Diary of a Bad Year
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Almost every page is split into three sections. Each section corresponding to a ...more
The format of Dia ...more
J. M. Coetzee is a bit of a recluse — he persistently denies interviews and was not present at either of the Booker Prize award ceremonies held in his honor. For a man whose written word is so eloquent, he is famously tight-lipped in person. “A colleague who has worked with him for more than a decade claims to have seen him laugh just once,” said fellow South African Rian Malan in a New Statesmen article. “An acquaintance has attended several d ...more
J. M. Coetzee, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2003 and is one of only two writers to win the Booker Prize twice, is clearly not content to rest on his laurels. In fact, most critics consider Diary of a Bad Year to be his most ambitious work yet. While the plot itself isn't particularly innovative, the novel's complex narrative structure masterfully weaves multiple voices and viewpoints into a beautifully textured literary counterpoint. There are plenty of layers here: C's biography is...more
This entire book is told in three distinct voices. The first voice is that of an author's book of opinions on the state of the world. It really does make the book feel both fiction and non-fiction. The second voice is that of the author himself, talking about his "life" outside of the book he is writing - his actual Diary. The third voice is that of his secretary/typist, Anya, who is transcribing the book for the author, who she calls Senor C - her actual Diary.
The boo ...more
'Ultimately what a virus wants is to take over the world, that is to say, to take up residence in every warmblooded body ...more
I've read a few of Coetzee's books before, too. And I've liked them. So I bought this on sale, and now, after reading it, I understand why it was on sale in the first place. Maybe about half of it is about an old man writing about an old man writing about politics and humanity and the world in general. And maybe because I'm too young or whatever, I jus ...more
Putting that aside, this does feature an effective use of non-linear narrative -- there are 2 o ...more
Its text is divided into two and later three separate but interrelated narratives on each page. The premise is that an elderly author is writing a book of Strong Opinions and approaches a young Filipina, entirely on the basis of her 'perfect derriere', to assist him with typing. His 'opinions' make up the first of the novel’s narratives and appear at the top of each page. Later these change to Soft Opinions, which he writes in response to her finding the first set boring. Cl ...more
I love that, after living here for almost a year and picking us this novel from my local public library, that i understand his point of view, i can visualize ever more clearly what makes Coetzee tick. There were passages, especially toward the end, where i ...more
However, underneath this - at the bottom third of each page - we have a running interior monologue (mostly unrelated to the above) of said author.
To complicate matters, underneath THIS - the bottom fifth of each ...more
The fiction part of this uniquely constructed novel is similar to his other novels; the character who seems to be more or less based on himself sums it up perfectly:
"As a young man, I never for a moment allowed myself to doubt that only from a self disengaged from the ...more