Friday, August 24, 2007
J.M. Coetzee/ELIZABETH COSTELLO
I've really enjoyed Coetzee in the past--I loved DISGRACE, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MICHAEL K, and WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS. He's great with brief, thoughtful prose, always humanistically inclined. You come out of his books feeling like a better and wiser person.
ELIZABETH COSTELLO I was a little disappointed by. It's a series of essays about moments in the life of a fictional novelist. It's very moral-oriented (each chapter is called a "Lesson"), occasionally felt like coursework reading, and (forgive me for this but) was rather self-indulgent--a writer writing about writing and writers.
There are definitely some thoughtful and worthwhile passages, but I found them work to get through. Low-brow girls like me appreciate those quaint little devices like plot, unfortunately.
PW, I see on Amazon, gave it a "reverberating" review ("a resounding achievement" they say). Hum. The only chapter I had any fun with at all was the last one, which can essentially stand alone.
Oh well. Anyone else read this? Am I way off?