The role of embedded narratives in J. M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians
This article traces the textual elaboration and expansion of dreams as embedded narratives in J. M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians (1980). Drawing on Marie-Laure Ryan’s modal system, the objective is to lay bare Coetzee’s staging of the possibility of encountering the other in the world of dreams as the only domain that is not controlled by territorializing forces of the imperial state. Ryan’s modal system is used to differentiate the fantasy universe (F-universe) of the protagonist’s dreams as the only possible venue for such an encounter with the other. We suggest that such unauthorized (I-Thou) encounters – which closely accompany (and interact with) the events in the textual actual world (TAW) – widen the doubtful magistrate’s horizon of vision and facilitate his liberation by disconnecting him from the imperial state.
Keywords: J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians , possible worlds theory, Marie-Laure Ryan’s modal system, embedded narratives, F-universe
- 2.TAW and embedded narratives
- 3.The magistrate as the imperial subject within TAW
- 4.The deterritorialized realm of dreams: The dr(e)amatic encounter
Published online: 24 July 2020
Castillo, Debra A.
Gallagher, Susan VanZanten, and J. M. Coetzee
Moses, Michael Valdez
Nashef, Hania A. M.