Television ... the parade of politicians every evening ... their message stupidly unchanging ... Their feat, after years of etymological meditation on the word, to have raised stupidity to a virtue. To stupefy: to deprive of feeling; to benumb, deaden; to stun with amazement ... Stupid: dulled in the faculties, indifferent, destitute of thought or feeling....more
That's what this book seemed like to me. Good writers avoid obvious symbols ("hidden meanings"), and Coetzee is most definitely an excellent, poetic, measured and assured writer. His prose is very exact - every single word seems to have been weighed up carefully before reaching the page - in that sense it has poetic qualities for me.
Perhaps the narrator's cancer is not a symbol of the state of his country of birth in 1990; perhaps he doesn't see Apartheid as the slo...more