Coetzee, J.M.


Coetzee, J.M.

▪ South African author
in full  John Maxwell Coetzee 
born February 9, 1940, Cape Town, South Africa

      South African novelist, critic, and translator noted for his novels about the effects of colonization. In 2003 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

      Coetzee was educated at the University of Cape Town (B.A., 1960; M.A., 1963) and the University of Texas (Ph.D., 1969). An opponent of apartheid, he nevertheless returned to live in South Africa, where he taught English at the University of Cape Town, translated works from the Dutch, and wrote literary criticism. He also held visiting professorships at a number of universities.

      Dusklands (1974), Coetzee's first book, contains two novellas united in their exploration of colonization, "The Vietnam Project" (set in the United States in the late 20th century) and "The Narrative of Jacobus Coetzee" (set in 18th-century South Africa). In the Heart of the Country (1977; also published as From the Heart of the Country; filmed as Dust, 1986) is a stream-of-consciousness narrative of a Boer madwoman, and Waiting for the Barbarians (1980), set in some undefined borderland, is an examination of the ramifications of colonization. Life and Times of Michael K (1983), which won the Booker Prize, concerns the dilemma of a simple man beset by conditions he can neither comprehend nor control during a civil war in a future South Africa. Coetzee continued to explore themes of the colonizer and the colonized in Foe (1986), his reworking of Daniel Defoe (Defoe, Daniel)'s Robinson Crusoe. Coetzee's female narrator comes to new conclusions about power and otherness and ultimately concludes that language can enslave as effectively as can chains. In Age of Iron (1990) Coetzee dealt directly with circumstances in contemporary South Africa, but in The Master of Petersburg (1994) he made reference to 19th-century Russia (particularly to Fyodor Dostoyevsky's work The Devils); both books treat the subject of literature in society. In 1999, with his novel Disgrace, Coetzee became the first writer to win the Booker Prize twice. After its publication and an outcry in South Africa, he moved to Australia. The structure of Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello (2003), a series of “lessons” (two of which had been published in an earlier volume) in which the eponymous narrator reflects on a variety of topics, puzzled many readers. One reviewer proposed that it be considered non-nonfiction. The notably reticent author's distinctly nonfiction books include Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life (1997), an autobiography; White Writing: On the Culture of Letters in South Africa (1988); Doubling the Point: Essays and Interviews (1992); and Giving Offense: Essays on Censorship (1996).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • COETZEE (J. M.) — COETZEE JOHN MICHAEL (1940 ) Né à Cape Town en 1940, John Michael Coetzee a pour ancêtres des colons hollandais venus s’installer en Afrique du Sud à la fin du XVIIe siècle (allusion y est faite dans Dusklands , paru en 1974). Ses études le… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Coetzee — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Basil „Manenberg“ Coetzee (1944–1998), südafrikanischer Jazzmusiker Gerrie Coetzee (* 1955), südafrikanischer Boxer Hannes Coetzee (* 1944), Gitarrist aus der Karoo Region in Südafrika J. M. Coetzee (*… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Coetzee —   [ku tseː], John M. (Marie), südafrikanischer Schriftsteller und Übersetzer, * Kapstadt 9. 2. 1940; Bure, Dozent für englische Sprache und Literatur in Kapstadt; schreibt in englischer Sprache politische Allegorien und Fabeln in teilweise… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Coetzee — Coetzee, John Maxwell …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Coetzee — (John) (né en 1940) romancier sud africain d expression anglaise; il donne une vision apocalyptique de l apartheid: En attendant les barbares (1980) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Coetzee — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Coetzee: John Maxwell Coetzee (* 1940, Cap en Afrique du Sud), un romancier sud africain Rudolf « Rudi » Coetzee (* 1981, Port Elizabeth, Afrique du Sud) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Coetzee — This is one of the earliest settlers surnames of South Africa, being recorded in the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th Century. Its modern origins are regarded as Dutch Flemish, but its true origins are Old French, and specifically Breton. It is a… …   Surnames reference

  • Coetzee, J. M. —  (for John Maxwell) (1940–) South African–born Australian author, awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Coetzee — /ˈkɜtsɪə/ (say kertsear) noun J(ohn) M(ichael), born 1940, South African novelist, based in Australia; works include The Life and Times of Michael K (1983) and Disgrace (1999), which both won the Booker Prize; Nobel prize for literature 2003 …   Australian English dictionary


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