J. M. Coetzee's trilogy of novels with Jesus in their titles, published between 2013 and 2019, has bewildered many reviewers. This essay review proposes that that bewilderment stems from a misconception of the novels’ allegorical dimension and of the possible meanings evoked by their titles. The trilogy is the consummation of Coetzee's meditations on analogy and linguistic skepticism; on the ontological status of fictions; on the eschatological impulsion of writing; and on memory's capacity for true recognitions that have no empirical basis. The trilogy presents us with a world that affirms a purely immanent life. Coetzee tests this world dialogically by subjecting its self-identical “here” to the nonidentical repetitions of analogical thought, through which an “elsewhere” impinges on the “here.” The trilogy's deepest questions turn on the metaphysical scope of this “elsewhere”: that is, on whether the vertiginous depths of analogy participate in an underlying substrate of meaning, recognizable as “the Word of God.”

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