n English in Africa - J. M. Coetzee and the politics of selfhood




J. M. Coetzee's most recent publication in the field of autobiographical fiction, (2009), opens with a description of a politically motivated murder of South African citizens in Botswana. This murder, we are told, is one in a long chain of political crimes, reported "week after week" (4) by the press, along with denials by the apartheid government that it has anything to do with them. The effect of these reports on the protagonist, John, is to send him into helpless "fits of rage and despair" (5): they constitute a "moral dilemma" from which he can envision no escape (5).


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