jueves, marzo 16, 2006


Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness
Alejo Carpentier Los pasos perdidos


Coetzee, Foe

Said, Orientalism


Mensaje nº. 66
Fecha: Miércoles, Marzo 1, 2006 12:09pm

I think Foe is an epistemological novel, say, a novel about how we can -or cannot- know,
and thus, a philosophical novel. The unreliability of the narrators is metaphorically talking
about the unreliability of reality itself: Susan is an engaged author, she wants to tell the
truth, but she is not aware of her own prejudices, perhaps just like all of us. The novel is
an invitation to criticism, but I don't think it is finally very optimistic; anyway, progress
doesn't exist in philosophy, since the same questions are always asked and remain
unanswered. Heidegger said poetry could go further than systematic philosophy in such
an uncertain and basic field as ontology (to be or not to be), and I think this work does
do that essential work. But if anything is clear about that 'essence' is that reality is not
fixed, its terms are interchangeable. The novel is full of crossroads -that are in fact
crosswords (facts are words and words are facts -artifacts). But I'll try to understand what I have
just said in another occasion: finding the words is not so easy.

Asunto: plotless plot
Mensaje nº. 22 [Respuesta de: nº. 21]
Fecha: Domingo, Noviembre 20, 2005 5:01pm
when I said argument I wanted to say plot, but I realize the novel lacks plot in a certain
way. Defoe's Robinson Crusoe has a plot, but Susan doesn't want to make up a plot, the
plot is artificial, she wants the truth. But like in Unamuno's Niebla (not a novela but a
nivola) the protagonist agonizes -fights, etimologically- in front of the author, who, like
Foe is inside the novel, but there is another one outside, and maybe inside too, Coetzee
himself. Foe says to Susan he hasn't paid some actors to act as characters of her (true,
fictional?) life. Isn't Coetzee the master that moves the king, the queen, the fool, to
make us play with him? The novel is very much a metanovel, writing about writing; in
fact, as novel lacks an accurate definition, we can find everything under that name.
What I want to say is that maybe Susan's novel lacked a plot, and needed one, and
that's why her daughter has appeared, and the other 'actors'. But, isn't Friday's life like
that? His life is told by someone else, he lacks everything, he isn't. What are we, as
human beeings? Do we need a plot to hold on? Who tells our story? Is it told by an idiot?

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