This new collection of essays on Coetzee examines how his novels create and unsettle literary authority. Its unique contribution is to show how Coetzee provokes us into reconsidering certain basic formal and existential questions such as the nature of literary realism, the authority of the author and the constitution of the human self in a posthumanist setting by consciously revealing the literary-theoretical seams of his work. Strong Opinions makes the innovative claim that Coetzees work is driven not by a sense of scepticism or nihilism but rather by a form of controlled exposure that defines the literary. The essays in the volume variously draw attention to three of Coetzees most recent and significant experiments in controlled exposure. The first is the exposure of place-Coetzees decision to set his novels in his newly adopted country of Australia. The second is the exposure of form-Coetzees direct, almost essayistic address of literary-philosophical topics within his novels. And the third is the exposure of limits-Coetzees explicit deconstruction of the traditional limits of human life.
Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
Number of pages: 186
Weight: 446 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
"A clearly focussed and helpful contribution to the demanding and as yet barely embarked-upon task of coming to terms with Coetzee's most recent writings." Stephen Mulhall, Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, New College, University of Oxford, UK, and author of The Wounded Animal: J.M.Coetzee and the Difficulty of Reality in Literature and Philosophy (Princeton University Press)
"The essays in Strong Opinions, written by some of the top scholars in the field of Coetzee studies, work in productive ways to examine how Coetzee's writing, particularly his post-apartheid and Australia-era works, perform a position that not only questions the role of literature as authority but also deconstruct the very idea that literary authority is possible. These essays call to attention Coetzee's explicitly self-conscious act of story telling as his works navigate and negotiate specific locales, both literal and figurative. And this collection, like the works that it examines, astutely pushes the limits of what literature and literary analysis can do and asks that we, as readers, explore a tenuous duality in Coetzee's fiction: the public duty of the writer to his audience and the private and perhaps transcendent duty of the artist to his conscience." Laura Wright, Associate Professor of English, Western Carolina University, USA, and author of Writing "Out of All the Camps": J.M. Coetzee's Narratives of Displacement (Routledge)