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Opponents of World Literature fear that its advent marks the end of the ‘work of literature’. J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus (2013) presents a world in which the work of literature has indeed been forgotten. Migrants arrive in a new life ‘washed clean’ of the burden of the European tradition. Simón, who dimly recalls the old life, feels that something is missing in the new. He longs for something altogether ‘other’. Might Simón learn from the exceptional child David to perceive the ‘likeness’ in this world? Are we to read Coetzee’s novel like Simón or like David — and with what consequence for our understanding of the work of literature in a time of World Literature?
Title
The World after Fiction
Subtitle
J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus
Author(s)
Benjamin Lewis Robinson
Identifier
DOI Target
HTML Page
Description
Opponents of World Literature fear that its advent marks the end of the ‘work of literature’. J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus (2013) presents a world in which the work of literature has indeed been forgotten. Migrants arrive in a new life ‘washed clean’ of the burden of the European tradition. Simón, who dimly recalls the old life, feels that something is missing in the new. He longs for something altogether ‘other’. Might Simón learn from the exceptional child David to perceive the ‘likeness’ in this world? Are we to read Coetzee’s novel like Simón or like David — and with what consequence for our understanding of the work of literature in a time of World Literature?
Is Part Of
Place
Berlin
Publisher
ICI Berlin Press
Date
2021
Subject
world literature
otherness
singularity
Don Quixote
Jacques Derrida
Rights
© by the author(s)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Harvested
yes
Language
en-GB
short title
World after Fiction
page start
105
page end
126
Source
The Work of World Literature, ed. by Francesco Giusti and Benjamin Lewis Robinson, Cultural Inquiry, 19 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2021), pp. 105–26
Bibliographic Citation
Benjamin Lewis Robinson, ‘The World after Fiction: J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus’, in The Work of World Literature, ed. by Francesco Giusti and Benjamin Lewis Robinson, Cultural Inquiry, 19 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2021), pp. 105–26 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-19_05>
Format
application/pdf
application/pdf
application/pdf