Summertime Scenes from a Provincial Life III Epub ☆

Summertime Scenes from a Provincial Life III Epub ☆



10 thoughts on “Summertime Scenes from a Provincial Life III

  1. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Summertime Scenes from Provincial Life #3 JM CoetzeeSummertime is a 2009 novel by South African born Nobel laureate J M Coetzee It is the third in a series of fictionalized memoirs by Coetzee and details the life of one John Coetzee from the perspective of five people who have known him The novel largely takes place in the mid to late 1970's largely in Cape Town although there are also important scenes in remote South African settings While there are obvious similarities between the actual writer of the novel J M Coetzee and the subject of the novel John Coetzee there are some differences most notably that the John Coetzee of the novel is reported as having died تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و نهم ماه اکتبر سال 2016 میلادیعنوان تابستان زندگی سه گانه صحنه هایی از زندگی شهرستان کتاب سوم؛ ؛ نویسنده جیام جان مکسول کوتسی؛ مترجم نسرین طباطبایی؛ تهران، آینده درخشان، 1393؛ در 268ص؛ شابک 9786005527643؛ موضوع داستانهای افریقایی انگلیسی سده 21مبرنده نوبل ادبیات سال 2003میلادی؛ نوعی زندگینامه و نیز داستان خیال انگیز است؛ برهه ای از زندگی کوتسی ست و صحبت با چند تن که ایشان را نیک میشناختند؛ ا شربیانی


  2. Jean-Luke Jean-Luke says:

    16 February 2020HE WISHES he had written this book himself What he doesn't uite understand is how Coetzee managed to turned a life so ordinary into something so extraordinaryHow much of it is indeed fiction? In writing such a book will he have to detail his every transgression or would he just make it up? To be expanded on why would a fictional indiscretion be so much tolerable when in a book like this and in the eyes of a reader there will be no distinction?


  3. Fabian Fabian says:

    The halo effect perfected to exuisite levels in Elizabeth Costello is once again employed to similar effect here But this time the writer's own persona is the protagonist non grata What is left behind is what's compiled in this magnificent but flawed work another dynamite narrative by another dynamite author about racism in latter 20th century South Africa In this instance people women mostly are interviewed their experience with John Coetzee explored These tales are tragicomic gorgeous in their concise vernacular realistic in their anecdotal detail and above all very astute very piercing The halo effect to me means that we are afforded glimpses albeit of a very human human being J Coetzee reclusive pained but intuitive auteur prefame through vastly different modes the sueezing of juice from every possible clue makes this effort an endearing one often transcending the very story it is telling Which is what happens here Coetzee is the most CONSISTENT writer that I know of This one is yet another one of his to study to truly well sueeze as much as one can fromAlso as years progress it is awesome to see the tragedy level becoming a wee bit intertwined with scenes of joy or experiences of true love by the evolving writer Now there is some awesome metalit element to his literature as he in the absurdly titled Summertime is actually DEAD Basically this may be one of the longest faux eulogies of all time one of the most unforgettable; even the pronouncement of Fictions as a subheading for Summertime is a lie Instead of being short various tales this novel alas is a pretty complete one


  4. brian brian says:

    late at night absent people or drink when it rages out in furnace fear i think of you and whether it be simply that misery loves company or even though we do die alone you remind me that we all do it so at least we're all connected in our aloneness your life and your words in some tiny tiny tiny way lessen the burden of existence as with my dog i know that you will most likely die long before i do and it kind of makes me want to eat the shotgun knowing i'll be living in a world without jack and without coetzee but if i did that my parents would be destroyed so i'd have to kill them first and if i killed my parents and then myself it'd really fuck up a whole bunch of people so i'd have to take out my sister and her husband and some others and it'd end up a real bloodbath and i couldn't very well do that rian malan said A colleague who has worked with Coetzee for than a decade claims to have seen him laugh just once An acuaintance has attended several dinner parties where Coetzee has uttered not a single wordi love you so much john maxwell coetzee and even though your post elizabeth costello novels have been pretty weak they make me love you even than your earlier masterpieces too tired to explain myself despite your cool and austere exterior i relate to you and feel as close to you as anyone i've never met; you turn me into an 11 yr old boy creaming his jeans over britney or gaga you put before us a picture of human cruelty in a way no one else has and try to fashion out of your own life an impossibly gentle life a life absent of all human cruelty you are a miserable failure you are ridiculous and sad and seem built to die alone and i love you because of not in spite of your failures


  5. PattyMacDotComma PattyMacDotComma says:

    45★Admittedly I haven’t read the first two books of this fictionalised biography auto biography? of a young man growing up in South Africa Boyhood and Youth I also haven’t read Disgrace which won the Man Booker Prize in 1999 and sounds a lot like the story of the ‘late John Coetzee’ of this book – a professor leading a passionless life until he has an affair with a student so says the blurb The John of this book is also a Nobel Prize winner for literature as is JM Even without those books as background this is an interesting device letting us travel with a biographer who’s researching the ‘late’ Coetzee’s life by interviewing people from his past whom he apparently noted himself were important to him The various voices are different enough that it reads like real interviews and real scrawled notesIt is obvious to me an armchair expert yeah right that 'John' is a good example of a person with Asperger’s Syndrome All Aspies are different but being socially awkward is reasonably common and everyone describes John that way although there's certainly to Asperger's and to John than that It’s also important to remember that if JM is writing about himself he certainly understands his effect on others and writes about it cringingly well The book is broken into sections one for each interviewee and we sense a thread running through the stories They say he was an unremarkable man who held little real interest for them and they’re not uite sure how they got involved with him in the first place or why he thinks they’re important In fact all are a little embarrassed about it The women have an air of Shakespeare’s “The lady doth protest too much methinks” If he’s so dull why do they keep saying things like just one story and then I’m finished” ?Julia is first She noticed him shopping and doesn’t he sound like a real catch? “In appearance he was not what most people would call attractive He was scrawny he had a beard he wore horn rimmed glasses and sandals He looked out of place like a bird one of those flightless birds; or like an abstracted scientist who had wandered by mistake out of his laboratory There was an air of seediness about him too an air of failure I guessed there was no woman in his life and it turned out I was right” She says she is always conscious of when a man is looking at her but she never once felt that about him She met him only when he picked up her dropped rolls of wrapping paper and disconcertingly to her pressed them into her breast as he returned them This felt so intimate that while she intended to avoid him she stalked him seduced him and had an affair She still talks about him as if he’s dull silly for wasting his life living with his ill father But she keeps talking and talking and talking about her husband HIS affairs her dissatisfaction her bringing John into her household her going to his ramshackle cottage and meeting his father Julia does ramble on He clearly made an impression and she enjoyed the verbal sparring “He ran his life according to principles whereas I was a pragmatist Pragmatism always beats principles; that is just the way things are The universe moves the ground changes under our feet; principles are always a step behind Principles are the stuff of comedy Comedy is what you get when principles bump into reality I know he had a reputation for being dour but John Coetzee was actually uite funny A figure of comedy Dour comedy Which in an obscure way he knew even accepted That is why I still look back on him with affection If you want to know” And then she told him he ought to find a woman to look after him and get married Cousin Margot is next and she is embarrassed both by him and for him They were children together but as adults she is uncomfortable with him like everyone else When they are stranded overnight in a truck a farmer rescues them in the morning and she speaks Afrikaans with him It’s second nature for her “whereas the Afrikaans John speaks is stiff and bookish Half of what John says probably goes over Hendrik’s head ‘Which is poetic do you think Hendrik the rising sun or the setting sun? A goat or a sheep?’ ” She reckons her family’s days are numbered since the Koup The Coetzees are all lazy slack spineless yet she’d had higher hopes for John and his bookish waysHer sister Carol finally spills the beans about John some of which we know from earlier and some of which roughly matches JM’s history She calls him “stuck up” “He lives with his father but only because he has no money He is thirty something years old with no prospects He ran away from South Africa to escape the army Then he was thrown out of America because he broke the law Now he can’t find a proper job because he is too stuck up The two of them live on a the pathetic salary his father gets from the scrapyard where he works” When Margo asks John if he’s relieved to be back home after leaving America he says “But practically speaking what future do I have in this country where I have never fitted in? Perhaps a clean break would have been better after all Cut yourself free of what you love and hope that the wound heals” The biographer interviews others including one man a colleague who explains that they met and became friends when they applied for the same teaching position at the University of Cape Town The biographer uotes from John’s own notes about himself and the interview that he feels he's handled badly “He has taken the uestion too literally responding too briefly They want something leisurely expansive whether he would fit in in a provincial university that is doing its best to maintain standards in difficult time to keep the flame of civilization burning In America where they take job hunting seriously people like him people who don’t know how to read the agenda behind a uestion can’t speak in rounded paragraphs don’t put themselves over with conviction—in short people deficient in people skills – attend training sessions where they learn to look the interrogator in the eye smile respond to uestions fully and with every appearance of sincerity Presentation of the self that is what they call it in America without irony” It’s a rambling piece meal collection of what sound like reminiscences and notes and embarrassing anecdotes but by the end I actually had a clear picture of an interesting man who was trapped by circumstance and escaped into his intellectAnd if John is JM then I’m glad he moved to South Australia and became an Aussie


  6. Hugh Hugh says:

    I read this one because it was the shortest book I had left on the to read shelf while waiting for the next part of my Booker longlist order to arrive I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed it I have read a lot of Coetzee and this is one of his wittiest not least because his portrait of himself in the 70s refracted by an imaginary biographer and five interviewees is not a flattering oneThe five witnesses are bookended by two sets of notebook extracts I am not sure whether these are real or fictional but suspect the latter The interviewees are Julia a married woman with whom the young writer has a brief affair Margot a cousin Adriana a Brazilian widow who is the mother of one of his pupils Martin a fellow university lecturer and Sophie a French university colleague with who he has another affair The first two are almost novella length the rest are much shorter The writer comes across as stubborn driven and incapable of relating to the women he meets and rather out of place in the conformist society of white South Africa I suspect a degree of self deprecating caricature but that makes the book much entertaining to read


  7. Isabelle Isabelle says:

    It has been a very long time since I read something that original The premise of the book is so unusually incisive so creative in itself Coetzee writes his own biography post his fictive death as strung together through his notebooks and the interviews of some of his contemporariesBehind the dry humor and subtle self deprecation there are some very serious underlying themes mostly pertaining to life in South Africa in the 70's Afrikaners natives Apartheid etc but also dealing with elder parent care teaching and of course writing as a pursuit and a processI am so impressed by this book


  8. Sidharth Vardhan Sidharth Vardhan says:

    Of all the three in series 'Scenes from a Provincial life' this was the one I had highest hopes from Because this was the book that would relate to the period in his life when he was actually writing novels and so closer or in the period of his greatness It was disappointing because author actually increased the distance from his person by trying to see himself from point of view of other people The diary entries in the begining and the end might be truthful but the interviews in the middle seemed all made unless Coetzee had come up with an idea of time travel or inter dimension travel written as they are as interviews of some of people once close to C by a fictional biographer after C's death Now this kind of thing presents than one kind of issue First none of the people in general and women in particular interviews have been taken seemed to like Coetzee a lot One wonders whether Coetzee isnt making their opinions of himself too critical something common with first two instalments of this series too Pragmatism always beats principles; that is just the way things are The universe moves the ground changes under our feet; principles are always a step behind Principles are the stuff of comedy Comedy is what you get when principles bump into reality I know he had a reputation for being dour but John Coetzee was actually uite funny A figure of comedy Dour comedy Which in an obscure way he knew even accepted That is why I still look back on him Secondly they probably won't be as honest to make the admissions even if Coetzee was to die Thirdly with most writers it seems to me the best part is their inner lives which is not available to observation of outsiders And how fortunate that most people even people who are no good at straight out lying are at least competent enough at concealment not to reveal what is going on inside them not by the slightest tremor of the voice or dilation of the pupil Coetzee seems to be labouring under the idea common to so many idealist intellectuals loners or less self created ones; as against university created institutional intellectuals that they do not belong to the world That their inability to behave 'normally' to imitate the social ways make them unlikeable to others which isn't always true or Coetzee wouldn't have ever become a famous author It is a shame that he must so orignal a person should have so low an opinion of himself It hardly seems to make him a very good autobiographer But that being said he is still a very good writer with orignal ideas and ways of looking at the world and this shows up on this book tooOn convenience racismBreytenbach left the country years ago to live in Paris and soon thereafter ueered his pitch by marrying a Vietnamese womanthat is to say a non white an Asiatic He not only married her but if one is to believe the poems in which she figures is passionately in love with her Despite which says the Sunday Times the Minister in his compassion will permit the couple a thirty day visit during which the so called Mrs Breytenbach will be treated as a white person a temporary white an honorary whiteOther uotes No one is immortal Books are not immortal The entire globe on which we stand is going to be sucked into the sun and burnt to a cinder After which the universe itself will implode and disappear down a black hole Nothing is going to survive not me not you and certainly not minority interest books about imaginary frontiersmen in eighteenth century South AfricaBut to the barbarians as Zbigniew Herbert has pointed out irony is simply like salt you crunch it between your teeth and enjoy a momentary savour; when the savour is gone the brute facts are still thereMusic isn't about fucking' I went on 'Music is about foreplay It's about courtship You sing to the maid


  9. Phrynne Phrynne says:

    What an odd book The author writes it as though he is someone else writing his biography after his death Parts of it were very strange and parts of it were hard to understand As someone who was living in South Africa in the late 70's I really enjoyed the African references and being able to practice the little Afrikaans I still remember Apart from that though I guess I was not really enamoured of the book although I feel encouraged to maybe try another of his books in the near future


  10. J J says:

    Apparently this is the third of a type of trilogy I did not know that I bought it because it was short Sorry John I was on vacation at the beach It was called Summertime It was available in paperback and I was low on cash What I got when I began to read was infinitely There are some books that affect us so deeply the 1500 price seems ludicrous Admittedly I am a lousy fan There are few authors whose complete works I’ve read no matter how much I admire their writing Fewer still about whom I know anything personal Summertime is a fictionalized biography Interviews for a biography and notes written by the subject himself really; an unfinished work This furthers the impression of looking in on a life – the naturalness of it the side of biographies we don’t normally see It’s an engaging portrait of a man a writer an artist possibly even Coetzee himself All those things It’s wise and beautiful and wry and if not a strictly factual account of his life perhaps it gives a truer glimpse of him For what great writer writes anything without showing us something of themselves?One of the things I do know about him is his famed evasiveness He seems disturbed by the rockstar writer phenomenon and plays with that here The biographer interviews the women that have most impacted the great author’s life What indelible mark did he leave on their own? Disappointment He was only a man A man who was alive within himself than out He couldn’t dance To express himself without words – lots and lots of words – was nearly impossible Yet he rarely spoke The painful awkwardness of being human is captured perfectly as he seems to slyly poke fun at both himself and the rest of us The women are repeatedly referred to as “his conuests” or “his women” but it’s clear in each case that it’s him who has been conuered As they speak of their relations with him detailing his failings they reveal of themselves and their own shortcomings That’s not to say they’re unlikable More real They’re strong self determined women both touched and frustrated by this man He speaks a different language figuratively And so he can be no to them than South Africa in flux – transitory impermanent Disappointment They move on The one constant from beginning to end is his father Always in his mind his memory the reality of caring for him always a silent presence in his relationships with women For that reason the story feels like an apology To the women who never knew how much they meant to him And to his father for trying to live while he is dying


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Summertime Scenes from a Provincial Life III ❰PDF / Epub❯ ☁ Summertime Scenes from a Provincial Life III Author J.M. Coetzee – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Un joven biógrafo ingles está trabajando en un libro sobre el escritor John Coetzee Planea centrarse en los años de su ida ue van de 1972 a 1977 en la época en ue un Coeztee de treinta años compa Un joven from a ePUB ´ biógrafo ingles está trabajando en un libro sobre el escritor John Coetzee Planea centrarse en los años de su ida Summertime Scenes PDF or ue van de a en la época en ue un Coeztee de treinta años comparte una casita arruinada en las afueras Scenes from a ePUB ☆ de Ciudad del Cabo con su padre viudo Según el biógrafo es el periodo en el ue Coetzee comenzaba a consolidarse como escritor Scenes from a Provincial Life PDF/EPUB ² Sin conocerlo personalmente se embarca en una serie de entrevistas con personas ue fueron importantes en su vida una mujer casada con uien tiene una aventura; Margot su prima favorita; una bailarina brasileña madre de una de sus alumnas Scenes from a Provincial Life PDF/EPUB ² de inglés; antiguos amigos y colegas De sus testimonios emerge el retrato de un joven Coetzee algo torpe rodeado de libros y con poca facilidad para abrirse a los demás Dentro de su propia familia es considerado un extraño alguien ue intentó huir de la tribu pero ue ahora ha vuelto escarmentado Su insistencia en desempeñar trabajos manuales más propios de los negros su barba y pelo largos y los rus ue dicen ue escribe poesía no suscitan más ue sospechas en la Sudáfrica de la época Conmovedor y a veces divertido Verano nos muestra a un gran escritor en ciernes.

10 thoughts on “Summertime Scenes from a Provincial Life III

  1. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Summertime Scenes from Provincial Life #3 JM CoetzeeSummertime is a 2009 novel by South African born Nobel laureate J M Coetzee It is the third in a series of fictionalized memoirs by Coetzee and details the life of one John Coetzee from the perspective of five people who have known him The novel largely takes place in the mid to late 1970's largely in Cape Town although there are also important scenes in remote South African settings While there are obvious similarities between the actual writer of the novel J M Coetzee and the subject of the novel John Coetzee there are some differences most notably that the John Coetzee of the novel is reported as having died تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و نهم ماه اکتبر سال 2016 میلادیعنوان تابستان زندگی سه گانه صحنه هایی از زندگی شهرستان کتاب سوم؛ ؛ نویسنده جیام جان مکسول کوتسی؛ مترجم نسرین طباطبایی؛ تهران، آینده درخشان، 1393؛ در 268ص؛ شابک 9786005527643؛ موضوع داستانهای افریقایی انگلیسی سده 21مبرنده نوبل ادبیات سال 2003میلادی؛ نوعی زندگینامه و نیز داستان خیال انگیز است؛ برهه ای از زندگی کوتسی ست و صحبت با چند تن که ایشان را نیک میشناختند؛ ا شربیانی

  2. Jean-Luke Jean-Luke says:

    16 February 2020HE WISHES he had written this book himself What he doesn't uite understand is how Coetzee managed to turned a life so ordinary into something so extraordinaryHow much of it is indeed fiction? In writing such a book will he have to detail his every transgression or would he just make it up? To be expanded on why would a fictional indiscretion be so much tolerable when in a book like this and in the eyes of a reader there will be no distinction?

  3. Fabian Fabian says:

    The halo effect perfected to exuisite levels in Elizabeth Costello is once again employed to similar effect here But this time the writer's own persona is the protagonist non grata What is left behind is what's compiled in this magnificent but flawed work another dynamite narrative by another dynamite author about racism in latter 20th century South Africa In this instance people women mostly are interviewed their experience with John Coetzee explored These tales are tragicomic gorgeous in their concise vernacular realistic in their anecdotal detail and above all very astute very piercing The halo effect to me means that we are afforded glimpses albeit of a very human human being J Coetzee reclusive pained but intuitive auteur prefame through vastly different modes the sueezing of juice from every possible clue makes this effort an endearing one often transcending the very story it is telling Which is what happens here Coetzee is the most CONSISTENT writer that I know of This one is yet another one of his to study to truly well sueeze as much as one can fromAlso as years progress it is awesome to see the tragedy level becoming a wee bit intertwined with scenes of joy or experiences of true love by the evolving writer Now there is some awesome metalit element to his literature as he in the absurdly titled Summertime is actually DEAD Basically this may be one of the longest faux eulogies of all time one of the most unforgettable; even the pronouncement of Fictions as a subheading for Summertime is a lie Instead of being short various tales this novel alas is a pretty complete one

  4. brian brian says:

    late at night absent people or drink when it rages out in furnace fear i think of you and whether it be simply that misery loves company or even though we do die alone you remind me that we all do it so at least we're all connected in our aloneness your life and your words in some tiny tiny tiny way lessen the burden of existence as with my dog i know that you will most likely die long before i do and it kind of makes me want to eat the shotgun knowing i'll be living in a world without jack and without coetzee but if i did that my parents would be destroyed so i'd have to kill them first and if i killed my parents and then myself it'd really fuck up a whole bunch of people so i'd have to take out my sister and her husband and some others and it'd end up a real bloodbath and i couldn't very well do that rian malan said A colleague who has worked with Coetzee for than a decade claims to have seen him laugh just once An acuaintance has attended several dinner parties where Coetzee has uttered not a single wordi love you so much john maxwell coetzee and even though your post elizabeth costello novels have been pretty weak they make me love you even than your earlier masterpieces too tired to explain myself despite your cool and austere exterior i relate to you and feel as close to you as anyone i've never met; you turn me into an 11 yr old boy creaming his jeans over britney or gaga you put before us a picture of human cruelty in a way no one else has and try to fashion out of your own life an impossibly gentle life a life absent of all human cruelty you are a miserable failure you are ridiculous and sad and seem built to die alone and i love you because of not in spite of your failures

  5. PattyMacDotComma PattyMacDotComma says:

    45★Admittedly I haven’t read the first two books of this fictionalised biography auto biography? of a young man growing up in South Africa Boyhood and Youth I also haven’t read Disgrace which won the Man Booker Prize in 1999 and sounds a lot like the story of the ‘late John Coetzee’ of this book – a professor leading a passionless life until he has an affair with a student so says the blurb The John of this book is also a Nobel Prize winner for literature as is JM Even without those books as background this is an interesting device letting us travel with a biographer who’s researching the ‘late’ Coetzee’s life by interviewing people from his past whom he apparently noted himself were important to him The various voices are different enough that it reads like real interviews and real scrawled notesIt is obvious to me an armchair expert yeah right that 'John' is a good example of a person with Asperger’s Syndrome All Aspies are different but being socially awkward is reasonably common and everyone describes John that way although there's certainly to Asperger's and to John than that It’s also important to remember that if JM is writing about himself he certainly understands his effect on others and writes about it cringingly well The book is broken into sections one for each interviewee and we sense a thread running through the stories They say he was an unremarkable man who held little real interest for them and they’re not uite sure how they got involved with him in the first place or why he thinks they’re important In fact all are a little embarrassed about it The women have an air of Shakespeare’s “The lady doth protest too much methinks” If he’s so dull why do they keep saying things like just one story and then I’m finished” ?Julia is first She noticed him shopping and doesn’t he sound like a real catch? “In appearance he was not what most people would call attractive He was scrawny he had a beard he wore horn rimmed glasses and sandals He looked out of place like a bird one of those flightless birds; or like an abstracted scientist who had wandered by mistake out of his laboratory There was an air of seediness about him too an air of failure I guessed there was no woman in his life and it turned out I was right” She says she is always conscious of when a man is looking at her but she never once felt that about him She met him only when he picked up her dropped rolls of wrapping paper and disconcertingly to her pressed them into her breast as he returned them This felt so intimate that while she intended to avoid him she stalked him seduced him and had an affair She still talks about him as if he’s dull silly for wasting his life living with his ill father But she keeps talking and talking and talking about her husband HIS affairs her dissatisfaction her bringing John into her household her going to his ramshackle cottage and meeting his father Julia does ramble on He clearly made an impression and she enjoyed the verbal sparring “He ran his life according to principles whereas I was a pragmatist Pragmatism always beats principles; that is just the way things are The universe moves the ground changes under our feet; principles are always a step behind Principles are the stuff of comedy Comedy is what you get when principles bump into reality I know he had a reputation for being dour but John Coetzee was actually uite funny A figure of comedy Dour comedy Which in an obscure way he knew even accepted That is why I still look back on him with affection If you want to know” And then she told him he ought to find a woman to look after him and get married Cousin Margot is next and she is embarrassed both by him and for him They were children together but as adults she is uncomfortable with him like everyone else When they are stranded overnight in a truck a farmer rescues them in the morning and she speaks Afrikaans with him It’s second nature for her “whereas the Afrikaans John speaks is stiff and bookish Half of what John says probably goes over Hendrik’s head ‘Which is poetic do you think Hendrik the rising sun or the setting sun? A goat or a sheep?’ ” She reckons her family’s days are numbered since the Koup The Coetzees are all lazy slack spineless yet she’d had higher hopes for John and his bookish waysHer sister Carol finally spills the beans about John some of which we know from earlier and some of which roughly matches JM’s history She calls him “stuck up” “He lives with his father but only because he has no money He is thirty something years old with no prospects He ran away from South Africa to escape the army Then he was thrown out of America because he broke the law Now he can’t find a proper job because he is too stuck up The two of them live on a the pathetic salary his father gets from the scrapyard where he works” When Margo asks John if he’s relieved to be back home after leaving America he says “But practically speaking what future do I have in this country where I have never fitted in? Perhaps a clean break would have been better after all Cut yourself free of what you love and hope that the wound heals” The biographer interviews others including one man a colleague who explains that they met and became friends when they applied for the same teaching position at the University of Cape Town The biographer uotes from John’s own notes about himself and the interview that he feels he's handled badly “He has taken the uestion too literally responding too briefly They want something leisurely expansive whether he would fit in in a provincial university that is doing its best to maintain standards in difficult time to keep the flame of civilization burning In America where they take job hunting seriously people like him people who don’t know how to read the agenda behind a uestion can’t speak in rounded paragraphs don’t put themselves over with conviction—in short people deficient in people skills – attend training sessions where they learn to look the interrogator in the eye smile respond to uestions fully and with every appearance of sincerity Presentation of the self that is what they call it in America without irony” It’s a rambling piece meal collection of what sound like reminiscences and notes and embarrassing anecdotes but by the end I actually had a clear picture of an interesting man who was trapped by circumstance and escaped into his intellectAnd if John is JM then I’m glad he moved to South Australia and became an Aussie

  6. Hugh Hugh says:

    I read this one because it was the shortest book I had left on the to read shelf while waiting for the next part of my Booker longlist order to arrive I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed it I have read a lot of Coetzee and this is one of his wittiest not least because his portrait of himself in the 70s refracted by an imaginary biographer and five interviewees is not a flattering oneThe five witnesses are bookended by two sets of notebook extracts I am not sure whether these are real or fictional but suspect the latter The interviewees are Julia a married woman with whom the young writer has a brief affair Margot a cousin Adriana a Brazilian widow who is the mother of one of his pupils Martin a fellow university lecturer and Sophie a French university colleague with who he has another affair The first two are almost novella length the rest are much shorter The writer comes across as stubborn driven and incapable of relating to the women he meets and rather out of place in the conformist society of white South Africa I suspect a degree of self deprecating caricature but that makes the book much entertaining to read

  7. Isabelle Isabelle says:

    It has been a very long time since I read something that original The premise of the book is so unusually incisive so creative in itself Coetzee writes his own biography post his fictive death as strung together through his notebooks and the interviews of some of his contemporariesBehind the dry humor and subtle self deprecation there are some very serious underlying themes mostly pertaining to life in South Africa in the 70's Afrikaners natives Apartheid etc but also dealing with elder parent care teaching and of course writing as a pursuit and a processI am so impressed by this book

  8. Sidharth Vardhan Sidharth Vardhan says:

    Of all the three in series 'Scenes from a Provincial life' this was the one I had highest hopes from Because this was the book that would relate to the period in his life when he was actually writing novels and so closer or in the period of his greatness It was disappointing because author actually increased the distance from his person by trying to see himself from point of view of other people The diary entries in the begining and the end might be truthful but the interviews in the middle seemed all made unless Coetzee had come up with an idea of time travel or inter dimension travel written as they are as interviews of some of people once close to C by a fictional biographer after C's death Now this kind of thing presents than one kind of issue First none of the people in general and women in particular interviews have been taken seemed to like Coetzee a lot One wonders whether Coetzee isnt making their opinions of himself too critical something common with first two instalments of this series too Pragmatism always beats principles; that is just the way things are The universe moves the ground changes under our feet; principles are always a step behind Principles are the stuff of comedy Comedy is what you get when principles bump into reality I know he had a reputation for being dour but John Coetzee was actually uite funny A figure of comedy Dour comedy Which in an obscure way he knew even accepted That is why I still look back on him Secondly they probably won't be as honest to make the admissions even if Coetzee was to die Thirdly with most writers it seems to me the best part is their inner lives which is not available to observation of outsiders And how fortunate that most people even people who are no good at straight out lying are at least competent enough at concealment not to reveal what is going on inside them not by the slightest tremor of the voice or dilation of the pupil Coetzee seems to be labouring under the idea common to so many idealist intellectuals loners or less self created ones; as against university created institutional intellectuals that they do not belong to the world That their inability to behave 'normally' to imitate the social ways make them unlikeable to others which isn't always true or Coetzee wouldn't have ever become a famous author It is a shame that he must so orignal a person should have so low an opinion of himself It hardly seems to make him a very good autobiographer But that being said he is still a very good writer with orignal ideas and ways of looking at the world and this shows up on this book tooOn convenience racismBreytenbach left the country years ago to live in Paris and soon thereafter ueered his pitch by marrying a Vietnamese womanthat is to say a non white an Asiatic He not only married her but if one is to believe the poems in which she figures is passionately in love with her Despite which says the Sunday Times the Minister in his compassion will permit the couple a thirty day visit during which the so called Mrs Breytenbach will be treated as a white person a temporary white an honorary whiteOther uotes No one is immortal Books are not immortal The entire globe on which we stand is going to be sucked into the sun and burnt to a cinder After which the universe itself will implode and disappear down a black hole Nothing is going to survive not me not you and certainly not minority interest books about imaginary frontiersmen in eighteenth century South AfricaBut to the barbarians as Zbigniew Herbert has pointed out irony is simply like salt you crunch it between your teeth and enjoy a momentary savour; when the savour is gone the brute facts are still thereMusic isn't about fucking' I went on 'Music is about foreplay It's about courtship You sing to the maid

  9. Phrynne Phrynne says:

    What an odd book The author writes it as though he is someone else writing his biography after his death Parts of it were very strange and parts of it were hard to understand As someone who was living in South Africa in the late 70's I really enjoyed the African references and being able to practice the little Afrikaans I still remember Apart from that though I guess I was not really enamoured of the book although I feel encouraged to maybe try another of his books in the near future

  10. J J says:

    Apparently this is the third of a type of trilogy I did not know that I bought it because it was short Sorry John I was on vacation at the beach It was called Summertime It was available in paperback and I was low on cash What I got when I began to read was infinitely There are some books that affect us so deeply the 1500 price seems ludicrous Admittedly I am a lousy fan There are few authors whose complete works I’ve read no matter how much I admire their writing Fewer still about whom I know anything personal Summertime is a fictionalized biography Interviews for a biography and notes written by the subject himself really; an unfinished work This furthers the impression of looking in on a life – the naturalness of it the side of biographies we don’t normally see It’s an engaging portrait of a man a writer an artist possibly even Coetzee himself All those things It’s wise and beautiful and wry and if not a strictly factual account of his life perhaps it gives a truer glimpse of him For what great writer writes anything without showing us something of themselves?One of the things I do know about him is his famed evasiveness He seems disturbed by the rockstar writer phenomenon and plays with that here The biographer interviews the women that have most impacted the great author’s life What indelible mark did he leave on their own? Disappointment He was only a man A man who was alive within himself than out He couldn’t dance To express himself without words – lots and lots of words – was nearly impossible Yet he rarely spoke The painful awkwardness of being human is captured perfectly as he seems to slyly poke fun at both himself and the rest of us The women are repeatedly referred to as “his conuests” or “his women” but it’s clear in each case that it’s him who has been conuered As they speak of their relations with him detailing his failings they reveal of themselves and their own shortcomings That’s not to say they’re unlikable More real They’re strong self determined women both touched and frustrated by this man He speaks a different language figuratively And so he can be no to them than South Africa in flux – transitory impermanent Disappointment They move on The one constant from beginning to end is his father Always in his mind his memory the reality of caring for him always a silent presence in his relationships with women For that reason the story feels like an apology To the women who never knew how much they meant to him And to his father for trying to live while he is dying

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