Telling stories : invasion and isolation in J.M. Coetzee's In the heart of the country and Waiting for the barbarians
ForfatterSolhaug, Sigrid Ingeborg
In this thesis the themes of isolation and invasion are explored in J. M. Coetzee's novels In the Heart of the Country and Waiting for the Barbarians. Issues concerning the ambiguity of meaning, identity as problematic, and authorship and history writing as questionable, are central for Coetzee's writing. Coetzee deconstructs the myth of the Other and other binary oppositions. As a postcolonial criticism, his novels attempt to bring into the light "the forgotten ones of history" and to give voice to the silent Other. In the thesis, I talk about different borders in the two novels I am looking at, and see how border crossings, both on an imaginary plane, and on a "real" level, become means of negotiating between the "I" and the Other. The main emphasis of the thesis is the way the themes of isolation and invasion manifest themselves. These terms are considered in both physical and psychological terms. Invasion can for instance be manifested through colonization, but also through the act of writing. Isolation can be a result of colonization and a result of being written, or having had an identity imposed. Many of Coetzee's narrators experience an identity crisis, which causes their own exploration of what oppresses, or invades, them. The novels often portray how these narrators attempt to liberate themselves from conventions and imposed identities in the search for an alternative history/story.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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