After considering the haunting presence of shame in J.M. Coetzee’s writings, Susanna Zinato’s chapter valorizes the South African author’s several allusions to and familiarity with the conceptual ‘grammar’ of Attic tragedy, contending that the implication of the Greek paradigm is particularly strong in connection with the issue of shame and of the shameful plight suffered by those who are born into their Fathers’ crimes, unwillingly complicit with a system of oppression and violence. “The impius one brings down a curse upon his descendants; in return, his descendants curse his name”: this remark by the author’s alter-ego in Diary of a Bad Year, J C, constitutes the fil rouge of Zinato’s chapter, whose contention is that Magda and Elizabeth Curren, the white South African protagonists of In the Heart of the Country (1977) and of Age of Iron (1990) respectively, are tragic embodiments of those Coetzeean ‘lost subjects’ who, while accepting to live in the defiling shame of their gènos’ hubris, do not bow under its burden but, instead, rage against it ─ cursing their Fathers’ curse. More to the point, it is in the light of the Greek tragic concepts of miasma and “agent regret”, or hamartia, that Zinato turns to read Elizabeth’s cancer, Magda’s repulsive ugliness, as well as their ‘madness’ (both are perceived as mad by the world around them, both accuse the world around them of infectious madness).
|Titolo:||Cursing the Fathers' Curse: A Tragic Reading of White Shame in J.M. Coetzee's In the Heart of the Country and Age of Iron|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02.01 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|