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Old Myths – Modern Empires

Power, Language and Identity in J.M. Coetzee’s Work

Michela Canepari-Labib

This study gives substantial coverage and close critical attention to a wide range of Coetzee’s published writings, in the attempt to situate his œuvre within the framework of both postmodernist and postcolonial theory and criticism. In addition, it links the political and social aspects of Coetzee’s work, its South African provenance and its often oblique engagement with contemporary issues, with formal questions regarding structure, rhetoric and narrative strategies as tackled in his novels. By approaching Coetzee’s fiction from a variety of critical angles and taking into account both the transformations in the socio-political context of South Africa, and the recent changes in critical reception (exemplified by the Nobel Prize he was awarded in 2003) this book therefore offers a thorough assessment of the author’s œuvre.