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Title: Metaphors of the body in the fiction of J.M. Coetzee
Author: Kosecki, Jan
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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This dissertation investigates the role played by the image of the body that features prominently in Coelzee's novels. In a series of close readings and utilising the tools of cognitive linguistics, it argues that the image creates meaning because of the employment of two conceptual metaphors, TRUTH IS IN A CONTAINER and BODY IS A CONTAINER, which endow the represented body with the attributes of truth. The meaning is then created through the foregrounding of the body (most commonly in the images of mutilation, disability and disease), through the use of the image as a blended space (a signifying body) and through the situating of the image as the narrative foca1 point, an object of scrutinity and interpretation. Such use of the image aids in interpreting the body as a container for truth, a kernel of human identity, a source of thought and morally purposive action. This often leads to interpreting the image of the body allegorically and partly explains the nature of the critical reception of Coetzee's novel s. The dissertation is divided into four chapters. Chapter) presents the history and theory of thinking about the metaphor from Aristotle to cognitive linguistics with an emphasis on the context-based understanding of metaphor and on its cognitive value. The final section of this chapter presents the author's engagement with the ideas expressed in Derek Attridge's J.M. Coetzee and the Ethics of Reading. Chapter 2 presents the problem of reading and interpreting the body on the example of Waiting for the Barbarians and Life and Times of Michael K. Chapter 3 analyses corporeal metaphors and gender symbolism in history through the reading of Dusklands and The Age of Iron. Chapter 4 presents Foe and Master of Petersburg as examples of the representation of literary thinking, creation and interpretation of bodily experience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available