J. M. Coetzee is, without question, one of the world's greatest novelists. This volume gathers together for the first time in book form twenty-nine pieces on books, writing, photography and the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. Stranger Shores opens with 'What is a Classic?' in which Coetzee explores the answer to his own question - 'What does it mean in living terms to say that the classic is what survives?' - by way of TS Eliot, JS Bach and Zbigniew Herbert. His subjects range from eighteenth and nineteenth century writers Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Ivan Turgenev, to the great German modernists Rilke, Kafka, and Musil, to the giants of late twentieth century literature, among them Harry Mulisch, Joseph Brodsky, Jorge Luis Borges, Salman Rushdie, Amos Oz, Naguib Mahfouz, Nadine Gordimer and Doris Lessing.
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(197mm x 130mm x 24mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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UK Kirkus Review »
Well known as a novelist, Coetzee's essays have not taken centre stage before, though he has written on a wide range of topics, including writing, photography and sport, and lectured widely; he is also professor of literature at the University of Cape Town. This collection gathers together for the first time 29 articles written between 1986 and 1999, demonstrating the breadth of his interests and his versatility as a writer of non-fiction. Like Calvino, Bloom and many other distinguished critics before him, he opens with an exploration of the notion of a classic (be it literature or music), concluding that it is perhaps a work that 'survives the worst of barbarism, surviving because generations of people cannot afford to let go of it...'. He then moves on to explore a range of 'traditional' classics such as Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, but also some less familiar and more recent works, including Mulisch's The Discovery of Heaven. The mix is eclectic indeed, bringing in also Aharon Appelfeld, Ali Mazrui, Kafka, A S Byatt and Amos Oz. Coetzee is a sensitive and intelligent reader who will shed new light on those authors he discusses whom you have read, and inspire you to explore those you haven't. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - J. M. Coetzee
J.M. Coetzee's work includes Waiting For the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K, Boyhood, Youth, Disgrace and Diary of a Bad Year. He was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003.