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‘Why will he not join the guerrillas?’ J. M. Coetzee’s Michael K (1983) and the Politics of the Postcolonial Novel

Dean, A; (2019) ‘Why will he not join the guerrillas?’ J. M. Coetzee’s Michael K (1983) and the Politics of the Postcolonial Novel. MFS: Modern Fiction Studies , 65 (4) pp. 676-699. 10.1353/mfs.2019.0049.

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Abstract

I explore the contest between anticolonial and postcolonial criticism in the mid-1980s, focusing on the composition and reception of J. M. Coetzee’s 1983 novel Life & Times of Michael K. Drawing on extensive archival evidence, I show that Coetzee himself negotiated these two modes of political evaluation in the novel. He was particularly concerned with how his novel might appear to endorse postcolonial literary thought and what the political consequences of this might be. In the exuberant work that results, he draws on the affordances of literary form to escape schematic political rationalizations of either account.

Type: Article
Title: ‘Why will he not join the guerrillas?’ J. M. Coetzee’s Michael K (1983) and the Politics of the Postcolonial Novel
DOI: 10.1353/mfs.2019.0049
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1353/mfs.2019.0049
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > SHS Faculty Office
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > SHS Faculty Office > UCL Institute for Advanced Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10078884
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