Oltre la "vergogna". Coetzee (ri)legge Kafka
In "Waiting for the Barbarians" and "Life and Times of Michael K." there are indications of Kafka’s influence on Coetzee’s writing: the use of the allegory and the rarefied atmospheres are just some of the echoes of the Bohemian author. In "Elizabeth Costello", Coetzee dedicates a whole chapter ('At the Gate') to Kafka, since the imagery of the main character waiting by the Law’s threshold is very similar to the one Kafka used in "Vor dem Gesetz" and in "Der Prozess". The difference between Kafka’s and Coetzee’s protagonists, beside the shared similarities, is that in Coetzee, characters follow a path, a real Bildung which brings them to the questioning of their own certainties and to the acknowledgment of other beings. If critics individualised some parallels between "Waiting for the Barbarians" and "Beim Bau der chinesischen Mauer", some intertextual references could be found as well in "Disgrace", whose ending appears to demonstrate Coetzee’s possible reading of his own novel as an answer to "Der Prozess". This is the main thesis the author wants to discuss in this article. "Disgrace"’s main character, David Lurie, shares many features with Joseph K., starting with his parable-like life. Coetzee reads and re-invents Kafka, turning his themes inside out.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Gianluca Paolucci, “Oltre la "vergogna". Coetzee (ri)legge Kafka", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, XV (2009), pp. 175-198