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J. M. Coetzee and Ethics : Philosophical Perspectives on Literature

By: Leist, Anton.
Contributor(s): Singer, Peter.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, 2010Description: 1 online resource (410 p.).ISBN: 9780231520249.Subject(s): Coetzee, J. M. - Criticism and interpretation | Coetzee, J. M. - Ethics | Coetzee, J. M. - Philosophy | Coetzee, J. M., 1940- -- Criticism and interpretation Coetzee, J. M., 1940- -- Ethics | Coetzee, J. M., 1940- -- Criticism and interpretation | Coetzee, J. M., 1940- -- Philosophy | Ethics | Literature - Philosophy | Literature -- Philosophy | Philosophy in literature | Philosophy in literatureGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: J. M. Coetzee and Ethics : Philosophical Perspectives on LiteratureDDC classification: 170 | 823/.914 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Contents; Introduction: Coetzee and Philosophy; Part I. People, Human Relationships, and Politics; 1 The Paradoxes of Power in the Early Novels of J. M. Coetzee; 2 Disgrace, Desire, and the Dark Side of the New South Africa; 3 Ethical Thought and the Problem of Communication: A Strategy for Reading Diary of a Bad Year; 4 Torture and Collective Shame; Part II. Humans, Animals, and Morality; 5 Converging Convictions: Coetzee and His Characters on Animals; 6 Coetzee and Alternative Animal Ethics; 7 Writing the Lives of Animals; 8 Sympathy and Scapegoating in J. M. Coetzee
Part III. Rationality and Human Lives9 Against Society, Against History, Against Reason: Coetzee's Archaic Postmodernism; 10 Coetzee's Critique of Reason; 11 J. M. Coetzee, Moral Thinker; 12 Being True to Fact: Coetzee's Prose of the World; Part IV. Literature, Literary Style, and Philosophy; 13 Truth and Love Together at Last: Style, Form, and Moral Vision in Age of Iron; 14 The Lives of Animals and the Form-Content Connection; 15 Irony and Belief in Elizabeth Costello; 16 Coetzee's Hidden Polemic with Nietzsche; List of Contributors; Index
Summary: In 2003, South African writer J. M. Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his riveting portrayals of racial repression, sexual politics, the guises of reason, and the hypocrisy of human beings toward animals and nature. Coetzee was credited with being "a scrupulous doubter, ruthless in his criticism of the cruel rationalism and cosmetic morality of western civilization." The film of his novel Disgrace, starring John Malkovich, brought his challenging ideas to a new audience.Anton Leist and Peter Singer have assembled an outstanding group of contributors who probe deeply into Coetzee''s extensive and extraordinary corpus. They explore his approach to ethical theory and philosophy and pay particular attention to his representation of the human-animal relationship. They also confront Coetzee''s depiction of the elementary conditions of life, the origins of morality, the recognition of value in others, the sexual dynamics between men and women, the normality of suppression, and the possibility of equality in postcolonial society. With its wide-ranging consideration of philosophical issues, especially in relation to fiction, this volume stands alone in its extraordinary exchange of ethical and literary inquiry.
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PR9369.3 .C58 Z73 2010 (Browse shelf) http://uttyler.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=895128 Available EBL895128

Contents; Introduction: Coetzee and Philosophy; Part I. People, Human Relationships, and Politics; 1 The Paradoxes of Power in the Early Novels of J. M. Coetzee; 2 Disgrace, Desire, and the Dark Side of the New South Africa; 3 Ethical Thought and the Problem of Communication: A Strategy for Reading Diary of a Bad Year; 4 Torture and Collective Shame; Part II. Humans, Animals, and Morality; 5 Converging Convictions: Coetzee and His Characters on Animals; 6 Coetzee and Alternative Animal Ethics; 7 Writing the Lives of Animals; 8 Sympathy and Scapegoating in J. M. Coetzee

Part III. Rationality and Human Lives9 Against Society, Against History, Against Reason: Coetzee's Archaic Postmodernism; 10 Coetzee's Critique of Reason; 11 J. M. Coetzee, Moral Thinker; 12 Being True to Fact: Coetzee's Prose of the World; Part IV. Literature, Literary Style, and Philosophy; 13 Truth and Love Together at Last: Style, Form, and Moral Vision in Age of Iron; 14 The Lives of Animals and the Form-Content Connection; 15 Irony and Belief in Elizabeth Costello; 16 Coetzee's Hidden Polemic with Nietzsche; List of Contributors; Index

In 2003, South African writer J. M. Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his riveting portrayals of racial repression, sexual politics, the guises of reason, and the hypocrisy of human beings toward animals and nature. Coetzee was credited with being "a scrupulous doubter, ruthless in his criticism of the cruel rationalism and cosmetic morality of western civilization." The film of his novel Disgrace, starring John Malkovich, brought his challenging ideas to a new audience.Anton Leist and Peter Singer have assembled an outstanding group of contributors who probe deeply into Coetzee''s extensive and extraordinary corpus. They explore his approach to ethical theory and philosophy and pay particular attention to his representation of the human-animal relationship. They also confront Coetzee''s depiction of the elementary conditions of life, the origins of morality, the recognition of value in others, the sexual dynamics between men and women, the normality of suppression, and the possibility of equality in postcolonial society. With its wide-ranging consideration of philosophical issues, especially in relation to fiction, this volume stands alone in its extraordinary exchange of ethical and literary inquiry.

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

This collection of essays edited by Leist (philosophy, Univ. of Zurich) and Singer (bioethics, Princeton Univ.; The Life You Can Save) examines the philosophical qualities of Coetzee's works. The topics covered are ethics, human suffering, animal rights, and rationality, and while most of his novels are examined, many of the essays focus on Elizabeth Costello and Disgrace. Although some essays discuss Coetzee's writing style, most are concerned with the philosophical concepts presented in his stories and also applying the theories of such philosophers as Hegel and Nietzsche to his novels. The editors write that the purpose of the collection is to show how philosophy can help explain issues raised in literature and also how literature can enhance philosophy by showing, in an imaginative way, the practical applications of its concepts. VERDICT Although contributors may examine the same novels, they bring out different aspects and critiques of each novel's philosophical qualities. Scholarly readers with an interest in Coetzee's novels or philosophy's relationship to literature will find this work highly rewarding.-Scott Duimstra, Capital Area Dist. Lib., Lansing, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

J. M. Coetzee, a recent recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, is very much a philosophical novelist whose work focuses on ethical themes, including the rights of animals, the problem of torture, reason, and race. He is one of the most important living writers, and judging by the extent of the secondary literature on his work, he may be the most influential. This collection of essays, for the most part written by professional philosophers, offers the first focused discussion of a number of different ethical themes in his writings. It is a tribute to Coetzee that several highly regarded academics have contributed to this volume. Robert Pippin's essay on the paradoxes of power in Coetzee's novels is excellent, as is Jonathan Lear's essay, which looks at Diary of a Bad Year, Coetzee's recent book on the shame of torture during the Bush administration. Karen Dawn and Peter Singer write on Coetzee's ethical perspectives on animals. The contributors to this volume are drawn from throughout the world--the US, Australia, South Africa, and Europe--and again, this is testimony to Coetzee's significance as a writer who grasps the ethical complexities of contemporary life. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty. R. White Creighton University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University. <p>

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