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The Secret Aria on Shame: An Analysis of Narrative Structure and Theme in Coetzee's "Diary of a Bad Year"
Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, English.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Coetzee’s last novel Diary of a Bad Year (2007) has an intriguing triple-voiced narrative structure and deals with the grey area of shame. The narrative is divided between a writer, his written contribution to a book called “Strong Opinions”, and his secretary’s thoughts about both the opinions in the manuscript and her employer’s circumstances. This essay explores the relation between form and theme in Diary of a Bad Year; to see in what way these two fundamental elements of the novel intervene and support each other. By doing so the narrative structure is read through Freud’s structural model of personality, whereby each narrator’s voice is related to the notions of the super-ego, the ego and the id. In other words, this essay argues that the specific threefold narrative structure in Diary of a Bad Year, by reflecting the interrelated parts of human identity, helps in creating and developing the theme of shame, which only exists connected to the human psyche. This connection in turn gives special meaning to the entire narratology of the novel.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Falun, 2009. , 30 p.
Keyword [en]
Coetzee, shame, Freud, narrative structure
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-4208OAI: oai:dalea.du.se:4208DiVA: diva2:518720
Uppsok
Humanities, Theology
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-09-22 Created: 2009-09-22 Last updated: 2012-04-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf