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Stranger Shores: Literary Essays

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  233 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Two-time Booker Prize-winner J. M. Coetzee is one of the world's greatest novelists. This thought-provoking collection gathers twenty-six of his essays on books and writing. In his opening piece, "What Is a Classic?", Coetzee asks, "What does it mean in living terms to say that the classic is what survives?" He explores the answer by way of T. S. Eliot, Johann Sebastian Ba ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 27th 2002 by Penguin Books (first published August 27th 2001)
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Mar 15, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, essays
I started reading J. M. Coetzee's Stranger Shores: Essays 1986-1999 thinking, "Well, I'll just give it a try." I found myself being enthralled by the author's South African perspective of both the West and his own native land. Then, too, most of the essays were about writers with whom I wasn't familiar, largely from the Netherlands, Germany, Israel and the Middle East, and finally South Africa.

Years ago, I had read two or three of Coetzee's novels and found them interesting, particularly Waitin
Chris Dietzel
Apr 10, 2016 Chris Dietzel rated it it was ok
I love Coetzee. He is one of my top three favorite living authors and his books have greatly influenced me. Because of this, I had high hopes for his literary essays. But instead of discussing anything noteworthy to fans of the author (i.e., his assessment of the current state of literature, the evolution as he sees it of storytelling in the last few decades), these essays deal with obscure topics that mainly focus on other modern literary critiques. If you want to read critiques of critiques, t ...more
Lukasz Pruski
Jun 22, 2015 Lukasz Pruski rated it really liked it
A collection of literary criticism essays? Must be my first; well, maybe about half a century ago, in high school, I had to read a few essays when preparing for the rigorous graduation exam. Yet if the essays have been written by one of my favorite authors, J.M. Coetzee, I just had to try. "Stranger Shores. Literary Essays 1986 - 1999" totally captivates: another great work of the master. The twenty six essays deal with a wide spectrum of writers, for instance, Borges, Defoe, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, ...more
Harold Bloom Jr
Jan 26, 2012 Harold Bloom Jr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exactly how does one of the greatest living practitioners of the novel feel about other great novelists? J.M.Coetzee rarely gives interviews. So, it is a real joy to read his thoughts on literature. STRANGER SHORES: ESSAYS 1986 TO 1999 is a real gem.

It contatins 29 essays from Coetzee's lecture called 'What is a Classic?' to brilliant pieces on Kafka, Borges, Rushdie, A.S.Byatt, Caryl Philips, and Dostoevsky. Coetzee even ventures outside his obscession to dwell on photography and the Rugby Wor
Jun 08, 2015 Salvatore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insightful essays that perhaps aren't as academic as those found in his previous essay collections, but they are just as challenging and insightful. I don't know where he has the time to read all of this and form such tight opinions (ouch to Caryl Phillips and AS Byatt; well done Breyten Breytenbach [hmm...] and Aharon Appelfeld). The questions of 'What is a Classic?' and how to film Richardson's Clarissa are of particular interest.
John Pistelli
Mostly read in summer 2004, summer 2006, and consulter thereafter.
M. Sarki
Feb 01, 2016 M. Sarki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
More than a bit of a bore compared to my earlier read of Inner Workings: Literary Essays 2000-2005 which was fantastic. Nothing much of interest to me here keeping me glued to the pages.
Guillermo Ollarves
Análisis muy sobrios por parte de J. M. Coetzee, sobre los contextos afectivos y socio-políticos en los que se desenvolvieron los diversos autores -la mayoría surafricanos- que nos presenta.

Un viaje por diversas costas que nos enseñan mucho sobre las disputas de derechas e izquierdas, liberalismos y conservadurismos que han marcado los últimos siglos sin someterse a las pasiones; y a su vez, un viaje que le enseña al extranjero un poco de la historia desconocida de Suráfrica.
Prooost Davis
Jul 06, 2013 Prooost Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here is a fine book of literary criticism by a true scholar. Coetzee displays wide and deep knowledge of novelists and poets from around the world and from many eras. It was wonderful to read a critic who obviously loves literature and cares enough about his subject to know what he's talking about and to give the works and their authors a fair shake.
Apart from the first essay, `What is a Classic`(which is also the best piece imo), these essays are really more highly specific book reviews than anything else. Still, came across some writers I would like to read from Coetzee`s reviews, and a few interesting points on some familiar writers. ...more
Aug 20, 2011 Paola rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saggistica
Fare la recensione a un libro che raccoglie le recensioni di Coetzee, premio Nobel della letteratura, bhé mi sembra un tantino presuntuoso.
Non posso fare altro che consigliare di leggerlo.
Si impara tantissimo.
Anirudh Karnick
Confirms my impression of Coetzee as "hard" - the essays provide information but aren't particularly illuminating, if you compare him to other writer-critics like Josipovici and Kundera.
Mar 29, 2012 Seán rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Coetzee's essay on Rushdie is the greatest essay written in the last 30 years bar none. Very few can scold Rushdie like a school boy and be taken seriously.
If you want to know anything about Dutch and African literature it's a good start.
Feb 20, 2013 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Astute, assured, but often pedantic
Oct 15, 2007 Ivan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heran nggak senikmat fiksinya...
Jiann-Chyng Tu
Aug 10, 2010 Jiann-Chyng Tu rated it liked it
point of view.
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John Maxwell Coetzee is an author and academic from South Africa. He is now an Australian citizen and lives in South Australia.
A novelist and literary critic as well as a translator, Coetzee has won the Booker Prize twice and was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature.
More about J.M. Coetzee...

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