n African Journal of Rhetoric - The writer's speech : J. M. Coetzee's allegory of self-figuring in his Nobel prize lecture, 'He and His Man'

Volume 7 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054


J. M. Coetzee's rather cryptic, heavily coded Nobel Peace lecture, delivered to the Nobel academy on 7 December, 2003 is interesting as both text and performance. It provides a rather unusual starting point for exploring how Coetzee creates a discourse of self in a way that shows both his theoretical acumen as literary academic, and his on-going struggle as writer/to be writer that can be said to produce the writing.

My paper will examine (with detailed textual/contextual analysis) a number of issues arising out of 'He and his Man', including:

1. The identity of the writer/academic and the discourse of fictionality

2. Allegorical figuring and the intertextual play of the signifier

3. The significance of Defoe's Crusoe (and Crusoe's Defoe) as point of reference

4. Coetzee's Nobel Prize lecture in the context of his writing, and of the context of his audience

5. Precision, history, memory, metaphor and the motifs of death and transformation.

6. Writing and the location of the secret self.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error