J.M. Coetzee

Winter 2016-2017


Brady Smith

J.M Coetzee is perhaps South Africa’s best-known novelist, not to mention an immensely popular figure in the contemporary world literary canon. But is Coetzee the South African author the same as Coetzee the giant of world literature? In what way does his place in South African literary history inform his reception as an essential part of global literary culture? This course puts Coetzee’s major novels in conversation with some of his key essays and criticism in order to provide students an intensive introduction of his broad and complex body of work. But it also brings Coetzee’s many different writings into dialogue with both some of the scholarship on his oeuvre and recent work on globalization and the production of world literature in order to examine the difference between Coetzee the South African novelist and Coetzee the world literary master. The wager of the course is that a close engagement with Coetzee and his career can develop key insights into the production and circulation of world literature in English as it exists today. (B, H)