Wednesday, February 27, 2013
In The Guardian, Teo Tait reviews Coetzee's The Childhood of Jesus.
One of the disconcerting features in Coetzee's writing is the combination of a high degree of philosophical sophistication with some idiosyncratic, not to say barking, ideas: I was reminded of Elizabeth Costello, in which the heroine gives a brilliant speech comparing industrial farming with the Holocaust.
The Childhood of Jesus is a very mysterious novel: I finished it impressed, intrigued and confused, without any clear sense of what it was actually about. Of course the vagueness is part of the point: Coetzee has written approvingly of the way that Beckett's novels enact "a situation well described by Heidegger's term Geworfenheit: being thrown without explanation into an existence governed by obscure rules".
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