Foe

Nobel acceptance speech

When Coetzee was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature, he revisited the theme of composition as self-definition in his acceptance speech, entitled "He and his Man".[14] 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[s] "Defoe into existence, rather than the other way around."[14] Although Crusoe is the narrator of the piece, Coetzee indicated he did not know whether Crusoe or Defoe represented him in the lecture.[14] By contrast, he clearly identified himself with Barton in Foe: "the unsuccessful author—worse authoress."[15]


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