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n Journal of Literary Studies - "Visiting Himself on me" - the angel, the witness and the modern subject of enunciation in J.M. Coetzee's

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Abstract

In the particular historical locale of South Africa's late apartheid, J.M. Coetzee's novel <I>Age of Iron&lt;/I&gt; (1990) assumes a narrative position that, while fundamentally impeded by sociohistorical clusters, succeeds in articulating and subverting its own impediment. The essay seeks to account for the double bind of the novel's narrator, who finds herself simultaneously subjected to and outside of historical discourse, by designating the problem of postcolonial agency in the allegorical transition from the figure of the angel to that of the witness. To back up and elaborate on its claims, it reassesses modern subjectivity in light of the experience of racial and totalitarian violence. In this reassessment, it takes recourse to recent theories of cultural modernity by Homi K. Bhabha, Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben, which, however diverse, all rely on a concept of subjectivity based on acts of enunciation - not on what is said but on language taking place. The ultimate aim of the essay is to describe testimony, in a theoretical rather than in an empirical sense, as an ethical category of modern processes of subjectification.

In die spesifieke historiese lokaliteit van Suid-Afrika se eertydse apartheid, neem J.M. Coetzee se roman <I>Age of Iron&lt;/I&gt; (1990), 'n narratiewe posisie in wat, waar dit fundamenteel geïnterpreteer word deur sosio-historiese groeperings, dit daarin slaag om sy eie impedimente te artikuleer en omver te gooi. Hierdie artikel poog om die dubbele verknorsing van die roman se verteller te verklaar, wat haarself terselfdertyd onderwerp aan en buite die historiese diskoers bevind, deur die probleem van postkoloniale bemiddeling in die allegoriese oorgang van die figuur van die engel tot dié van die getuie uit te wys. Om op hierdie aansprake uit te brei en dit te rugsteun, word moderne subjektiwiteit in die lig van die ervaring van rasse- en totalitêre geweld hertakseer. In hierdie hertaksering maak die artikel gebruik van resente teorieë van kulturele moderniteit van Homi K. Bhabha, Michel Foucault en Gorgio Agamben, wat, alhoewel uiteenlopend, almal bou op 'n konsep van subjektiwiteit wat gebaseer is op uitsprake - nie op wat gesê word nie, maar op taal wat plaasvind. Die uiteindelike doel van die essay is om getuienis te beskryf, in 'n teoretiese eerder as 'n empiriese sin, as 'n etiese kategorie van moderne prosesse van subjektivering.

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/content/litstud/18/3_4/EJC62336
2002-12-01
2016-12-08
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