Foe (novel) - Nobel Acceptance Speech

Nobel Acceptance Speech

In 2003, when Coetzee was awarded a Nobel prize in literature, he revisited the theme of composition as self-definition in his acceptance speech, entitled "He and his Man". Coetzee, who had lectured in character before, narrated a situation in which an elderly Crusoe quietly living in Bristol becomes the ambivalent muse of Defoe. According to The Guardian, this act of composition "write "Defoe into existence, rather than the other way around." Although Crusoe is the narrator of the piece, Coetzee indicated he did not know whether Crusoe or Defoe represented him in the lecture. By contrast, he clearly identified himself with Barton in Foe: "the unsuccessful author—worse authoress."

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