Not only has Coetzee brought David’s character to life and allowed to live his own life the way the character desires, the reader is simultaneously not repulsed but compelled to keep reading, keep digging, keep hoping like David that punishment will not go on forever.
”The fair girl advanced and bent over me till I could feel the movement of her breath upon me. Sweet it was in one sense, honey-sweet, and sent the same tingling through the nerves as her voice, but with a bitter underlying the sweet, a bitter offensiveness, as one smells in blood” (p 43).
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1871) by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson illustrate the child-ego’s attempt to mature and understand its own mortality in a world often found morally strange and ridiculous, a world that adults eventually learn to accept as normal.
The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) by Joseph Campbell is the book that awakened in writers and storytellers in publishing and in screenwriting to the larger scope of mythology as metaphor and to the underlining structure of stories.
The Masks of God, Vol. 3: Occidental Mythology (1964) by Joseph Campbell casts a large net over what it is to hold a Western faith in distinction from an Eastern faith and how such distinctions developed among the varied belief systems over the ages.
‘What we call a novel,” writes Foster, ”would nearly everywhere in non-Anglophone Europe be a roman. That term derives from romanz, the universal term for lengthy narratives in verse prior to the age of print.