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Waiting for the Barbarians: Great Books Edition (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century)


Waiting for the Barbarians: Great Books Edition (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) Cover

ISBN13: 9780140283358
ISBN10: 0140283358
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Set in an isolated outpost on the edge of a great Empire, WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS is a startling allegory of the war between oppressor and oppressed. The Magistrate, the novel's fascinating narrator, has been a loyal servant of the Empire, running the affairs of the frontier settlement, dabbling in antiquarianism, and ignoring constant reports of a threat from the "barbarians" who inhabit the uncharted deserts beyond the village. But when military personnel arrive with captured barbarians, he becomes witness to a cruel and unjust defense of the Empire. Outraged and, with military command controlling his village, powerless to prevent the persecution of the barbarians, he finds himself involved in an affair with one of the victims, a girl crippled, blinded, and orphaned by the torturers. Their relationship, intimate but devoid of true understanding, finally pushes him to a quixotic act of rebellion that brands him an enemy of the state. Rendered in an austere but richly suggestive prose, Coetzee's novel addresses universal political and philosophical issues of power and justice.

About the Author

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, on February 9, 1940, John Michael Coetzee studied first at Cape Town and later at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a Ph.D. degree in literature. In 1972 he returned to South Africa and joined the faculty of the University of Cape Town. His works of fiction include Dusklands, Waiting for the Barbarians, which won South Africa's highest literary honor, the Central News Agency Literary Award, and the Life and Times of Michael K., for which Coetzee was awarded his first Booker Prize in 1983. He has also published a memoir, Boyhood: Scenes From a Provincial Life, and several essays collections. He has won many other literary prizes including the Lannan Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize and The Irish Times International Fiction Prize. In 1999 he again won Britain's prestigious Booker Prize for Disgrace, becoming the first author to win the award twice in its 31-year history. In 2003, Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

lukas, May 10, 2015 (view all comments by lukas)
"Thus the expeditionary forces against the barbarians prepares for its campaign, ravaging the earth, wasting our patrimony."
A powerful, disturbing, and resonant tale from the South African Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee. Coetzee takes on one of the great themes of the 20th century: empire. Told in the first person by an unnamed magistrate in a colonial town, the book interrogates the myths of empire and imperialism and the way it infects both those involved in spreading it and its victims (the "barbarians" of the title). There are echoes of writers like Conrad, Orwell, and Greene, all of whom explored similar territories, but it may Kafka who is the key influence on Coetzee and his work as the same allegorical power and strangeness as the melancholy Czech. Also see "Disgrace" and "Life and Time of Michael K." "It's the fault of Empire!"
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Hazel Dawn, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Hazel Dawn)
I was engaged in this book from the very first paragraph. The protagonist was complete,whole and in character at all times. He did astounding things, yet always believable.
The book was a wonderful example how colonialism (slavery), results in the degadation of the owned people, as well as the most empathetic of the government officials.
I have read many books the last couple of years and this is the one I could not forget; I could bring it forth in my mind with astounding clarity, at any time.
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Product Details

Coetzee, J. M.
Penguin Books
Coetzee, J. M.
New York :
Colonial administrators
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
8.42x5.65x.50 in. .46 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Featured Titles » Nobel Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Waiting for the Barbarians: Great Books Edition (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 160 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140283358 Reviews:
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