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CFP: Writing in the Middle Voice: J. M. Coetzee's Fictions (6/15/06; collection)
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Call for papers
"Writing in the Middle Voice": J. M. Coetzee's Fictions
Delivering the Presentation Speech for the 2003 Nobel Prize in literature awarded to J.M.Coetzee, Per Wästberg himself a writer said: "To write is to awaken counter-voices within oneself, and to dare enter into dialogue with them. The dangerous attraction of the inner self is John Coetzee's theme: the senses and bodies of people, the interiority of Africa. "To imagine the unimaginable" is the writer's duty. As a post-modern allegorist, Coetzee knows that novels that do not seek to mimic reality best convince us that reality exists." These words not only speak volumes about Coetzee's art but also underline the compelling situation in which Coetzee, as a postcolonial author writes. If a creative writer is the conscience keeper of humanity we have many others like Coetzee in the annals of human history who have raised questions of ethics, justice, morality and value in a divided society. Even where these categories have no meaning they become forceful and effective when present!
Coetzee's novels follow the narrative strategy of "writing in the middle voice." In his words: "[t]o write (middle) is to carry out the action (or better, to do writing) with reference to the self" (Attwell Doubling 94). Macaskill's "Charting the Middle Voice: In the Heart of the Country" focuses on the "speculative linguistic" phenomena of the "middle voice", which is a writing position between the "active" (such as in the declaration "I write") and the passive ("it is written"). Thus it approximates Magda's ambivalent claim to be "the medium, the median" (HC 133) who is caught somewhere between seeing her existence as a series of "citational practices" or as real and "beyond" words themselves. Looking at the notion of the "middle voice" in Coetzee's writing, Dovey also argues that all Coetzee's novels are "always making reference to the self of writing" and that they "exploit the notion of the divided subject of Lacan, the split between text and narration, or utterance and!
Keeping in view the importance of Coetzee as a postcolonial author who is sensitive to many complex issues of a divided society and having a style of his own using in some cases autobiographical material, I would like to invite papers on his fictional works for a volume titled "Writing in the Middle Voice": J.M Coetzee's Fictions" to be published by December 2006. The contributors may select a theme for example gender, race, marginality and so on or write a theoretical paper on postcolonial condition and Coetzee's narrative voice or combine more than one work of Coetzee developing a thematic perspective or attempt a comparative essay. They may also write on individual texts. For the benefit of the contributors a full list of Coetzee's works is given below:
Dusklands . Ravan Press (Johannesburg), 1974
Last date for submission of articles is 15th June 2006. Please inform the editor on the title of your paper by the end of March 2006 to avoid duplication of articles on themes and texts. The articles should be sent through E-mail. If a hard copy is submitted a soft copy in Windows Word 98 or 2000 format should accompany it.
Note: Mere submission of an article does not guarantee inclusion of the same in the volume. At least two reviewers will review all submissions before the final selection is made. The decision of the editor is final in the selection of articles.
Editor of the volume: Kailash C. Baral
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