J.M. Coetzee’s screenplay versions of In the Heart of the Country and Waiting for the Barbarians are original and as yet unproduced cinematic adaptations of his novels. Apart from a few early lyric experiments, Coetzee’s literary career has almost exclusively been dedicated to prose forms such as the novel, the memoir and the essay, and it is mainly for his accomplishments in novelistic fiction that he has achieved world-wide recognition. For readers familiar with Coetzee’s writing career spanning more than 40 years, the screenplays, published for the first time in this volume, are thus an unusual and unexpected addition to the oeuvre. They show his versatility as a writer able to cross over into the medium of script writing and film, and doing so in a technically proficient and highly accomplished manner.
Academic Herman Wittenberg has written an introduction to this collection, examining the difference in treatment between the screenplays and the novels, as well as Coetzee’s relationship with cinema and film-making.
This work is the only one to be produced in 2014 by J. M. Coetzee and will be celebrated at a conference in Adelaide, Australia, to be held in December, focusing on Coetzee’s life work.
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