J.M. Coetzee Watch #9

Review of Disgrace

Sam Jordison, of "The Guardian" books blog, found Disgrace to be "didactic, thinly characterised and melodramatic". He concludes that "It's unconvincing, humourless and not at all challenging. In common with too many of these later Booker winners, it provides literature for people who don't really want to put any work in. Everything is spelled out slowly, obviously and at the most basic level."


Tim Ashley of "The Guardian", wasn't overly impressed with Philip Glass's operatic version of Waiting for the Barbarians: "The fundamental problem is that Glass's style sits awkwardly with his subject. His lulling, repetitive phrases assert spiritual and emotional certainty, but preclude the articulation of rage or pain."

On the other hand, Robert Maycock gave the opera four stars (out of five) in "The Independent". And Geoff Brown gave it three stars in "The Times".

On the online "Granta" site, Simon Willis writes about "J.M. Coetzee and His Censors".

Writing under the threat of censorship, Coetzee has said, is 'like being intimate with someone who does not love you', someone waiting for you to slip up, someone who measures your mistakes and then runs to tell their friends. Censorship has long been an obsession of his, but his attitudes have always been marked by subtlety. His essays on the subject, collected in Giving Offense (1996), 'do not,' he wrote, 'constitute an attack on censorship'. Coetzee's tone is always investigative and probing. With humility he wrote that 'I cannot find it in myself to align myself with the censor... the dark-suited, bald-headed figure, with his pursed lips and his red pen'.
"The Times" of South africa has published an extract from Diary of a Bad Year.

In late June, Coetzee appeared at the University of East Anglia in Norwich for the New Writing Worlds festival, and spoke about the "late-apartheid mindset" of South Africa. Boyd Tonkin reports in "The Independent".

The film version of Disgrace, directed by Steve Jacobs and featuring John Malkovich in the lead role, will have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, which runs from September 4 to 13.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 9, 2008 12:36 PM.

A Classic Year: 16.0 10 for 66 And All That by Arthur Mailey was the previous entry in this blog.

Australian Books to Film #46 - Death in Brunswick is the next entry in this blog.

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