'At first glance, the movement being outlined - away from the theological notion of grace and towards the 'body with its pain' - would seem to imply a disbelief in the efficacy of the afterlife. But, as any reader of Coetzee's recent fiction would be able to tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. One cannot read the post-Disgrace novels without noticing how prominently the afterlife figures in them both as theme and narrative device. While it would be going too far to label him a theologian, I think it is not too much of an exaggeration to call the late Coetzee a 'theorist of the afterlife' (Diary of a Bad Year 125).
My aim in this paper is to flesh out Coetzee's theory of the afterlife in order to see how it conditions the sense of his post-South-African fiction. The strangely touching essay 'On the Afterlife' that brings the 'Strong Opinions' section of Diary of a Bad Year to an end is as a good a place as any to start this investigation.'