Africa, that means situating us in tension between the universalist politics of equal dignity and the particularist politics of difference. Activists and polemicists would surely disagree, but Hayes argues that negotiating the complex equilibrium between individual and group identities and between private and public spheres is itself a profoundly moral and political action. Beckett does not make the kinds of topical allusions to passing laws and Bantustans that Coetzee does. Yet, if, like Hayes, one is concerned less with power blocs and electoral campaigns than with the politics of reading, The Unnamable (1953) is as political as Life and Times of Michael K. Moreover, the claim that Beckett left Coetzee stranded in an epistemological cul-de-sac is moot, except to the extent that Coetzee's belief that it was true motivated him to extricate himself. While it would be accurate to identify Molloy, The Unnamable, and Krapp as solipsists, if the reader of a Beckett text is trapped within a single consciousness, it is at least a much more agile and complex consciousness because of the reading itself. Hayes observes how, early in Disgrace, David Lurie tries, without success, to teach his bored students about the perfective forms of verbs.
Comparative Literature Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Dec 13, 2013