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The Torture Room

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From J.M. Coetzee, "Into the Dark Chamber: The Novelist and South Africa" (1986)

The dark, forbidden chamber is the origin of novelistic
fantasy per se; in creating an obscenity, in enveloping it in mystery, the
state creates the preconditions for the novel to set about its work of
representation.

Yet there is something tawdry about following the state in
this way, making its vile mysteries the occasion of fantasy. For the writer the
deeper problem is not to allow himself to be impaled on the dilemma proposed by
the state, namely, either to ignore its obscenities or else to produce
representations of them.

Written by adswithoutproducts

March 30, 2005 at 1:31 am

Posted in literature

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