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Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 ‘Waywardness’: J. M. Coetzee and the Ethos of Authenticity
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'My paper focuses on a modern socio-cultural disposition (and personal habitus) in Coetzee’s work which hitherto has not been given much attention and which I call ‘Ethos of Authenticity’. This can be understood as a post-Romantic and humanist individualism which rejects, to use Coetzee’s words, “giving oneself to a part that is already written”, and insists on a “private”, and “untenable historical position” against “collectivity” and “moral vigilance”. This attitude holds for both the writer Coetzee (in his interviews and essays) as well as (with variations) for his major figures including the biographically fictional “J. M. Coetzee”. However, in order to become credible and of communicative and literary relevance, such a position is inexorably linked with truthfulness, sincerity or a ‘horizon of wider significance’ (Ch. Taylor). Truthfulness along with being true to him- or herself are among Coetzee’s major concerns in form and content, even though claims to ‘truth’, ‘representation’ and the reliability of textual consciousness and communication have been profoundly called into question after post-structuralism. My paper, then, will centre on Coetzee’s attempts at nonetheless simulating or producing authenticity for his writing and his characters (contradictory as this may sound). These strategies are: silence or semantic gaps, the often hyperrealistic depiction of suffering and bodies in their pre-discursive presence, the emancipation (and relative autonomy) of narrative figures, along with ‘countervoices’ and dialogicity: alter authenticating ego.' (Publication abstract)

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Last amended 7 Feb 2017 09:17:23
444–467 ‘Waywardness’: J. M. Coetzee and the Ethos of Authenticitysmall AustLit logo Anglia : Zeitschrift Fur Englische Philologie
  • Slow Man J. M. Coetzee , 2005 single work novel
  • Disgrace J. M. Coetzee , 1999 single work novel
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