Giving Offense Essays on Censorship

ISBN-10: 0226111768
ISBN-13: 9780226111766
Edition: N/A
Authors: J. M. Coetzee
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Description: Winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. J. M. Coetzee presents a coherent, unorthodox analysis of censorship from the perspective of one who has lived and worked under its shadow. The essays collected here attempt to understand the passion  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.00
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 11/8/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 297
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.836

Winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. J. M. Coetzee presents a coherent, unorthodox analysis of censorship from the perspective of one who has lived and worked under its shadow. The essays collected here attempt to understand the passion that plays itself out in acts of silencing and censoring. He argues that a destructive dynamic of belligerence and escalation tends to overtake the rivals in any field ruled by censorship. From Osip Mandelstam commanded to compose an ode in praise of Stalin, to Breyten Breytenbach writing poems under and for the eyes of his prison guards, to Aleksander Solzhenitsyn engaging in a trial of wits with the organs of the Soviet state, Giving Offense focuses on the ways authors have historically responded to censorship. It also analyzes the arguments of Catharine MacKinnon for the suppression of pornography and traces the operations of the old South African censorship system. "The most impressive feature of Coetzee's essays, besides his ear for language, is his coolheadedness. He can dissect repugnant notions and analyze volatile emotions with enviable poise."--Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review "Those looking for simple, ringing denunciations of censorship's evils will be disappointed. Coetzee explicitly rejects such noble tritenesses. Instead . . . he pursues censorship's deeper, more fickle meanings and unmeanings."--Kirkus Reviews "These erudite essays form a powerful, bracing criticism of censorship in its many guises."--Publishers Weekly "Giving Offense gets its incisive message across clearly, even when Coetzee is dealing with such murky theorists as Bakhtin, Lacan, Foucault, and Reneacute;; Girard. Coetzee has a light, wry sense of humor."--Bill Marx, Hungry Mind Review "An extraordinary collection of essays."--Martha Bayles, New York Times Book Review "A disturbing and illuminating moral expedition."--Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times Book Review

J.M. Coetzee's full name is John Michael Coetzee. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1940, Coetzee is a writer and critic who uses the political situation in his homeland as a backdrop for many of his novels. Coetzee published his first work of fiction, Dusklands, in 1974. Another book, Boyhood, loosely chronicles an unhappy time in Coetzee's childhood when his family moved from Cape Town to the more remote and unenlightened city of Worcester. Other Coetzee novels are In the Heart of the Country and Waiting for the Barbarians. Coetzee's critical works include White Writing and Giving Offense: Essays on Censorship. Coetzee is a two-time recipient of the Booker Prize and in 2003, he won the Nobel Literature Award.

Preface and Acknowledgments
Taking Offense
Emerging from Censorship
Lady Chatterley's Lover: The Taint of the Pornographic
The Harms of Pornography: Catharine MacKinnon
Erasmus: Madness and Rivalry
Osip Mandelstam and the Stalin Ode
Censorship and Polemic: Solzhenitsyn
Zbigniew Herbert and the Figure of the Censor
Apartheid Thinking
The Work of the Censor: Censorship in South Africa
The Politics of Dissent: Andre Brink
Breyten Breytenbach and the Reader in the Mirror Notes Works
Cited Index

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