AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2020... 2020 J. M. Coetzee : Politics of the Child, Politics of Nonposition
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This article explores the political resonance of the child figure in J. M. Coetzee’s writing by linking the two child characters in his fictional memoir Boyhood (1997) and his recent fiction The Childhood of Jesus (2013). Mirroring some recurring themes and motifs in Coetzee’s early novels, the trope of childhood and the issue of education, as I observe, have become increasingly important, since the late and post-apartheid era, in the author’s ongoing critique of colonialist and neocolonialist forms of power. This article will discuss the ideological dimension and the subversive potentiality embedded in this particular literary trope through the concept of political ‘nonposition’. Developed by Coetzee himself in his critical essays and often associated with the trope of the child, the notion of ‘nonposition’ is significant to understand Coetzee’s novelistic discourse as a form of non-sectarian political participation. Tracing Coetzee’s Australian-phase writing back to post-apartheid South Africa, this article also illuminates part of a continuous trajectory in Coetzee’s oeuvre that will shed light on the politics of his highly self-reflexive metafictional literary practice in general, which has been substantially informed by South African history and politics preceding his emigration to Australia and the development of his late style.'(Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Textual Practice vol. 34 no. 6 2020 25086993 2020 periodical issue 2020 pg. 975-993
Last amended 6 Sep 2022 09:28:33
975-993 J. M. Coetzee : Politics of the Child, Politics of Nonpositionsmall AustLit logo Textual Practice
  • c
    South Africa,
    Southern Africa, Africa,
    Powered by Trove