J.M. Coetzee Watch #13

Reviews of Disgrace

Sowmya on the "Shallow Thoughts to profound Insights" weblog: "The entire book is from the protagonists perspective. Only his thoughts, view points and philosophy is projected. As one reads the book, one understands the other characters only from the conversation that the protagonist has with them. Nothing is explained. One also feels the frustrations the protagonist feels because he cannot understand the people around him. The reader cannot too. In course of reading the book, the reader experiences only the protagonists world because that is the only 'truth' that is projected. It is like living life without feedback. Uni-dimensional."

Spudz on the "Eclectic Indulgence" weblog: "I found myself lacking any interest in the characters, and the African landscape was not shown as beautiful or hideous... it was simply not shown. If I wasn't continually reminded the story took place in Africa, I wouldn't have noticed a difference. The prose was poor and the plot simply had trouble developing."

Reviews of Waiting for the Barbarians

"Book Club Classics" weblog: "Coetzee does create a 3-dimensional character in the narrator and his journey from a position of power to imprisonment to humility was reluctantly engaging. I also enjoyed contemplating what 'freedom' means when one is imprisioned -- freedom of thought, freedom of action, freedom of belief."


The Harvard Crimson magazine names Coetzee as one of its "Five Melancholy Elderly Literary Men": "On this list, J. M. Coetzee is the youngest -- and the most melancholy. In his famous 1999 novel Disgrace, he showed the late-life education of a literature professor forced, in a post-literate age, to teach 'Communications'. He returned to the
theme in his more recent novel -- it was released on Dec. 27, 2007, to avoid end-of-the-year-list mania on the blogs -- Diary of a Bad Year. More humane and generous than Disgrace, less tightly controlled, the book nonetheless argues that no one reads books anymore." The others on the list are John Updike, V. S. Naipaul, Philip Roth and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

"The Existence Machine" weblog posts a quote from Youth.

"The Visual Wikipedia" has produced a kind of mind map based on Coetzee which allows you to navigate his career and works using visual cues. It looks like the text is taken from the standard Wikpedia entry on the author.


A new book, Summertime, is due out in the UK in early September. Can't find any mention of it on the Text Publishing website, the author's most recent Australian publisher.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 13, 2009 9:40 AM.

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