n English in Africa - "We are not made for revelation" : letters to Francis Bacon in the Postscript to J. M. Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello
|Article Title||"We are not made for revelation" : letters to Francis Bacon in the Postscript to J. M. Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello|
|© Publisher:||Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA)|
|Journal||English in Africa|
|Publication Date||Oct 2008|
|Pages||119 - 132|
The postscript follows the signature of the letter or the text of the book. As an addition to a communication that has already taken place, it gestures to the inconclusiveness of the writing, its failure of closure. It is an afterthought that paradoxically draws attention to itself, simultaneously marking and transgressing the limits of language. While peripheral to the body of the already written text, it is rendered emphatic precisely through this very separation, where, from beyond the margins, it fills a gap, accentuates a point, provides a new angle, a fresh observation, opening up the text to further elaboration. In J. M. Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello, the paradox of the postscript is incorporated into the meaning of the work itself. Anterior to and excluded from the narrative, it speaks to the issues raised in the narrative from another place.
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