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julianmeynell

Julian Meynell's Books

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Coetzee's Foe

Foe - J.M. Coetzee

In this very slim book, probably really a novella, Coetzee tells the story of Susan Barton who becomes shipwrecked on Robinson Crusoe's island with Cruso and Friday.  She is then rescued and tells the story to Daniel Foe (a stand in for Defoe).

The book is written in the first person from Susan Barton and directed toward another, usually Foe.  The book is about the appropriation of narrative.  It has a weird dreamlike feel to it, that is almost like some of the dreamiest bits of Kafka.  I suppose it is a metaphor for the appropriation of colonial peoples by their colonizers.  I don't think that it is a fantastic book on oppression through appropriation of narrative.  Pale Fire is far far better.

I did like the dreamy bits and the bits that weren't clearly about anything best.  My least favorite Coetzee book so far, but it is well written and absorbing.  However, I suspect that I will completely forget it quite soon.