He and His Man
December 9, 2003 12:39 PM   Subscribe

J.M. Coetzee's Nobel Speech. It seemed to him, coming from his island, where until Friday arrived he lived a silent life, that there was too much speech in the world. Coetzee, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, delivers his lecture from the perspective of Robinson Crusoe.
posted by _sirmissalot_ (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Dilbert: Ever notice how there's too much communication in the world?

Dogbert: Yes. Every day about this time.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:58 PM on December 9, 2003

I remember The Life and Times of Michael K to be a very overtly modernized version of Robinson Cruesoe, does this theme run through the rest of his works as well?
posted by themadjuggler at 1:09 PM on December 9, 2003

It does seem to be a subject he's fond of. "Foe" was a small novel explicitly about Crusoe. . . I think he enjoys all of the allegorical potential in a character stranded, separated from society--and also the enigmatic meta-angle of the "who really wrote it" question.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 1:17 PM on December 9, 2003

"trust the art and not the artist"-- but this guy is fantastic, and I have just finished his latest book.
posted by Postroad at 2:11 PM on December 9, 2003

I'd been hoping to run across this, but never really had the time to search, and then forgot about it. Thanks so much for bringing it to our attention, _sirmissalot_!
posted by .kobayashi. at 5:47 PM on December 9, 2003

This is great. I'm encouraged by it. But I imagine other, earlier winners of the Nobel Prize for literature are blushing, because they often talked about themselves, or their work, or their methods, or delivered pompous generalities, or said, in so many words, "Finally! I am recognized" or, if they were more generous, "Finally! My kind are recognized."
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:12 AM on December 10, 2003

Great indeed. Caterina, along with her own appreciation, has put online the Elizabeth Bishop poem "Crusoe in England," which makes an interesting companion piece.
posted by languagehat at 8:29 AM on December 10, 2003

Whew!! Coetzee, I thought you said Goatse.

(you can see how this might be alarming,
with the nobel prize and all - and no I will not link to it)

I hearby promise not to skim the FPPs ever again.
posted by milovoo at 12:43 PM on December 10, 2003

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