Centre for Studies in Literature


Mr Clive Clare-Barker

  • Role Title: PhD Student
  • Address: Milldam, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, Hants PO1 3AS
  • Telephone: 023 9284 6033
  • Email: clive.clare-barker@port.ac.uk
  • Department: School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
  • Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


My research concerns the Cartesian division of mind and world viewed as a dichotomy that has endured beyond its historical presence as the founding philosophy of Enlightenment, and the postmodern critiques seeking to conflate the dualism of mind and world. While the relationship between the arts (mind) and sciences (world) are conventionally conceived as mutually exclusive narratives, they both question knowledge arising from the correspondence between subjective mind and objective world and the manner in which this relationship might be correlated. The work of J. M. Coetzee is a form of fiction that disturbs the subject sovereignty of the arts and sciences by illuminating how they are not sufficient in themselves to mediate the enigmatic nature of humankind. My research demonstrates the way in which Coetzee reconfigures a nexus of aesthetic and systematic narratives in the imaginative realm of story to link consciousness with cosmos; a literary enterprise that not only challenges the Enlightenment’s legacy of reason and a corresponding morality it attributes to human progress, but signals a future form of literature that exemplifies a sense of empathetic realism beyond the discrete interests of either the arts or sciences without relativizing the relationship.

PhD Thesis:

The Relationship of Art and Science to the Cartesian Duality of Mind and World as Expressed in the Works of J. M. Coetzee