The Body, Desire and Storytelling in Novels by J. M. Coetzee  book cover
1st Edition

The Body, Desire and Storytelling in Novels by J. M. Coetzee

ISBN 9780367002343
Published October 17, 2018 by Routledge
220 Pages

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Book Description

Asserting that Coetzee’s representation of the body as subject to dismemberment counters the colonial representation of the other’s body as exotic and erotically-charged, this study inspects the ambivalence pertaining to Coetzee’s embodied representation of the other and reveals the risks that come with such contrapuntal reiteration. Through the study of the narrative identity of the colonial other and her/his body’s representation, the book also unveils the author’s own authorial identity exposed through the repetitive narrative patterns and characterization choices.

Table of Contents

PART I  Negotiating Power in the Other’s Flesh  

1 Colonial Bodies…Resurrected?  

2 Desiring the Maimed, or Eroticism Revisited 

PART II  White Voices/Black Bodies: A Politics of Displacement

3 The Story with/in the Story: Coetzee’s Shadow Narratives

4 Closed Bodies, Mut(e)ilated Narratives: Negotiating a Story out of the Other

PART III  Beyond the B(lo)ody Politics

5 The Body as a Historicizing Map

6 The Body as an Identitarian Map




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Olfa Belgacem is a teaching assistant at the University of Tunis. She has a PhD in English language and literature and is an Ecole Normale Supérieure graduate who has worked as an agrégée teacher at the University of Carthage. She is an active member of the research group "Languages and Cultural Forms" at ISLT and has participated in several national and international conferences. She has a published article in The International Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies entitled "Revisiting the Colonial Text and Context: Parody in J. M. Coetzee’s Foe" and another one in "The International Conference Proceedings on Science, Art and Gender In the Global Rise of Indigenous Languages entitled "Taming the Indigenous Shrew: Torture and Narration as Possible Tools to Translate the Natives’ Silence in J. M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians and Foe." Dr. Belgacem has written other research papers on ethnic studies and identity politics as well as on education and didactics. She is currently working on the publication of some of these papers.


"An engaging and insightful book. The author offers readers further clues to unravelling Coetzee’s ambivalent narratives through close textual reading, a rare feat today. " -- Dr.Sadok Bouhlila, Department of English, Manouba University.