Over the past few weeks, my reading have slowed down. However, that does not mean that I have stopped reading entirely or do not intend to reawaken my pace of reading.
In fact, what I have been up to, of late, is re-reading favorite books of mine. Of re-reading, I tend to flip through pages of favorite passages rather than reading whole narratives.
So: for the past weeks, I have been flipping through J.M Coetzee’s Scenes from Provincial Life; a revised edition that embodies three of his fictionalized memoirs – thus – Boyhood, Youth and Summertime.
The following favorite passage is taken from Summertime; a story about a young biographer conducting research over the dead Coetzee.
From Page 467:
‘(Biographer speaking) Turning to his writings: speaking objectively, as a critic, what is your estimation of his books?
(Response) I liked the early works best. In a book like In the heart of the Country there is a certain daring, a certain wilderness, that I can still admire. In Foe as well, which is not so early. But after that he became more respectable, and in my view more tame. After Disgrace I lost interest. I did not read the later stuff. In general I would say his work lacks ambition. Control over the elements of the fiction is too tight. You do not sense you are in the presence of a writer who is deforming his medium in order to say what has never been said before, which is to me the mark of great writing. Too cool, too neat, I would say. Too lacking in passion, creative passion. That’s all.’
Note: I have personally highlighted the part in the passage that strikes a triad with me.
Recently, Amazon has unveiled a book blurb for J.M Coetzee’s forthcoming novel with the title, The Childhood of Jesus which is scheduled to be published by Harvill Secker in March 2013. What interests me most about this news is the title of the novel. It’s fascinating and I just can’t wait to lay my hands on it.
Visit here to read the book blurb. If you are a great fan of J.M Coetzee, just as I am, I would be interested to read your thoughts on his forthcoming novel.