J.M. Coetzee Watch #6

Re: Life and Times of Michael K.

Lori, on the "She Treads Softly" weblog: "I would characterize Michael K as novel about freedom. However, it does not depict an exhilarating fight for freedom, but rather how the surrounding civil war effects the actions of a man who has no understanding of his life and times. Michael K is a simple man who would have lived a contented life in a kinder society but was not given that opportunity. This is a relentlessly sad novel written in spare, unadorned language. There are not any long, descriptive passages. It's as if Coetzee wanted to limit and simplify our understanding of Michael's surroundings in order to help us better understand Michael K, who is one of the powerless people caught up in the surrounding strife."

Re: Disgrace

Tony D'Souza looks back at the novel for "Critical Mass", the blog of the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors: "J.M Coetzee's Disgrace is about a lot of things, but at its heart it is an anatomy of racial hierarchy change in contemporary South Africa. A very quiet side note to this is its analysis of man's disgraceful treatment of animals. Disgrace is a pitiless and errorless book about the condition of the human experience at the end of the twentieth century; while not altogether without hope, the book and its title is a condemnation of the basic state of modern humanity. "

In "The Michigan Daily", Kimberly Chou discusses the upcoming film adaptation. "The potential problems of this version of Disgrace, then, don't really lie in casting actors as sexier, more physically attractive than the author describes -- something I've often noticed in other films. (I imagine John Malkovich is fantastic in this role, although the character Lurie --- not exactly a silver fox but obviously once handsome -- is supposed to start out with a rather nice head of hair.) But placing a farm in the Western Cape while still suggesting it to be in a completely different part of the country compromises the film's cultural context. The core act of violence in Disgrace is Coetzee's addressing of 'farm attacks' during the 1990s in South Africa. Although only a slight majority of victims were white, the attacks or robberies were often perpetrated by young, unemployed black men, and seen as acts of vengeance against white Afrikaners by black Africans in a post-apartheid state."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 8, 2008 10:35 AM.

Marieke Hardy Profile was the previous entry in this blog.

Review: Conversations with the Mob by Megan Lewis is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en