Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2001

Publication Source

International Fiction Review

Volume

28

Issue

1&2

Inclusive pages

42-53

Publisher

University of New Brunswick

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

Having published nine novels and won such prestigious literary awards as the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (1980), the Booker Prize (1983, 1999), and the Jerusalem Prize (1987), J. M. Coetzee has become one of the most important late twentieth-century authors to emerge from South Africa, and the reputation Coetzee enjoys is due, in part, to the international appeal of his novels. Since the publication of Dusklands (1974), Coetzee seems to favor what we may call a rhetoric of simultaneity, one that emphasizes the importance of considering South African colonial trauma not as an isolated and autonomous event, but as one that relates to, and must therefore be juxtaposed with, similar human conditions outside South Africa. This essay offers an analysis of Coetzee's rhetoric of simultaneity as exemplified in the novels Waiting for the Barbarians (1980), Foe (1986), and Age of Iron (1990); it first explores how Coetzee negotiates the boundary-crossing between postcolonial writing and allegorical writing followed by an examination of how Coetzee brings the issue of writing to bear on the status of being.

Keywords

J. M. Coetzee, Postcolonial rhetoric, simultaneity, South Africa, novels

Disciplines

English Language and Literature

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