Article View

Volume 1 Issue 6

November 2014

Fetishism in J. M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians
Mr. B.A. Elankathiravan, 
Assistant Professor, 
Department of English, 
Sethu Institute of Technology, 
Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu, India

Dr. D. Kalaichelvi, 
Associate Professor, 
Department of English, 
Sri Meenakshi Government Arts College for Women, 
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Most of the criticism on J. M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians centres on the allegorical possibilities of the novel, and while this approach is indeed useful and perhaps even the ultimate point on Coetzee's part, very little attention has been paid to the overt sexuality and eroticism of the novel outside of the metaphorical roles these issues play within the allegorical whole or wholes. What Coetzee does, though, is destabilize any attempts to read the novel fixedly as only those things, as a text that expounds virtue through allegory. Any mention of the controlling nature of the “gaps, absences, and uncertainties” is not a new idea. What has not had much attention is the notion of fetishism; that is, reading the novel as an allegory of body fetish. Consider what many critics have called the central image of the novel, the repeated scenes of ritual foot washing, rubbing, and massaging. On a very literal level these scenes are textbook examples of a foot fetish or a deformity/disfigurement fetish. Coetzee uses the body to destabilize any absolute certainty of the public/political or universal.
Fetishism; J.M. Coetzee; Waiting for the Barbarians.
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons

Recent Articles

About us

sample 2

Progressive Publishers is a novice publishing enterprise located at Tranquebar, Tamilnadu, India. It primarily publishes university text-books for efficient English language learning and an online scholarly journal entitled Literary Quest. Its primary goal is to promote progressive, secular, socialist and egalitarian thoughts among academicians, researchers and students of English literature. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Social Justice are the ideals upon which the whole enterprise rests.