Philosophers writing on J. M. Coetzee’s literary project have described it as “realist-modernist”. This is due to a combination of the prose’s stylistic features and more substantial issues developed in his novels. Coetzee’s prose is extremely sober, compact, dry, and overtly self-conscious; it contains his reflections on features of the prose itself (a technique strongly associated with the great names of literary modernism) and on the historic-literary conflict between realism and modernism in the modern novel. In this paper, I discuss the relevance of Coetzee’s use of the split page in Diary of a Bad Year, focusing on its role in undermining “ersatz ethical thought”, and develop a model for explaining Coetzee’s realist modernism. This model is situated within a broader, self-critical project that traces the significance of my analysis for the form of philosophical discourse.
|Title of host publication||Philosophy in the Condition of Modernism|
|Editors||Ana Falcato, Antonio Cardiello|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|Number of pages||27|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|