When one embarks on reading any of the novels J.M. Coetzee has produced over the last twenty-five years, one is struck by the prominence that problematics relating to language and the way language affects the human mind assume in the text. In particular - although each novel is obviously highly defined in itself - in all his texts the author sets out to investigate the role language plays in the constitution of identity (whether of an individual, a nation or a race). Because of the centrality this aspect assumes in Coetzee’s work, my article centres on the way each novel stages the confrontation between the “I”, the “You” and the “Other” - the basis of the achievement of identity. As I will argue, in fact, in all his novels Coetzee stages precisely the struggle which - just like the Oedipal father who must have his language recognised as the lawful language of authority - each individual enacts in the attempt to be recognised by Others and achieve an identity.

Language and Identity in the Narrative of J. M. Coetzee / Michela Canepari. - In: ENGLISH IN AFRICA. - ISSN 0376-8902. - 27(2000), pp. 105-130.

Language and Identity in the Narrative of J. M. Coetzee

CANEPARI, Michela
2000

Abstract

When one embarks on reading any of the novels J.M. Coetzee has produced over the last twenty-five years, one is struck by the prominence that problematics relating to language and the way language affects the human mind assume in the text. In particular - although each novel is obviously highly defined in itself - in all his texts the author sets out to investigate the role language plays in the constitution of identity (whether of an individual, a nation or a race). Because of the centrality this aspect assumes in Coetzee’s work, my article centres on the way each novel stages the confrontation between the “I”, the “You” and the “Other” - the basis of the achievement of identity. As I will argue, in fact, in all his novels Coetzee stages precisely the struggle which - just like the Oedipal father who must have his language recognised as the lawful language of authority - each individual enacts in the attempt to be recognised by Others and achieve an identity.
Language and Identity in the Narrative of J. M. Coetzee / Michela Canepari. - In: ENGLISH IN AFRICA. - ISSN 0376-8902. - 27(2000), pp. 105-130.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11381/2386991
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