De-authoring or Authoring?: A plunge into the question of authorship and language in J.M. Coetzee's Foe

Bertacchini, Lisa (2016) De-authoring or Authoring?: A plunge into the question of authorship and language in J.M. Coetzee's Foe. [Laurea], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Mediazione linguistica interculturale [L-DM270] - Forli', Documento ad accesso riservato.
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J. M. Coetzee's Foe is not only a post-colonial novel, but it is also a re-writing of a classic, and its main themes are language, authorship, power and identity. Moreover, Foe is narrated by a woman, while written by a male, Nobel prize winning South African author. The aim of my tesina is to focus on the question of authorship and the role of language in Foe. Without any claim to be exhaustive, in the first section I will examine some selected extracts of Coetzee's book, in order to provide an analysis of the novel. These quotations will mainly be its metalinguistic parts and will be analysed in the “theory” sections of my work, relying on literary theory and on previous works on the novel. Among others, I will cover themes such as the relationship between speech and writing, the connection between writing, history, and memory, the role of silence and alternative ways of communicating and the relationship between literary authority and truth. These arguments will be the foundation for my second section, in which I will attempt to shed a light on the importance of the novel from a linguistic point of view, but always keeping an eye on the implication that this has on authorship. While it is true that it is less politically-permeated than Coetzee's previous works, Foe is above all a “journey of discovery” in the world of language and authorship. In fact, it becomes a warning for any person immersed in the ocean of language since, while everyone naturally tends to trust speech and writing as the only medium through which one can get closer to the truth, authority never is a synonym of reliability, and language is a system of communication behind which structures of power, misconceptions, lies, and treacherous tides easily hide.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea)
Autore della tesi
Bertacchini, Lisa
Relatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Authorship, Language, Coetzee, Foe, Truth, Postcolonialism, Silence, Phallogocentrism
Data di discussione della Tesi
12 Luglio 2016

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