- By J.M. Coetzee


  • Title: Foe
  • Author: J.M. Coetzee
  • ISBN: 9780241950111
  • Page: 124
  • Format: Paperback
  • Foe Nobel Laureate and two time Booker prize winning author of Disgrace and The Life and Times of Michael K J M Coetzee reimagines Daniel DeFoe s classic novel Robinson Crusoe in Foe In an act of breatht

    Nobel Laureate and two time Booker prize winning author of Disgrace and The Life and Times of Michael K, J M Coetzee reimagines Daniel DeFoe s classic novel Robinson Crusoe in Foe.In an act of breathtaking imagination, J.M Coetzee radically reinvents the story of Robinson Crusoe.In the early eighteenth century, Susan Barton finds herself adrift from a mutinous ship and cNobel Laureate and two time Booker prize winning author of Disgrace and The Life and Times of Michael K, J M Coetzee reimagines Daniel DeFoe s classic novel Robinson Crusoe in Foe.In an act of breathtaking imagination, J.M Coetzee radically reinvents the story of Robinson Crusoe.In the early eighteenth century, Susan Barton finds herself adrift from a mutinous ship and cast ashore on a remote desert island There she finds shelter with its only other inhabitants a man named Cruso and his tongueless slave, Friday In time, she builds a life for herself as Cruso s companion and, eventually, his lover At last they are rescued by a passing ship, but only she and Friday survive the journey back to London.Determined to have her story told, she pursues the eminent man of letters Daniel Foe in the hope that he will relate truthfully her memories to the world But with Cruso dead, Friday incapable of speech and Foe himself intent on reshaping her narrative, Barton struggles to maintain her grip on the past, only to fall victim to the seduction of storytelling itself.Treacherous, elegant and unexpectedly moving, Foe remains one of the most exquisitely composed of this pre eminent author s works A small miracle of a book of marvellous intricacy and overwhelming power Washington Post A superb novel The New York TimesSouth African author J M Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 and was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice for his novels Disgrace and The Life and Times of Michael K His novel set during the South African apartheid, Age of Iron, winner of the Sunday Express Book of the Year award is also available in Penguin paperback.

    1 thought on “Foe

    1. Foe, J.M. Coetzee Foe is a 1986 novel by South African-born Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee. Woven around the existing plot of Robinson Crusoe, Foe is written from the perspective of Susan Barton, a castaway who landed on the same island inhabited by "Cruso" and Friday as their adventures were already underway. Like Robinson Crusoe, it is a frame story, unfolded as Barton's narrative while in England attempting to convince the writer Daniel Foe to help transform her tale into popular fiction. Focus [...]

    2. "We must make Friday's silence speak, as well as the silence surrounding Friday."Daniel Defoe /Daniel Foe's novel Robinson Crusoe was Coetzee's childhood favorite novel. At first, he had thought it was a memoir of the title character. In fact, Foe published the book as an account of a real castaway. The realization that the character was fictional, this intermixing of real and fictional, had a huge impact on him. Besides this novel, Coetzee also visited the Robinson Crusoe in the short story he [...]

    3. NOTES IN THE MARGIN:Footprints in the Sand of Time:Hello. You don't know me. I bought your book online. I don't know your name. I don't even know whether you're dead or alive. You made notations in the margin. I noticed them straight away: some were in pencil, some, later, when I looked, were in pen, although they might have been made by someone else. We started to note similar things and make similar comments. After a while, I started to make fewer comments, because I was content with yours. Ei [...]

    4. People extraneous, people absent Coetzee is complicated & this short novella is one of his best except for the ingloriously vapid ending. Hated it! But all the questions posed by J.M. Coetzee, mainly about fiction vs. Biography, and existential conundrums that arise, create a maudlin cloud the pathos the reader deserves & craves.

    5. In Foe, Susan Barton is set adrift in a rowboat after a mutiny on a ship sailing from South America to Lisbon. She lands on an island where Cruso and Friday had been cast away years ago. In Coetzee's retelling of the Robinson Crusoe tale, Cruso is content with his simple life on the island. Friday has been transformed from a Caribbean to a black African whose tongue had been cut out by slave owners. The three castaways are rescued after Susan has spent one year on the island, but Cruso dies on h [...]

    6. In recent readings of Coetzee's Defoe-pastiche, I have become facinated with the figure of Friday's "empty" mouth. Obviously the open-O, the unvoiced scream, the signs arranged on the beach as evidence of Friday's voice as it is both silenced and withheld, speaks to the trope of subaltern. That said, I believe Coetzee is more interested in our assumption that Friday is without a speech organ, tongue-less. Recall that the only evidence of this tonguelessness comes from the travel narrative that C [...]

    7. Foe reminds me more of Robert Coover's multilayered, metafictional Spanking the Maid than of Robinson Crusoe. That book was about spanking, and this book is about getting ravished. But what's it really about, you ask, and I'm like ugh, isn't "multilayered and metafictional" enough? Fine, god. I'll mark serious spoilers but we'll discuss general plot points, so heads up.On the first layer: Susan Barton is marooned on an island already inhabited by two other castaways. When she is rescued, she tri [...]

    8. I read this a long time ago and have only just got round to thinking about a review now. Now is me sitting in front a netbook with a large glass of red wine, the work phone switched off (praise all your gods, it is the weekend) and a pile of salted cashew nuts to hand. You could cast me adrift on a desert island now, with no hope of redemption and as long as I could take the wine and the nuts (I'll leave the works phone, thanks) then I probably wouldn't utter so much as a squeak of protest.Turns [...]

    9. O perspectivă interesantă asupra romanului Robinson Crusoe narată de o femeie naufragiată pe aceeași insulă. Multă critică socială, fragmente epistolare, final deschis - există, până la urmă, destule elemente care să motiveze lectura, dar parcă ar lipsi ceva.

    10. It is difficult to describe. The quality of the writing is great, the characters are good and sometimes the book grips you.There are even moments that reminded me of Animal Man by Grant Morrison, but when I finished the book it was And???It could be a **, it could be a **** Let's rate it with a ***.Finally, I have to say that the character of Susan Barton is probably one of the most powerful female characters that I have met.

    11. J.M. Coetzee's 1986 novel FOE is a retelling of ROBINSON CRUSOE that uses Daniel Defoe's well-known story as a basis for a bitter commentary on colonialism. To really get anything out of Coetzee's novel, you'll need to read ROBINSON CRUSOE first. The Penguin Popular Classics edition is an inexpensive way to read that important work.As FOE opens, we are introduced to Susan Barton, an Englishwoman returning from Brazil who is set adrift on the seas by mutineers. She washes up on an island populate [...]

    12. This book is sheer poetry. The language, the pacing, the images - a feast for the mind!As I see it Coetzee is the most important writer of our times. It is almost ridiculous to praise his style, as the way he formulates the questions and ideas of his writing is so perfectly self-contained and self-explanatory. Unaffected simplicity and clarity translate into utmost sophistication.At the centre of his work lies the idea of compassion: for animals, for the ones left behind by society, for the crip [...]

    13. This review will overflow with cliché. Such is the sum of my experience. Fox is a meditation on silence. Coetzee explores the natural aspects of such. The sea and wilderness yield no ready wisdom. Such doesn’t communicate in our jejune terms.There is also an algebra of silence by design. It is a poetry of omissions. It is the fruit of doubt and a coveted rank of humility. The narrative currents of our lives are larded with the silence, we adorn them with caprice and detail. Coetzee intervenes [...]

    14. Coetzee's sometimes strained exercise here is to write together the narratives of Daniel Defoe's two major novels, Pamela and Robinson Crusoe. Once again, the central undertaking is Coetzee's straining to hear the voice of the subaltern through his characters and once again concluding with the best-solution-possible as some complicated ritual of bodily compassion and performative abjection. As the characters of The Darjeeling Limited need a drowned Indian boy to make their trip meaningful, Coetz [...]

    15. In the spirit of Foe, a story about this book I bought this book at a recent $5 A Bag book sale at the library. Having walked away with 4 bags of books, it seemed like a pretty successful sale in and of itself. However, fate intervenes (dun dun DUN) and, picking it up to read tonight, I see a very familiar name scrawled in the front cover, a date/locale, and a seal imprinted on the title page. None other than the name of my favorite teacher back in high school and the date of my graduation. A fa [...]

    16. It's not hard to see what drew Coetzee to the Cruso myth. Stranded on an austere patch of land with only a black servant to keep you company: reminds me an awful lot of the author's native South Africa. The long first section of the book, in which Susan Barton washes ashore on Cruso's island, is a tour-de-force, one of the best sustained pieces of writing Coetzee's ever done. But the shift to England, where Susan enlists Daniel Defoe to write her story, comes along with endless ruminations on th [...]

    17. This is a parallel novel to Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Yet the parallel lines are drawn free handed and with much liberty. Coetzee steps boldly in the story - unafraid that we might see him. He dares us to see him. Dares us to question his tale. He'll tell us the story he wants us to hear. Yeah, so there is a "real" story. There's got to be more to it. You know there is something that Susan is not sharing. And Friday ain't telling us anything. Robinson Crusoe is dead - so what choice does h [...]

    18. A re-telling of the story "Robson Crusoe" by Daniel Defoe.4* Disgrace4* Waiting for the Barbarians4* FoeTR Elizabeth CostelloTR YouthTR Slow ManTR The Master of PetersburgTR DusklandsTR BoyhoodTR SummertimeTR Life and Times of Michael K

    19. The tale that tells no tales. The one restraints and refuses to be understood. The trickiest book of earlier J.M. Coetzee's books I have read. Like his acclaimed signatures, Coetzee's Foe delivers multiple dimensions, complexities (with A LOT of questions afterwards) and lyrical prose. I've been struggling to understand. All I can say from the first read is that the book challenges the new idea of writing, and authorship and the clashes between the "authorship" as the sense of colonialism. The s [...]

    20. In Foe, Coetzee reinvented (some would say "rewrote" but I disagree) Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. But in Foe, adventurous Crusoe becomes weak-minded Cruso (without an "e"), civilized Friday from a Caribbean descent becomes a negro whose tongue was cut off and unable to speak. Coetzee also introduces a female castaway Susan Barton, the key character, and a writer Daniel Foe, possibly a hybrid of Defoe and Coetzee himself.The Penguin edition is of only 157 pages. The story moves fairly quickly. You ba [...]

    21. How do I review this? How do I review a book of this magnitude? Anything I say here will not do this book justice, but I will try. Let me say thisFoe is my favourite book of 2015 so far. First off, I don't know why I refused to read this book for so long. This was a school book, and I waited 9 months until I actually devoured it. I'm not a big fan of classics, but this was simply amazing. This is a retelling of The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Cruso, written by Daniel Defoe [...]

    22. Straight from Defoe's narrative 'Robinson Crusoe', I plunged into 'Foe' mainly because these two books make up a section of my Uni degree. In 'Foe', Susan Barton becomes a castaway, being washed up on Cruso's (sic) island, where the intelligent, pious Crusoe portrayed by Defoe has become a grumpy, unfriendly man, and where Friday is portrayed as a mute simpleton, in an almost Conradian way. In saying that, the theme of 'Foe' seems to centre on the lack of words/speech given to him in Defoe's nov [...]

    23. This was one brilliant read. I began it with much skepticism, having been disappointed by the substance of Robinson Crusoe, I had to read this for my comparative literature paper, to compare it with the master text of Crusoe, and the way it began, slow and ambiguous, and yet thrusting the reader into the narrative without any such introduction, I hated it.But as I continued reading and understanding the complexity of Susan, the protagonist's thoughts, as well as of the text and the writing of th [...]

    24. I don't think this is quite Coetzee's best book (I'd probably say Waiting for the Barbarians for that), but it's a stunningly good reimagining of the story of Robinson Crusoe through the eyes of a female castaway, Susan Barton, who ends up on the island with 'Cruso' and Friday and then tries to tell their (and her) story to the acclaimed writer Mr Daniel (De)Foe. Very little of this slender novel takes place on the island, and the events there show little promise of an exciting narrative (and li [...]

    25. Even more misterious and deep than the first two times I read it. In spite of the slow reading, the following of the clues, the theories built over its passages, themes, characters, I still don't know what is really happening there. What is this ship? (Costello?) asks the dead body of Viernes. Perhaps it doesn't matter. What matters here is that this is a truly infinite book, an immortal one. One can read it over and over again and it will never lose a bit of interest, beauty, misteriousness and [...]

    26. ???????????????????36 pages into it and I started skimming (due to the vapidness of it) so fast I read the last 100 pages in 10 minutes.A summary:- Susan is shipwrecked- She tells Cruso to do something- They're rescued- She wants her book to be published- Foe disappears- Susan tells her daughter she isn't her daughter (or something)- Foe reappears- Something happens- Lots of talkingStill looking for a tangible plot that I'm starting to believe doesn't exist

    27. Easily one of the worst books I have ever read. Simplistic, pseudo-intellectual mental masturbation. Awful.

    28. Se vi piace giocareSe vi piace vedere un Defoe trasformarsi in Foe, un Crusoe in Cruso, entrare ed uscire dalla finzione, assistere ai giochi di prestigio dell'autore che imbroglia le carte sotto i vostri occhi, trovarvi naufraghi con Susan su un'isola deserta, ed uscirne per scoprire che, forse, tutta la fatica che avete fatto era un artifizio per fornire una storia ad uno scrittore, il quale, a sua volta, suggerisce che, forse, è lui la vittima di Susan, la quale inventa lo scrittore per pote [...]

    29. Absolutely the biggest piece of wankery I've read in a very long time.There was way too much going on in such a small book, and not enough of it making any sense. (view spoiler)[And then, Barton and Foe become lovers, because why not? Seriously, what the actual fuck? (hide spoiler)] And if someone can please explain the end to me that would be great.

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