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Uniwersytet Warscawski Wydziat Neofilologii ACTA PHILOLOGICA 41 Warszawa 2012 Komisja Wydawnicza Wydziatu Neofilologii Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego: prof. dr hab, Barbara Kowalik (przewodniczgca) prof. dr hab. Botenna Bojar dr Jolanta Dygul dr Anna Gérajek ddr Lukase Gritemacher 4 Joanna Zurowska dr hab. Marek Paryé Redaktorzy tomu ‘prof dr hab, Barbara Kowalik dtr hab, Marck Paryé Strpona internetowa: bup://wwwactaneofilologia.uwedupl ISSN 0065-1524 © Wydzial Neofilologii Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego Wydanie I, naklad: 200 egz Eamanie’ Bartosz Mierzyiski Dystrybucja CHZ Ars Polona S.A. ul, Obroseéw 25 03-933 Warszawa tel. 22.509 86 43, fax 22 509 86 40 Druk: oprawa Sowa ~ Druk na ayezenie vwwwsowadruk pl tel. 22.431 81 40 Paulina Gregda A Novel about Novels? The Author, the Writer and the Character: Autorship in J.M. Coetzee’s Slow Man ‘Te problem of authorship and the sources of creative authority has been one ofthe central concerns in post-colonial literature but als, interestingly, one ofthe most contested construct in literary cxti- ism. Yet, few postcolonial works of fiction have placed the question of authorial agency, the mature of authorship itself and the relationship between the write, the text he authors and ite characters a the very core of their thematic concerns, In this respect, Slow Man, IM, Coetzee ist novel since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003, appears to be an exception, As Adams aserts, in his recent novel, Coetzee: “Seems at pain{.] to dismantle the mechanisms of his storytelling: to let the reader pull back the curtain a itle and see him at work on the levers of his fiction and witness his practised pressings of al the right buttons’ (2005). Indeed, both Slow Man's thematic choice, as well as its selection of narrative strategies, its recurrent employment ofintertextuality and extensive reliance on metafition continuous workings to unsetle borders between realty and fiction, all seem to be aimed at decon- uniques, as well asthe texts structing and exposing the very processes of producing fiction. Yet, the commentary that Coetzee’ work offers on the nature of teary authorship is not an unambiguous, univocal one. On the contrary, raving our attention to the multiplicity of agencies involved inthe creative process, the writer compels the readers to reconsider the received assumptions about the authorial sources of fctional narratives i hit by. bicycle ride in the streets of Adelaide, As result, he is badly injured and has his leg amputated above the knee, The remaining part of the novel will address the character’ struggle to come to terms with, bie newly ‘diminished’ concition or rather hie reluctance to adjust and his continuous refusal In Slow Man's opening scene, the main protagonist, Paul Rayment, car when taking @ mit himself to any course of action, The disaster proves to bea turning point in his life. Confined to his flat, immobilized, he feels his ‘universe has contracted (..] and will not expand again’ (Coetzee 2006: 25). Living alone and being let to his own devices, Paul needs the daily care of a nurse. After some intial dilfculties, a Croatian-born woman, Marijana Joki, i assigned as his caregiver. Offering him unsentimental attention, discreetly attending to all his needs, she quickly becomes an object of his misplaced love. Iris atthe moment right after Paul declares hs feelings to Marijana along with his willingness to extend his favours over the whole Jok family that another important character enters the novels scene. The visitor arives at Paul apartment unannounced and unexpected and introduces herself as Elizabeth Costello, Thowgh clearly unwelcome, she quickly takes residence with the ageing ‘man and through her decisive actions makes sure her role is properly recognised, (Clearly an intetextual reference tothe protagonist of Coetzee's previous novels, The Lives of An ‘mals and Elizabeth Costello, the widely acclaimed Australian novelist known as Elizabeth Costello, the insertion of thie new character into the plot matks a division ofthe novels narrative into two separate parts, Indeed, as Sue Kossew has pointed out, the novel splits into two distinctly marked sections: the