Issue Details: First known date: 2012... 2012 The ‘Hermeneutics of Equivocation’ in JM Coetzee’s Elizabeth Costello
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Much has been made of the purported insignificance of the postscript that appends JM Coetzee's eleventh novel, Elizabeth Costello. In J.M. Coetzee's Austerities, Graham Bradshaw writes that 'Apart from some searching pages in an essay by Lucy Graham on "Textual Transvestism", Coetzee's "Letter" has barely been discussed, and when it became the "Postscript" to Elizabeth Costello one reviewer complained that it had no connection with that work'. In "The Subject and Infinity", the French philosopher Alain Badiou re-evaluates Jacques Lacan's notorious formulas of sexuation to argue that 'Lacan only summons the infinite to dismiss it.' What Badiou wants to do then is give 'full recognition to the existence of the infinite' and to insist that 'the infinite of inaccessibility is not adequate. What must be discovered is the affirmative force of the infinite, which is always lodged in some axiomatic decision' (227). This essay argues that the reader needs to axiomatically decide to further investigate the seemingly nonsensical inclusion of the Postscript in Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello, in order to encounter this affirmative force.' (Author's abstract)


  • Epigraph: Presences of the infinite he calls us, and says we make him shudder.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y JASAL Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature; Field, Curriculum, Emotion vol. 12 no. 1 2012 Z1883636 2012 periodical issue 2012
Last amended 26 Feb 2013 13:47:06 The ‘Hermeneutics of Equivocation’ in JM Coetzee’s Elizabeth CostelloAustLit JASAL