Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Beyond the Ancient QuarrelLiterature, Philosophy, and J.M. Coetzee$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Patrick Hayes and Jan Wilm

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805281

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805281.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 November 2020

Coetzee’s Quest for Reality

Coetzee’s Quest for Reality

(p.125) 8 Coetzee’s Quest for Reality
Beyond the Ancient Quarrel

Alice Crary

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, Alice Crary argues that a truly ‘realist’ work of literature might be one that, instead of conforming to familiar genre-specifications, attempts by other means to expose readers to the real—that is, to how things really are. Crary highlights Coetzee’s efforts to elicit what she calls ‘transformative thought’: a process that involves both delineating the progress of individual characters in their quests for reality, and, in formal terms, inviting readers to, for instance, imaginatively participate in such quests. With regard to The Childhood of Jesus, she highlights resonances between these features of Coetzee’s writing and Wittgenstein’s procedures in the Philosophical Investigations. In doing so, Crary brings out a respect in which literature and philosophy are complementary discourses: literature can deal in the sort of objective or universal truth that is philosophy’s touchstone, and philosophical discourse can have an essentially literary dimension.

Keywords:   Realism, genres, reality, transformative thought, The Childhood of Jesus, Wittgenstein

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .