Sublime Abjection

Mark Mathuray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Mark Mathuray’s contribution ‘Sublime Abjection’:
Another standout article, this posits that Coetzee’s lesser-studied
novel Foe can be read in terms of what Mathuray terms ‘the stalled
sublime’: ‘a rupture, a stalling of the sublime movement, which
presents an intervention of the transcendent and hence interpretative
fixity’ (p.161). This refusal of Coetzee’s work to submit to
unambiguous interpretations, argues Mathuray, is central to its
ongoing relevance: its ability to perpetually challenge ‘the reconciling
fiction of a transcendent escape from the quotidian’ (p.169).Although
appearing in the ‘Theory’ section, Mathuray’s article shares several The
key characteristics with Attridge’s: the recognition of the centrality of
the concept of the everyday to Coetzee’s politics; the reading of
non-canonical texts; and the presentation of a theoretical position
that argues persuasively against broader currents within Coetzee
scholarship. Mathuray’s article also deserves credit for its perceptive analysis
of the ways in which Coetzee’s work tends to challenge borders, be
they racial, social or class-based; or, more generally, between nature
and culture. (From The Kelvingrove Review Issue 7).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJ.M. Coetzee in context and theory
EditorsElleke Boehmer, Robert Eaglestone, Katy Iddiols
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-0-8264-9883-0, 978-1-4411-0111-2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Coetzee, Foe, Sublime, Abjection, Sacred, Kant, Friday

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