Context: Finished this as Mrs Arukiyomi was hosting one of her popular cafes one Saturday.
This was a really strange novel. You can’t win the Nobel Prize without being a bit strange to read. I don’t think, on the whole, that I enjoyed this at all. And I struggled to get the point of it.
It started out okay with the writer kind of doing the literary equivalent of breaking the fourth wall, so to speak, by addressing the reader about how a novel is constructed. But this seemed to fall by the wayside and, as I was enjoying that, I felt like someone had left me after starting to play a game with me.
The book follows an aging novelist as she gives lectures around the world, and is invited to speak in places where she is rarely well-known and never understood. It’s pretty depressing overall and is possibly about the way that we age and become more myopic as we do.
There are also some extracts from her life, which I appreciated more than the lectures and the debates that she enters into. I really didn’t get those.
The book is basically way over my head, with literary and philosophical references I would never even want to understand. I still like Coetzee, but this is right at the bottom of his pile for me.
|99th PAGE QUOTE||