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«Autre»-Biography

Poetics of Self in J. M. Coetzee’s Fictionalized Memoirs

Angela Müller

This study explores the poetics and politics of self in J. M. Coetzee’s «autre»-biographical works «Scenes from Provincial Life». The author provides a detailed analysis of Coetzee’s conception of self in his fictionalized memoirs, as well as of philosophical, aesthetic and political implications of «autre»-biography. She reads these works as literary figurations of an estranged self, maintaining that they engage with deeply historical but also universal questions of the relation between self and power. Coetzee’s fictionalized memoirs, she argues, are thus not merely dramatizations of the inherent elusiveness of the self but a critique of systems and discourses of normativization and oppression.

BIC Classifications

  • Literature & literary studies (D)
    • Literature: history & criticism (DS)
      • Literary studies: general (DSB)

BISAC Classifications

  • Literary Criticism (LIT)
    • LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh (LIT004120)

THEMA Classifications

  • Biography, Literature & Literary studies (D)
    • Literature: history & criticism (DS)
      • Literary studies: general (DSB)
        • Literary studies: c 1900 to c 2000 (DSBH)
          • Literary studies: post-colonial literature (DSBH5)
        • Literary studies: from c 2000 (DSBJ)
      • Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers (DSK)
  • Geographical qualifiers (1)
    • Africa (1H)
      • Sub-Saharan Africa (1HF)
        • Southern Africa (1HFM)
          • Republic of South Africa (1HFMS)
  • Language qualifiers (2)
    • Indo-European languages (2A)
      • Germanic & Scandinavian languages (2AC)
        • English (2ACB)
  • Time period qualifiers (3)
    • c 1500 onwards to present day (3M)
      • 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999 (3MP)
        • Later 20th century c 1950 to c 1999 (3MPQ)
      • 21st century, c 2000 to c 2100 (3MR)