. 31-45)
'Three recent books by J.M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello (2003), Diary of a Bad Year (2007), and Here and Now (2013), have included extensive expressions of opinion. The wide-ranging discussions in these books cover topics from political philosophy, language, animal rights, and paedophilia to music, food, and sport. There is substantial continuity in the opinions expressed, and the characters or personae expressing these views also have a good deal in common. Nevertheless, these opinions are expressed in three explicitly different personae. With each of these books the personae are progressively more closely identifiable with Coetzee himself. Elizabeth Costello, in the book of that name, is a character who crosses gender and national boundaries from her creator. JC in Diary of a Bad Year shares at least some biographical circumstances with Coetzee—land of birth, gender, initials, occupation, for example. Then, in Here and Now, we are presented with what purports transparently to be the author J.M. Coetzee’s own voice in correspondence with Paul Auster. How do I, as a reader and a critic, negotiate this progression? Just how much license does the apparently closer correspondence between author and writing persona give me to believe that I know what Coetzee ‘really’ thinks or believes?' (Publication abstract)
Slow Man Overboard : J.M. Coetzee on Australian Hospitality Maria Takolander , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 539-545)
The Act of Writing and the Act of Attention Martin Harrison , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , October no. 20 2013;

'Is writing, including creative writing and its teaching, inevitably on the other side of the natural environment and ecological systems? Is writing, by definition, an action of a mindfulness and inventiveness which implicitly creates a cognitive separation between the world of the text and the world of ecological systems? A number of critics have recently been trying to propose modes and structures which merge this divide, or minimise it borrowing from biology, cognitive theory and probability theory. The paper considers a variety of such formal structures but argues especially for a particular mode of attentiveness in our concept of language and proposes its centrality in the teaching of a contemporary ecologically mindful writing. ' (Author's abstract)

Choose Your Own Adventure Peter Goldsworthy , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Adelaide Review , April no. 386 2012; (p. 10-11)
'The Text Classic series is designed to unearth some of the lost marvels of our literature, and to allow readers to rediscover books that are milestones in the Australian experience. J.M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year is one such book and published here is Peter Goldsworthy's new introduction.' (p. 10)
Untitled Liam Pieper , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Lifted Brow , no. 14 2012; (p. 24)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Giving Up Control: Narrative Authority and Animal Experience in Coetzee and Kafka Michael O'Sullivan , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Mosaic , June vol. 44 no. 2 2011; (p. 119-135)
Animal experience is central to the fiction of J.M. Coetzee and Franz Kafka. In light of new approaches to animal awareness in science and philosophy, this essay investigates how Coetzee's deliberations on the animal, initially by way of Kafka, extend the range of narrative authority and reappraise human empathy.
J. M. Coetzee's Australian Realism Elleke Boehmer , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Poetics : Genre and Form 2011; (p. 202-218) Strong Opinions : J. M. Coetzee and the Authority of Contemporary Fiction 2011; (p. 3-18)
y Acts of Visitation : The Narrative of J.M. Coetzee María J. López , Amsterdam New York (City) : Rodopi , 2011 Z1880004 2011 single work criticism

'This study traces, in J.M. Coetzee's fictional and non-fictional production, an imaginative and intellectual masterplot deriving from Coetzee's perception of European presence in (South) Africa as having its origin in an act of illegitimate penetration and fraudulent visitation. In Coetzee's novels, the historical and political problem of a hostile occupation and unfair distribution of the land finds a correspondence in the domestic space of house and farm, and the uneasy cohabitation of its occupants, along with the relation between hosts and guests. The seminal dimension of the categories of penetration and visitation is highlighted, as these are shown to operate not only on a spatial level but also on an epistemological, physical, psychological, hermeneutic, metafictional and ethical one: we encounter literary and psychological secrets that resist decipherment, bodies that cannot be penetrated, writers depicted as intruders, parents that ask to be welcomed by their children.
This study also identifies, in Coetzee's narrative, an ethical proposal grounded on a logic of excess and unconditionality - a logic of 'not enough' - lying behind certain acts of hospitality, friendship, kindness, care, and guidance to the gate of death, acts that may transform prevailing unequal socio-historical conditions and hostile personal relationships, characterized by a logic of parasitism and intrusion. As the figure of the writer progressively gains explicit prominence in Coetzee's literary production, special attention will be paid to it, as it alternately appears as secretary and master, migrant and intruder, pervert and foe, citizen and neighbour. Overall, Acts of Visitation analyzes how Coetzee's works depict the (South) African land, the Karoo farm, the familial household or the writer's and literary character's house as simultaneously contending and redemptive sites in which urgent historical, ethical, and metafictional issues are spatially explored and dramatized.' (Publishers' website)

Works published before Coetzee's arrival in Australia including, Dusklands, In the Heart of the Country, Waiting for the Barbarians, Life &​ Times of Michael K, Age of Iron, Disgrace, Foe, Boyhood and The Master of Petersburg are also discussed in this critical work.

In Praise of Slow Reading Subhash Jaireth , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 2 January 2010; (p. 12)
Publishers and literary agents are interested in publishing books that readers will buy. By promoting new releases as 'page turners', which can be read quickly, the culture of serious and contemplative reading, together with the culture of writing and publishing are devalued.
Late style in J.M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year Hermann Wittenberg , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Scrutiny2 , September vol. 15 no. 2 2010; (p. 40-49)
J.M. Coetzee's post-millennial writing has been marked by new forms of inventiveness, formal risk-taking and narrative experimentation that have blurred the boundaries between fiction, autobiography and social commentary. Using the example of the novel Diary of a Bad Year (2007), it is argued that this latter fiction is exemplary of Edward Said's idea of "late style", accounting not only for Coetzee's surprising venture into explicit political commentary, but also his narrative minimalism. The paper looks carefully at the content and style of Coetzee's novel, contrasting its descriptive technique with earlier fictions.
Cultural Criticism in the Australian Fiction Patrick Hayes , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: J. M. Coetzee and the Novel : Writing and Politics after Beckett 2010; (p. 223-259)
'This concluding chapter considers Coetzee's Australian fiction in relation to a longstanding tradition of cultural criticism directed at the moral and political condition of modernity. It has recently been argued that this tradition, for all its many differences of emphasis, has as its shared characteristic the deployment of a ‘cultural principle’ that displaces politics and itself lays claim to the role of social authority: this chapter sets Coetzee in the context of the most important new thinking about the tradition of cultural criticism, making special reference to the recent debate between Stefan Collini and Francis Mulhern. It shows that Coetzee sustainedly tries to refuse the moral and political simplifications that at times have characterized this tradition—allusion is made in particular to the work of Benda, Arnold, Nietzsche, and T. S. Eliot—and that his fiction opens up a line of cultural criticism that more subtly navigates the complex terrain of political modernity.' Source: Patrick Hayes.
Coetzee's Acts of Genre in the Later Works: Truth-Telling, Fiction and the Public Intellectual Jane Poyner , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: J. M. Coetzee and the Paradox of Postcolonial Authorship 2009; (p. 167-184)
Poyner argues that 'an increasingly meta-discursive mode in Coetzee's fiction ... coincides with his departure from South Africa for Adelaide, Australia' and that, while Coetzee's 'later works may seem to have less relevance in a book about postcolonial authorship, they do make important contributions to debates on intellectualism and the author's authority pertinent to the postcolonial field'.
J. M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year : Between Essay Writing and Fiction Richard Samin , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth , Autumn vol. 32 no. 1 2009; (p. 45-53)
'Diary of a Bad Year is a hybrid book combining a series of genuine essays with fictional narratives written in the form of a diary and confessional memoirs. With the combination of these different discursive strands and narrative voices on the same page Coetzee tries to experiment with a new pattern of reading. The unusual form of the novel distorts the reader's conventional perspective on plot and characters while it sustains the narrator's reflections about the questions of identity and authority involved in the very act of writing. The questions which the article addresses are whether the introduction of topical essays in Coetzee's book merely serves to provide a substantial thematic background to the fictional strands of the novel or whether the textual composition of the novel constitutes a experimental essay to probe into such questions as narratorial authority, the ethics fo writing and the identity fo the writing self.' (45)
J.M. Coetzee's "Confession" Benjamin Hedin , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Salmagundi , Spring no. 162/163 2009; (p. 209-218)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
What is to be Done? Larry Buttrose , 2008 single work essay
— Appears in: Wet Ink , Winter no. 11 2008; (p. 8-13)
Coetzee's Estrangements David Attwell , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Novel : A Forum on Fiction , Spring/Summer vol. 41 no. 2/3 2008; (p. 229-243)
'Place in J.M. Coetzee's writing is seldom just home, in any comfortable sense, nor is there the process of re-familiarization that one finds in so much postcolonial writing that answers metropolitan representations of colonial space. On the contrary, place in Coetzee is a site of epistemological dualisms, of failed self/other relationships, of incommensurability, of aesthetic destruction: "too much truth for art to hold" (Doubling 99). Intimacy and detachment, in equal measure, in Coetzee's relationship with South Africa: that is the dynamic I wish to explore in this essay.' (p.229)
A Writer, a Muse, Their Laundry Richard Eder , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The New York Times , 1 January 2008; (p. 1)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Love, the State and Opinions Carol Herman , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Washington Times , 6 January 2008; (p. 5)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Breaking the Fourth Wall Louis Begley , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Washington Post , 6 January 2008; (p. 3)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
The Master's Voices Peter Craven , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 25 August 2007; (p. 20)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Be It Poetry or Polemic, It's a Natter of Opinion Kerryn Goldsworthy , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 25-26 August 2007; (p. 23)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Diary of a Bad Year: Good Things Come in Threes A. P. Riemer , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 25-26 August 2007; (p. 32)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Untitled Kabita Dhara , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , August vol. 87 no. 2 2007; (p. 32)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
'Diary' in Three-Part Disharmony Mark Thomas , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 1 September 2007; (p. 11)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Three-Part Harmony Katharine England , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 1 September 2007; (p. 10)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Atlas Shrugs, Loses the Plot Lionel Shriver , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , September vol. 2 no. 8 2007; (p. 3-4)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Initial Contacts Elizabeth Lowry , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 24/31 August no. 5447/8 2007; (p. 3-4, 7)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel ; Inner Workings : Literary Essays 2000-2005 J. M. Coetzee 2007 selected work essay
The Disquiet of the Almost but Not Quite Geordie Williamson , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , September no. 294 2007; (p. 8-9)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Within Cooee of Coetzee Dianne Dempsey , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 1 - 2 September 2007; (p. 25)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
A Masochistic Scalpel Barry Hill , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , September no. 27 2007; (p. 46-48, 50-51)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Three-Dimensional Design or Flawed Plan? Daniel Herborn , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 30 September 2007; (p. 72)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Strong Opinions Harrison Kathryn , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The New York Times , 30 December 2007; (p. 1)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
A Writer, a Muse, Their Laundry Richard Eder , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The New York Times , 1 January 2008; (p. 1)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Triple Play Claire Messud , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Boston Globe , 30 December 2007; (p. 3)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
In a Cold Country Michael Wood , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: London Review of Books , 4 October vol. 29 no. 2007; (p. 5-7)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel ; Inner Workings : Literary Essays 2000-2005 J. M. Coetzee 2007 selected work essay
Love, the State and Opinions Carol Herman , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Washington Times , 6 January 2008; (p. 5)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Breaking the Fourth Wall Louis Begley , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Washington Post , 6 January 2008; (p. 3)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Untitled Adele Garnier , 2007-2008 single work review
— Appears in: Zeitschrift fur Australienstudien , no. 21-22 2007-2008; (p. 213-216)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Untitled Liam Pieper , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Lifted Brow , no. 14 2012; (p. 24)

— Review of Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee 2007 single work novel
Graphic Texts Are a Novel Alternative Jane Sullivan , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 25 August 2007; (p. 28)
Coetzee 'Diary' Targets PM Deborah Hope , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 25-26 August 2007; (p. 5)
Writers on the Wing : Birds and the (De/Re)construction of Cultural Memory in Patrick Chamoiseau and J. M. Coetzee's Fictional Narratives Lucile Desblache , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 29 no. 2 2007; (p. 178-193)
What is to be Done? Larry Buttrose , 2008 single work essay
— Appears in: Wet Ink , Winter no. 11 2008; (p. 8-13)
In Praise of Slow Reading Subhash Jaireth , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 2 January 2010; (p. 12)
Publishers and literary agents are interested in publishing books that readers will buy. By promoting new releases as 'page turners', which can be read quickly, the culture of serious and contemplative reading, together with the culture of writing and publishing are devalued.
Coetzee's Acts of Genre in the Later Works: Truth-Telling, Fiction and the Public Intellectual Jane Poyner , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: J. M. Coetzee and the Paradox of Postcolonial Authorship 2009; (p. 167-184)
Poyner argues that 'an increasingly meta-discursive mode in Coetzee's fiction ... coincides with his departure from South Africa for Adelaide, Australia' and that, while Coetzee's 'later works may seem to have less relevance in a book about postcolonial authorship, they do make important contributions to debates on intellectualism and the author's authority pertinent to the postcolonial field'.
Coetzee's Estrangements David Attwell , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Novel : A Forum on Fiction , Spring/Summer vol. 41 no. 2/3 2008; (p. 229-243)
'Place in J.M. Coetzee's writing is seldom just home, in any comfortable sense, nor is there the process of re-familiarization that one finds in so much postcolonial writing that answers metropolitan representations of colonial space. On the contrary, place in Coetzee is a site of epistemological dualisms, of failed self/other relationships, of incommensurability, of aesthetic destruction: "too much truth for art to hold" (Doubling 99). Intimacy and detachment, in equal measure, in Coetzee's relationship with South Africa: that is the dynamic I wish to explore in this essay.' (p.229)
J. M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year : Between Essay Writing and Fiction Richard Samin , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth , Autumn vol. 32 no. 1 2009; (p. 45-53)
'Diary of a Bad Year is a hybrid book combining a series of genuine essays with fictional narratives written in the form of a diary and confessional memoirs. With the combination of these different discursive strands and narrative voices on the same page Coetzee tries to experiment with a new pattern of reading. The unusual form of the novel distorts the reader's conventional perspective on plot and characters while it sustains the narrator's reflections about the questions of identity and authority involved in the very act of writing. The questions which the article addresses are whether the introduction of topical essays in Coetzee's book merely serves to provide a substantial thematic background to the fictional strands of the novel or whether the textual composition of the novel constitutes a experimental essay to probe into such questions as narratorial authority, the ethics fo writing and the identity fo the writing self.' (45)
Late style in J.M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year Hermann Wittenberg , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Scrutiny2 , September vol. 15 no. 2 2010; (p. 40-49)
J.M. Coetzee's post-millennial writing has been marked by new forms of inventiveness, formal risk-taking and narrative experimentation that have blurred the boundaries between fiction, autobiography and social commentary. Using the example of the novel Diary of a Bad Year (2007), it is argued that this latter fiction is exemplary of Edward Said's idea of "late style", accounting not only for Coetzee's surprising venture into explicit political commentary, but also his narrative minimalism. The paper looks carefully at the content and style of Coetzee's novel, contrasting its descriptive technique with earlier fictions.
Giving Up Control: Narrative Authority and Animal Experience in Coetzee and Kafka Michael O'Sullivan , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Mosaic , June vol. 44 no. 2 2011; (p. 119-135)
Animal experience is central to the fiction of J.M. Coetzee and Franz Kafka. In light of new approaches to animal awareness in science and philosophy, this essay investigates how Coetzee's deliberations on the animal, initially by way of Kafka, extend the range of narrative authority and reappraise human empathy.
Choose Your Own Adventure Peter Goldsworthy , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Adelaide Review , April no. 386 2012; (p. 10-11)
'The Text Classic series is designed to unearth some of the lost marvels of our literature, and to allow readers to rediscover books that are milestones in the Australian experience. J.M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year is one such book and published here is Peter Goldsworthy's new introduction.' (p. 10)
Cultural Criticism in the Australian Fiction Patrick Hayes , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: J. M. Coetzee and the Novel : Writing and Politics after Beckett 2010; (p. 223-259)
'This concluding chapter considers Coetzee's Australian fiction in relation to a longstanding tradition of cultural criticism directed at the moral and political condition of modernity. It has recently been argued that this tradition, for all its many differences of emphasis, has as its shared characteristic the deployment of a ‘cultural principle’ that displaces politics and itself lays claim to the role of social authority: this chapter sets Coetzee in the context of the most important new thinking about the tradition of cultural criticism, making special reference to the recent debate between Stefan Collini and Francis Mulhern. It shows that Coetzee sustainedly tries to refuse the moral and political simplifications that at times have characterized this tradition—allusion is made in particular to the work of Benda, Arnold, Nietzsche, and T. S. Eliot—and that his fiction opens up a line of cultural criticism that more subtly navigates the complex terrain of political modernity.' Source: Patrick Hayes.
J. M. Coetzee's Australian Realism Elleke Boehmer , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Poetics : Genre and Form 2011; (p. 202-218) Strong Opinions : J. M. Coetzee and the Authority of Contemporary Fiction 2011; (p. 3-18)
y Acts of Visitation : The Narrative of J.M. Coetzee María J. López , Amsterdam New York (City) : Rodopi , 2011 Z1880004 2011 single work criticism

'This study traces, in J.M. Coetzee's fictional and non-fictional production, an imaginative and intellectual masterplot deriving from Coetzee's perception of European presence in (South) Africa as having its origin in an act of illegitimate penetration and fraudulent visitation. In Coetzee's novels, the historical and political problem of a hostile occupation and unfair distribution of the land finds a correspondence in the domestic space of house and farm, and the uneasy cohabitation of its occupants, along with the relation between hosts and guests. The seminal dimension of the categories of penetration and visitation is highlighted, as these are shown to operate not only on a spatial level but also on an epistemological, physical, psychological, hermeneutic, metafictional and ethical one: we encounter literary and psychological secrets that resist decipherment, bodies that cannot be penetrated, writers depicted as intruders, parents that ask to be welcomed by their children.
This study also identifies, in Coetzee's narrative, an ethical proposal grounded on a logic of excess and unconditionality - a logic of 'not enough' - lying behind certain acts of hospitality, friendship, kindness, care, and guidance to the gate of death, acts that may transform prevailing unequal socio-historical conditions and hostile personal relationships, characterized by a logic of parasitism and intrusion. As the figure of the writer progressively gains explicit prominence in Coetzee's literary production, special attention will be paid to it, as it alternately appears as secretary and master, migrant and intruder, pervert and foe, citizen and neighbour. Overall, Acts of Visitation analyzes how Coetzee's works depict the (South) African land, the Karoo farm, the familial household or the writer's and literary character's house as simultaneously contending and redemptive sites in which urgent historical, ethical, and metafictional issues are spatially explored and dramatized.' (Publishers' website)

Works published before Coetzee's arrival in Australia including, Dusklands, In the Heart of the Country, Waiting for the Barbarians, Life &​ Times of Michael K, Age of Iron, Disgrace, Foe, Boyhood and The Master of Petersburg are also discussed in this critical work.

Slow Man Overboard : J.M. Coetzee on Australian Hospitality Maria Takolander , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 539-545)
The Act of Writing and the Act of Attention Martin Harrison , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , October no. 20 2013;

'Is writing, including creative writing and its teaching, inevitably on the other side of the natural environment and ecological systems? Is writing, by definition, an action of a mindfulness and inventiveness which implicitly creates a cognitive separation between the world of the text and the world of ecological systems? A number of critics have recently been trying to propose modes and structures which merge this divide, or minimise it borrowing from biology, cognitive theory and probability theory. The paper considers a variety of such formal structures but argues especially for a particular mode of attentiveness in our concept of language and proposes its centrality in the teaching of a contemporary ecologically mindful writing. ' (Author's abstract)

Feste Ansichten in His Own Person : J.M. Coetzee Speaks Gillian Dooley , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: MediaTropes , vol. 4 no. 2 2014; (p. 31-45)
'Three recent books by J.M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello (2003), Diary of a Bad Year (2007), and Here and Now (2013), have included extensive expressions of opinion. The wide-ranging discussions in these books cover topics from political philosophy, language, animal rights, and paedophilia to music, food, and sport. There is substantial continuity in the opinions expressed, and the characters or personae expressing these views also have a good deal in common. Nevertheless, these opinions are expressed in three explicitly different personae. With each of these books the personae are progressively more closely identifiable with Coetzee himself. Elizabeth Costello, in the book of that name, is a character who crosses gender and national boundaries from her creator. JC in Diary of a Bad Year shares at least some biographical circumstances with Coetzee—land of birth, gender, initials, occupation, for example. Then, in Here and Now, we are presented with what purports transparently to be the author J.M. Coetzee’s own voice in correspondence with Paul Auster. How do I, as a reader and a critic, negotiate this progression? Just how much license does the apparently closer correspondence between author and writing persona give me to believe that I know what Coetzee ‘really’ thinks or believes?' (Publication abstract)
“A Face Without Personality” : Coetzee’s Swiftian Narrators Gillian Dooley , Robert Phiddian , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Ariel , July vol. 47 no. 3 2016; (p. 1-22)
'Much has been written about the complicated intertextual relationships between J. M. Coetzee’s novels and previous works by writers such as Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Samuel Beckett, and, especially, Daniel Defoe. Relatively little has been written, in comparison, about any relationship between Coetzee and Defoe’s great contemporary, Jonathan Swift. We claim no extensive structural relationship between Coetzee’s novels and Swift’s works—nothing like the formal interlace between Robinson Crusoe and Foe, for example. We do claim, however, a strong and explicitly signalled likeness of narrative stance, marked especially by the ironic distance between author and protagonist in Gulliver’s Travels and Elizabeth Costello. We rehearse the extensive evidence of Coetzee’s attention to Swift (both in novels and criticism) and suggest that there is a Swiftian dimension to Coetzee’s oeuvre that is evident in several books, including Dusklands, Youth, Elizabeth Costello, and Diary of a Bad Year.' (Publication abstract)
Last amended 2 Dec 2014 10:46:02
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