Monday, October 20, 2008

Neat articles on Coetzee and Munro

I started a subscription to The Raritan, a quarterly that is published at Rutgers University. It's too bad their articles aren't on-line, because their latest issue has an article by Jonathan Lear, a psychoanalyst and philosopher at the University of Chicago. The article concerns the ethical dimensions in J. M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year. I haven't read Coetzee yet, but have been meaning to do so, partly because he's known as a philosophical novelist and partly because his book Slow Man has a character named Paul Rayment.

Another nice article I've happened upon is Margaret Atwood's introduction to the Everyman collection of Alice Munro's stories. Atwood introduces the term 'Sowesto' to refer to southwestern Ontario, an area from which my father's side of the family hales and where I spent part of my childhood. I've started reading some Munro as part of the Canadian Book Challenge. Atwood's article (and AR's note about regionalist authors) has got me looking for other Sowesto writers.

1 comment:

Alok said...

His novel "Elizabeth Costello" contains lots of philosophical discussions about things like realism, belief, animal rights, consciousness etc but I was thoroughly perplexed while reading it...first I didn't understand most of the arguments and second it was not clear at what level he meant the reader to take those ideas and arguments. He is a very cold and clinical writer and totally humourless so it is hard when he tries to do irony but then it is hard to take the arguments literally either. Animal Rights is a complicated philosophical subject (and Coetzee himself has written about it) but most of Costello's arguments are irrational and it is hard to take them literally. Anyway, hope you get a chance to read it...

my personal favourite of his books is "Youth" is an autobiographical novel, short but bleak and brutal.