Reads the writings of J.M. Coetzee against the democratic culture of neoliberalism and examines how, by aesthetic means, he enters a range of nuanced, subtly inflected differences with the dominant culture, and how his readers can enter them via attention to his work.
Levertijd: 5 tot 10 werkdagen
This book presents J. M. Coetzee's work as a complex, nuanced counterblast to contemporary, global, neoliberal economics and its societies. Not surprisingly, given his many years in South Africa and Australia, Coetzee writes from a `global-Southern' perspective. Drawing on a wealth of literature, philosophy, and theory, the book reads Coetzee's writings as a discreet, oblique but devastating engagement with neoliberal presumptions. It identifies and focuses on
various key features of neoliberal culture: its obsession with self-enrichment, mastery, growth; its belief in plenitude, endless resources; its hubris and obsession with (self)-promotion; its desire for ease and easiness, `well-being', euphoria; its fetishization of managerial reason and the culture of
security; its unrelenting positivity, its belief in illusory goods and trivial progressivisms. By contrast, Coetzee's writings explore the virtues of irony and self-reduction. He commits himself to difficulty, discomfort, patient and austere, if bleak, inquiry, rigorous questioning, and radical doubt. Destitution and failure come to look like a serious, dignified form of life and thought. The very tones of Coetzee's books run counter to those of our neoliberal democracies. They point in a
different direction to an age that has gone astray.