Volume 6 Issue.1: 2019 Page No 10-24




1Research Scholar, Department of English, Shri Venketeshwar University, Gajraula, UP.
2Associate Professor, Department of English, Shri Venketeshwar University, Gajraula, UP.
3Dhanauri Degree College, Dhanauri, Roorkee



J.M. Coetzee is one of the greatest novelists of 21st century. He was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on 9 February 1940, the elder of two children. J.M. Coetzee is a South African novelist, essayist, linguist, translator and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1963, he was awarded a Master of Arts degree from UCT for a dissertation on the novels of Ford Madox Ford. His experiences in English were later recounted in Youth (2002), his second volume of fictionalized memoirs. In his first novel Dusklands (1974), Coetzee focuses on two setting: one, the US States Department during the Vietnam era and the other, stories of exploration and conquest of Southern Africa in the 1970's by a man named Jocabus Coetzee. These two vastly different locations work together to bring out the alarm and paranoia of aggressors no matter what the location and to show the unthinkable ways in which dominant groups impose their ways upon other culture.

His second novel, In the Heart of the Country (1977), delves in the complex relationships that form between the colonizer and the colonized. It takes place on a desolate form in South Africa told through the perspective of an intelligent yet meek European woman. She clashes with her father when he takes an African mistress, causing a rift that leads towards vengeance, violence and a muddling of her own relationship with the Africans.

His third novel, Waiting for Barbarians he tells a story of a Magistrate who lives peacefully in a garrison of the Empire which is located in the frontier of a country which from time to time has been attacked by barbarians. South Africa is never mentioned in the novel though suggested. The arrival of a general from the big city, however, it brings horror to the town dragging in barbarians to be tortured. This reveals plots against the Empire. Soon after, the Magistrate attracted to one of the barbarians women. She has been left one- eyed and injured in one foot. The Magistrate takes care of her and the gossip spreads among the settlers. The Magistrate is punished by the Empire. He has exposed to public shame, isolated, tortured.  Then he made ‘attack plans' with the barbarians and the women, and finally freed, but condemned to live like a beggar. With the same electrical intensity of language and insight that he brought to Waiting for the Barbarians and The Master of Petersburg, J. M. Coetzee reinvents the story of Robinson Crusoe and in so doing, directs our attention to the seduction and tyranny of storytelling itself. His first novel to win the Booker prize The Life and Times of Michael.

Keyword: J.M. Coetzee, Petersburg, Barbarians, Magistrate