Download J. M. Coetzee and Ethics: Philosophical Perspectives on by Peter Singer, Anton Leist PDF

By Peter Singer, Anton Leist

N 2003, South African author J. M. Coetzee used to be presented the Nobel Prize in Literature for his riveting portrayals of racial repression, sexual politics, the guises of cause, and the hypocrisy of humans towards animals and nature. Coetzee was once credited with being "a scrupulous doubter, ruthless in his feedback of the tough rationalism and beauty morality of western civilization." The movie of his novel shame, starring John Malkovich, introduced his tough rules to a brand new audience.

Anton Leist and Peter Singer have assembled a superb team of individuals who probe deeply into Coetzee's huge and amazing corpus. They discover his method of moral conception and philosophy and pay specific realization to his illustration of the human-animal courting. additionally they confront Coetzee's depiction of the common stipulations of lifestyles, the origins of morality, the popularity of price in others, the sexual dynamics among women and men, the normality of suppression, and the potential of equality in postcolonial society. With its wide-ranging attention of philosophical concerns, specifically with regards to fiction, this quantity stands by myself in its striking trade of moral and literary inquiry.

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Extra info for J. M. Coetzee and Ethics: Philosophical Perspectives on Literature

Sample text

He washes the girl, cleans her feet, anoints her with oil, and sleeps with her, but they do not have sex. All this is not completely straightforward. He claims to want to understand her, to “decipher” what the marks of torture on her body mean, much as he tried to decipher what appear to be texts on slips of paper that he has found from an T H E PA RA D OX ES O F P OW E R I N T H E E A R LY NOVELS 35 ancient barbarian culture. But he “reads” her that way, as a text. He thinks of himself as loving her (74), but he makes no attempt to learn her language, to converse with her as a fellow subject.

20. Cf. ” (130, my emphasis) 21. Coetzee, Doubling the Point, 59. Note especially his remarks about film, the speed of narration, and its relation to the novel. 22. Magda says that she wants “my story to have a beginning, a middle, and an end,” and she fears she will live only in “the yawning middle without end” (43). Later she says, “Lyric is my medium, not chronicle” (71). 23. See Coetzee’s agreement that it is no part of his intention in In the Heart of the Country to “dissolve” the problems of selfhood and relationship “into postmodernist gameplaying” (Doubling the Point, 60); P.

Of course some of this might inevitably have something to do with what can be rationally defended, justified without reliance on particular interest or bias. We can certainly come to care about such a standard a great deal and base a great deal on it. But there is no a priori reason to think that such a consideration always and everywhere trumps other ways of mattering, other stakes and investments, and there is no reason to think that we could ever agree on what counts as the actualization of such a standard.

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