Modernist Realism and its Enemies: John Coetzee and Philosophy

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Dispassionate and sober, J. M. Coetzee's prose is a space in which literary identities are continually unsettled, methodological subtleties both revealed and explored. Given these features, philosophers have described Coetzee's style as "modernist realist". 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". In the second part of the paper, I develop a model for explaining Coetzee's modernist realism. This model is situated within a broader, self-critical project that traces the significance of my analysis for the form of philosophical discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-38
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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