Posts Tagged ‘J.M. Coetzee’

22nd April
2010
written by Steph

Elizabeth Costello is a strange novel.  In fact, some might argue that it is not really a novel at all; there were certainly times when I thought so.  It is probably as far from a conventional narrative as one can get, taking the form instead of a series of essays, linked in many ways only by the recurring eponymous Elizabeth Costello figure.  Through Elizabeth, Coetzee is able to examine various different philosophical quandaries, such as animal rights, consciousness, goal of literature, censorship, culture as a formative factor in identity, and sexuality, just to name a few. Needless to say, it’s an ambitious work, one that requires an inordinately skilled author in order to carry it off successfully. (more…)
12th October
2009
written by Steph
As I have now mentioned at least twice on the blog, I was away from last Wednesday to Friday for a scientific workshop meeting comprised of about 30 psychologists studying various aspects of perceptual expertise.  Fascinating, right?  I know you all wish you could have been there.  Well, one of the perks of these meetings is that we get to eat out at relatively swanky restaurants so that we can mingle and be social psychologists, even though we are not in fact Social Psychologists.  Anyway, moving past that horrible joke, on Wednesday night I was in for a real treat because I happened to wind up at a table along with a man who was born in Cape Town, South Africa.  Given the slant of this here blog, I’m sure it’s of no surprise to any of you that I would much rather talk to someone about literature than I would about science, so inevitably I swung the conversation around to books, and specifically asked my fellow diner whether he had read Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee (as well as how you correctly pronounce, “Coetzee”!  I haven't quite mastered it, but the closest I can get is "Cut-zee-ay".). (more…)
24th September
2009
written by Steph

This book is anything but.

Another double header! We're aiming to make this a regular feature on the old blog. This time we didn't read the feature out loud to each other (though we do have another title slated for that), nor did we read it at the same time. Steph read this and passed it along to me and we decided that we needed to discuss it with each other in order to get the most out of our readings. With out further ado... Steph’s Take Every once in a while, we as readers are lucky enough to have truly magnificent books pass through our lives, books that make us think, and even more importantly, ones that make us feel.  Often times I find that upon finishing a truly great book, I have to take a bit of a breather from reading so that time can cleanse my literary palate.  Finishing a great book results in me spending a few days thinking about what I’ve read, working through all of the emotions it has stirred up within me; in such a state, any book picked up in haste is sure to be a disappointment, my reading of it irrevocably colored by the previous Great Read, looming large in my mind.  And is so often the case with great books, they frustratingly defy description.  Disgrace, is one such book. (more…)