"Not the Story You Wanted to Hear:" Reading Chick-Lit in J.M. Coetzee's Summertime

"Not the Story You Wanted to Hear:" Reading Chick-Lit in J.M. Coetzee's Summertime

Author: 
Moonsamy, Nedine
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2017
Record type: 
Responsibility: 
Spencer, Lynda Gichanda, jt. author
Journal Title: 
Social Dynamics
Source: 
Social Dynamics Vol 43 No 3 October 2017 pp 435-450
Abstract: 

J.M. Coetzee’s Summertime has been widely explored – both for its controversy and merits – as engaging in “acts of genre” where the inscription of an autobiographical narrative simultaneously serves as a metatextual and ideological critique of its form. Similarly, this article is intrigued by generic instability, but our terrain lies further afield, exploring how the narrative lapses from the lofty ideals of romance to the baser “truth” of chick-lit. In Summertime, all the female characters besmirch Mr. Vincent, the biographer, for wanting to cast John Coetzee in the role of a romantic hero. Yet, their resistance results in a series of romantic failures which then situates Summertime in the generic ambit of chick-lit. In embodying a spirit that is as playful as it is critical, we suggest that Coetzee offers an opportunity to cast aside a literary critical tradition of suspicion and, in doing so, passes critical comment on how we approach a popular genre like chick-lit.

Language: 

CITATION: Moonsamy, Nedine. "Not the Story You Wanted to Hear:" Reading Chick-Lit in J.M. Coetzee's Summertime . Oxon : Taylor & Francis Group , 2017. Social Dynamics Vol 43 No 3 October 2017 pp 435-450 - Available at: http://library.au.int/not-story-you-wanted-hear-reading-chick-lit-jm-coetzees-summertime