The hearerly text: Sea shells on the sea shore
TL;DR: In this article, an intertextual approach to J.M. Coetzee's Foe through five French texts in the wake of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe is presented.
Abstract: Summary This essay is an intertextual approach to J.M. Coetzee's Foe through five French texts in the wake of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. A discussion of the departures from Defoe's text in the dating and location of the island adventure as a topos establishes that the French narrative texts eliminate polemic relations. These texts however fail to extricate themselves from the hypotext through the figure of Robinson Crusoe who remains a fiction of the self developing as a subject within the topos of the desert isle. Emancipation from and subversion of the hypotext is rather achieved through the figure of Friday who emerges as an equal or a desirable alternative to be copied, but remains an object in a white man's discourse. An analysis of the treatment of the black man's language by Defoe and J.M. Coetzee establishes that, in the fiction of Robinson Crusoe, Friday can only be a parrot or a mute. The third (female) figure of Susan Barton in Foe allows the South African writer to introduce a “middle voi...
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