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Cover of first edition courtesy of Wikipedia
y separately published work icon Slow Man single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2005... 2005 Slow Man
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Paul Rayment is on the threshold of a comfortable old age when a calamitous cycling accident results in the amputation of a leg. Humiliated, his body truncated, his life circumscribed, he turns away from his friends. He hires a nurse named Marijana, with whom he has a European childhood in common: hers in Croatia, his in France. Tactfully and efficiently she ministers to his needs. But his feelings for her, and for her handsome teenage son, are complicated by the sudden arrival on his doorstep of the celebrated Australian novelist Elizabeth Costello, who threatens to take over the direction of his life and the affairs of his heart. (Publisher's blurb)

Notes

  • This novel reintroduces the character of Elizabeth Costello from Coetzee's 2003 novel, Elizabeth Costello : Eight Lessons.
  • Included in the New York Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books of the Year list for 2005.
  • Editions and translations have been updated for Slow Man 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.

Affiliation Notes

  • Writing Disability in Australia:

    Type of disability Amputated leg.
    Type of character Primary.
    Point of view Third person.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Milsons Point, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Knopf , 2005 .
      image of person or book cover 7127289724471950634.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 263p.
      ISBN: 1741660688 (hbk.), 9781741660685 (hbk.)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Secker and Warburg ,
      2005 .
      image of person or book cover 4385563994190406965.jpg
      Cover of first edition courtesy of Wikipedia
      Extent: 265p.
      Edition info: 1st ed.
      Note/s:
      • Copyright date is 2005.
      ISBN: 0436206110 (hbk.), 9780436206115 (hbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Viking ,
      2005 .
      image of person or book cover 8881620333938323942.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 265p.
      Note/s:
      • This edition published with place of publication identified as both New York and Camberwell, Victoria: Viking, 2005.
      ISBN: 9780670034598 (hbk.), 0670034592 (hbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      RB Large Print ,
      2005 .
      image of person or book cover 3855293547179115764.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 315p.
      Edition info: Large print ed.
      ISBN: 1419375970 (hbk), 9781419375972 (hbk)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Vintage ,
      2006 .
      image of person or book cover 5053494370309328910.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 265p.
      ISBN: 0099490625 (pbk.), 9780099490623 (pbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Penguin Books ,
      2006 .
      image of person or book cover 1111345850543374380.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 264p.
      ISBN: 0143037897 (pbk.), 9780143037897 (pbk.)
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2020 .
      image of person or book cover 5105617962356150346.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 288p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 7 January 2020.
      ISBN: 9781922268433
Alternative title: Langzame man
Language: Dutch
    • Amsterdam,
      c
      Netherlands,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Cossee ,
      2005 .
      image of person or book cover 3019413013426009268.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 285p.
      Edition info: 1st ed.
      ISBN: 9059360737 (hbk), 9789059360730 (hbk)
    • Amsterdam,
      c
      Netherlands,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Cossee ,
      2005 .
      image of person or book cover 9177308629845682733.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 285p.
      Edition info: 1st ed.
      ISBN: 9059363906 (pbk.), 9789059363908 (pbk.)
    • The Hague,
      c
      Netherlands,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Stichting Uitgeverij XL ,
      2006 .
      Extent: 382p.
      Edition info: Large print ed.
      ISBN: 9046302938, 9789046302934
      Series: y separately published work icon XL The Hague : Stichting Uitgeverij XL , 1994 7962272 1994 series - publisher novel

      A series of large-print books published by Stichting Uitgeverij XL. Translations of J. M. Coetzee's novels feature in this series.

      Number in series: 1275
    • Amsterdam,
      c
      Netherlands,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Cossee ,
      2013 .
      image of person or book cover 5166669851014313722.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 288p.
      Edition info: 7th ed.
      ISBN: 9059363906, 9789059363908, 9059364066 (ebook), 9789059364066 (ebook)

Other Formats

  • Also braille, sound recording, and electronic resource.

Works about this Work

Eurydice’s Curse : J. M. Coetzee and the Prospect of Death Chris Danta , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , February vol. 33 no. 1 2018;

'The prospect of death is one of J. M. Coetzee’s central and enduring concerns. As David Attwell observes in his biography, ‘The most trenchant of the purposes of Coetzee’s metafiction . . . is that it is a means whereby he challenges himself with sharply existential questions’. My claim in this essay is that Coetzee uses the act of writing existentially to orient himself and his readers to the prospect of death. I argue that Coetzee treats the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice as a story about how to deal with the prospect of death. What seems to terrify the Coetzeean protagonist is the thought of the absolute solitariness of death. I call this the curse of Eurydice. Eurydice’s fate in the myth is to be left alone in the Underworld, dying for a second time after her impatient lover turns to gaze at her before they have safely reached the surface of the earth. To take Eurydice’s point of view in the story is to begin to glimpse the solitariness of death. One of the roles of women in Coetzee’s fiction, I suggest, is to mitigate the male character’s fear of this solitariness by conducting him to the threshold of death, but no further.'  (Publication abstract)

‘Waywardness’: J. M. Coetzee and the Ethos of Authenticity Philipp Wolf , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Anglia : Zeitschrift Fur Englische Philologie , September vol. 134 no. 3 2016; (p. 444–467)
'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)
y separately published work icon Sympathy for the Animal(ized) Other in Selected Works of J. M. Coetzee On Yue Joyce Chan , Hong Kong : 2015 8424922 2015 single work thesis

'Sympathy, understood to be the capacity to suffer with the other, has long been regarded as one of the major vehicles to inspire an ethical communion. By minimizing differences through identification, sympathy helps us resonate with other beings and to exist in relation to them. This thesis examines the ethical endeavors on the vexed question of sympathy in four works by J. M. Coetzee - - The Lives of Animals (1999), Disgrace (1999), Elizabeth Costello (2003) and Slow Man (2005), all of which manifest Coetzee's notable interest in a fully-engaged sympathetic imagination into depraved and deprived human or nonhuman subjects. ' (Thesis summary)

'A Dozy City' : Adelaide in J.M. Coetzee's Slow Man and Amy T. Matthew's End of the Night Girl Gillian Dooley , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Adelaide : A Literary City 2014; (p. 253-266)
On Not Yet Being Christian : J.M. Coetzee's Slow Man and the Ethics of Being (Un)Interesting Craig Mitchell Smith , 2014 single work
— Appears in: Postcolonial Text , vol. 9 no. 1 2014;

Since its publication, J.M. Coetzee's Slow Man has been received unenthusiastically. Its relative neglect suggests its failure to interest its readers as either a narrative to be read for the plot or as a text to be analyzed according to the prevailing values guiding contemporary literary criticism. Anticipating its own reception, Slow Man asks readers to consider the meaning of the novel’s failure to interest us greatly. Focussing self-consciously on an uninteresting character living in unremarkable times, Coetzee’s novel eschews a critical paradigm that invests in political urgency to make the ethical point that there are alternative values for judging the worth of a novel or character. In its search for affirmative values, Slow Man responds to the dilemmas of postcolonial postsecularism by suggesting that there are worse things a novelist might do than write an uninteresting book.

Cyclist Thrown By His Wounded Self Karen Lamb , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 27-28 August 2005; (p. 8-9)

— Review of Slow Man J. M. Coetzee , 2005 single work novel
Identity and the Very Question of Existence Justin Cartwright , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 3 September 2005; (p. 12)

— Review of Slow Man J. M. Coetzee , 2005 single work novel
Playing with Words Katharine England , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 3 September 2005; (p. 10)

— Review of Slow Man J. M. Coetzee , 2005 single work novel
Portrait of Pain and Pity Kerryn Goldsworthy , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 3 September 2005; (p. 5)

— Review of Slow Man J. M. Coetzee , 2005 single work novel
Flawless on the Outside A. P. Riemer , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 3-4 September 2005; (p. 19)

— Review of Slow Man J. M. Coetzee , 2005 single work novel
Coetzee on Man Booker Longlist 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 13 August 2005; (p. 16)
J. M. Coetzee at the National Library 2005 single work column
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , September no. 274 2005; (p. 1)
The Babushka Doll of Narrative Jane Sullivan , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 3 February 2007; (p. 30)
Coetzee's Haunting of Australian Literature Maria Takolander , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , Special Issue 2007; (p. 37-51)
Takolander argues that: 'Literary texts, or arguably any texts -- including genre fiction, television soaps and blockbuster films -- in making possible an experience of haunting and thus of transformation occupy an ethical space'. She discusses ways in which J. M. Coetzee's novels Elizabeth Costello and Slow Man 'manifest a deep engagement with the transformative and ethical potentialities of literature'.
Australian Fiction 2005-2006 Thomas Shapcott , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , November vol. 51 no. 2006; (p. 108-119)
Last amended 6 Aug 2019 11:16:55
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