One paragraph reviews on art, movies, books, and pop culture by a know-nothing who knows it all

Friday, November 25, 2005

Oration Fixation

JM Coetzee pulls off an amazing feat with his 2003 book, "Elizabeth Costello." The book is basically a series of lectures given by a fictional aging woman writer. Imagine reading eight "lessons," as Coetzee's names his chapters, that delve into polemical issues, such as reality versus artifice, animal rights, author's responsibility, etc. without falling asleep. Coetzee presents/writes the material in such a way that you yourself end up pondering these issues. Is this a typical narrative novel with storyline, story arc, and all the rest? Definitely not. Is it worth reading? Yeah, sure. The ending is a bit pretentious, with the writer at a fantasy waystation/purgatory before she dies. I chose this book after reading an NYRB article about Coetzee, and this was his only available book at the library. (Image via Village Voice)