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J. M. Coetzee Foe (3) Writing, Identity and History J. M. Coetzee Foe (3) Writing, Identity and History

Outline Starting Questions Structure of the Novel Story-telling and writing Susan’s desire & purposes Outline Starting Questions Structure of the Novel Story-telling and writing Susan’s desire & purposes Her story-telling and Her writing vs. Foe’s The central mysteries Ways of making sense of the past Friday and his language Diving into the Wreck

Starting Questions What do you think of Susan Barton’s rejection of the young girl Starting Questions What do you think of Susan Barton’s rejection of the young girl named Susan Barton? What do you think about the depiction of Friday? Should he be mute and irresponsive? What do you think about the ending? Who is the narrator? Why is it repetitive? How do we deal with our own Island-isolation (71); confinement (81); lack of knowledge about the past; Emptiness & “substance” of existence. (82; 152)

Foe: Structure Chap 1: her experience on the island; (Barton’s “speech” to Foe) Chap Foe: Structure Chap 1: her experience on the island; (Barton’s “speech” to Foe) Chap 2: Barton and Friday in London (epistolary form) in Clock Lane, Foe’s attic; writing letters to Foe & waiting • • the young girl pp. 72 – 77; Speech to Friday 77 -87 To Foe pp. 87 –on writing; To the forest with the girl 89 – To Foe -- Robe and Friday’s dance Attempts to teach Friday –music 95 - 97; Set Friday free

Foe: Structure Chap 3: Barton & Friday in Foe’s hiding place, Struggle for authorship Foe: Structure Chap 3: Barton & Friday in Foe’s hiding place, Struggle for authorship (B’s narration) 1. Susan and Foe 1. 2. discussion of plot; Three parables of women and writing: 1) deathbed confession; 2) daughter as a way to extend one’s life; 3) Barton’s: Muse as both goddess and begetter Meeting the girl again Muse and sex 2. Friday’s silence -The untold stories buried in Friday teaching him to write “Africa, ” “House” “Mother”

Foe: Structure Chap 4: from Foe’s attic to “dive into the sea wrecks”; a Foe: Structure Chap 4: from Foe’s attic to “dive into the sea wrecks”; a first-person narration Repetition– in the attic and under the sea; listening for Friday’s voice. Variation – from voices of the island to an ongoing stream

Barton’s Desire and Purposes Sense of urgency, getting the story told is her primary Barton’s Desire and Purposes Sense of urgency, getting the story told is her primary concern Purposes: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Memory –longing for the island; Survival; Fame and Immortality; Money to send Friday back to Africa; Identity: acquire “substance” of her identity (51) –not just a fictional character

Barton’s story-telling sense of immediacy: address to “you” –Foe, the girl, Friday expecting audience Barton’s story-telling sense of immediacy: address to “you” –Foe, the girl, Friday expecting audience response (7) Re-telling the stories to remember them (repetition p. 5; 11; Friday’s tongue) “imagine” things into existence: p. 49; 53, 61, etc. Wants her story to be “truthful” 40; acknowledge her ignorance.

Barton’s writing: multiple interpretation (applications) Moment to assume writing position: p. 65 Need to Barton’s writing: multiple interpretation (applications) Moment to assume writing position: p. 65 Need to explain Friday’s loss of tongue (blank page) multiple interpretation (Cruso or slave trader, mutilation or tribal custom) 1. Two paintings & Friday’s past pp. 68 -69; 842. The use of “kiss” and “desire” in communicating with Friday p. 79; -81;

Barton’s writing: reconstruction Like their work on the terraces 87 Like a painter –adding Barton’s writing: reconstruction Like their work on the terraces 87 Like a painter –adding hues to show contrast //episodes and their hidden meanings Establishing the poles, the here and there easy 93

Barton’s writing vs. Foe’s the more “dramatic” elements – cannibal, musket, carpenter’s chest, younger Barton’s writing vs. Foe’s the more “dramatic” elements – cannibal, musket, carpenter’s chest, younger Cruso, love for Barton p. 83

Barton’s writing vs. Foe’s Susan – wants to be her own author different plots Barton’s writing vs. Foe’s Susan – wants to be her own author different plots –reunion of mother and daughter, or survival on an island; Chap 3– p. 129 meets the young girl with her nurse Amy struggle for authorship/ownership

Barton’s authorship vs. Foe’s 1. The “daughter” episode: 1. 2. p. 131 “I am Barton’s authorship vs. Foe’s 1. The “daughter” episode: 1. 2. p. 131 “I am a free woman who asserts her freedom by telling her story according to her own desire. ” (p. 133 daughter like ghost coming back to life -losing her sense of authorship )– “now all my life grows to be story and there is nothing of my own left to me. ” 2. Three stories muse as begetter 3. Sex: Foe’s “preying” on the living; 1. 2. p. 150 Foe as a slaver turning his deaf ear to Susan p. 152 Susan thinks of Foe “as a mistress, as a wife. ”

Acknowledges her lack of understanding The central mysteries pp. 83 - 87 the terraces Acknowledges her lack of understanding The central mysteries pp. 83 - 87 the terraces –like tombs The tongue pp. 84; Friday’s submission No desire The scattering of petals

Ways of making sense of the past Foe – p. 135 -- also lost Ways of making sense of the past Foe – p. 135 -- also lost in the maze of doubting Make a sign of one’s blindness and return to it all the time. “plant a sign or marker in the ground where I stand so that in my future wanderings I shall have something to return to, . . . the more often I come back to the mark, . . . the more certainly I know I am lost. . . ” (135 -36)

Friday and his language/silence Multiple interpretation of his (lack of) response (1) Forever enslaved Friday and his language/silence Multiple interpretation of his (lack of) response (1) Forever enslaved After the “unnatural years” with Cruso, he is like “an animal wrapt entirely in itself” (70) ; eternal obedience? 98;

Friday and his language/silence (2) His silence= loss 1. Like a whale and a Friday and his language/silence (2) His silence= loss 1. Like a whale and a spider p. 59; 2. Connection to the time before Cruso p. 60; true stories buried in him (118) 3. Tongue (vs. heart)– a member of play (85) 4. “defenseless” silence (p. 121)

Friday’s languages & Identity (3) Has his languages but cannot communicate with them 1. Friday’s languages & Identity (3) Has his languages but cannot communicate with them 1. Dance – 92 2. Bass recorder 3. Dance like Friday 103 -104— understanding him –”seeing” 119

Teaching Friday Teaching him to write – is teaching him white’s language a way Teaching Friday Teaching him to write – is teaching him white’s language a way to establish identity? Susan—understands him, and acknowledges her lack of complete understanding: Is he stupid or laughing at me? 146; Foe – not teaching him is to keep his desires dark to us; Susan – “He desires to be liberated, and I do too. ” 148

Friday’s languages & identity Susan – teaches him but questions language How does he Friday’s languages & identity Susan – teaches him but questions language How does he know “freedom”? How is Friday to recover his freedom? Are we free? “There will always be a voice in him to whisper doubts, whether in words or nameless sounds or tunes or tones. ” (149) Friday is not free, but he is not in subjection. 150

Diving into the “Wreck” Twice (p. 142 “It is for us to open Friday’s Diving into the “Wreck” Twice (p. 142 “It is for us to open Friday’s mouth and hear what it holds: silence, perhaps, or a roar, ” Foe. “Who? ”) People – 1) straw-and-paper-like existence; their bodies; 2) A plague of the “author” with writing too small to read;

Diving into the “Wreck” Three times Friday 1) His heart, his body, 2) Scar Diving into the “Wreck” Three times Friday 1) His heart, his body, 2) Scar on his neck; (Susan’s writing) 1. the narrator diving to see the kraken, shark (or a guardian wrapped in rotting fabric) 1. Susan and the captain 2. What is this ship? the Middle Passage