This essay reads J.M. Coetzee's novel, Diary of a Bad Year, as an occasion to problematize contemporary bioethical (and neoliberal) paradigms. Coetzee's rhetorical strategies are analyzed to better understand the "scene of address" within which ethical claims can be voiced. Drawing on Foucault's Socratic understanding of ethics as the self's relation to itself, self-relation is explored through the rhetorical figure of catachresis. The essay ultimately argues that the ethical voice emerges when the terms-terms by which I relate to myself, to others, to my own body, and to the bodies of others-are themselves subject to catachrestic refiguration.

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Keywords Bioethics, Catachresis, J.M. Coetzee, Michel Foucault, Rhetoric
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Journal Journal of Medical Humanities
Murray, S.J. (2014). Allegories of the Bioethical: Reading J.M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year. Journal of Medical Humanities, 35(3), 321–334. doi:10.1007/s10912-014-9273-9