Tuesday, November 16, 2010

J.M. Coetzee - Slow Man



Nobel-winner Coetzee (Disgrace) ponders life, love and the mind/ body connection in his latest heavy-hitter; he also plays a little trick. When retired photographer Paul Rayment loses his leg in a bicycle accident, his lengthy, lonely recuperation forces him to reflect on a life he deems wasted. The gloom lifts with the arrival of brisk, efficient Marijana Jokic, his Croatian day nurse, with whom Paul becomes infatuated. (He also takes a special interest in Marijana's teenage boy—the son he never had.) It's here, while Paul frets over how to express his feelings, that Coetzee (perhaps unsure if his dithering protagonist can sustain the book) gets weird: the distinguished writer Elizabeth Costello, eponymous heroine of Coetzee's 2003 novel, comes for a visit. To Paul's bewilderment, Costello (Coetzee's alter ego?) exhorts him to become more of a main character in the narrative, even orchestrating events to force his reactions. Some readers will object to this cleverness and the abstract forays into the mysteriousness of the writing process. It is to Coetzee's credit, however, a testament to his flawless prose and appealing voice, that while challenging the reader with postmodern shenanigans, the story of how Paul will take charge of his life and love continues to engage, while Elizabeth Costello the device softens into a real character, one facing frailties of her own. She pushes Paul, or Paul pushes Elizabeth—both push Coetzee—on to the bittersweet conclusion.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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5 comments:

  1. hey, the link was eliminated, please, can you upload this book again? I discovered the Coetzee's work last year, I read some of his books in spanish: "Infancia" la vida y epoca de Michel K" and juventud" last year, and all of them were excellent. So I tried to find "slow man" in spanish on the internet but it doesn't exist; same case with "verano". So now I'm going to try to read him in english. it's dificult, but it's worth

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    Replies
    1. http://netkups.com/?d=98ba991412f64

      Be sure to own the book first.. :)

      Delete
  2. I don't know, I haven't found another file yet...

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