Friday, August 26, 2011
Summertime and postmodern games
Summertime is one of Coetzee's finest novels, and is as good as his very best work, including Life and Times of Michael K., Waiting for the Barbarians, and Disgrace.
It is different in tone, texture and style than these works. Here, Coetzee takes a dive into post-modernism, writing about a character named John Coetzee, a dead writer, from the perspective of numerous people in his life, particularly women, by a biographer. In other hands this pomo- trick would fall flat and be derivative, and boring. But Coetzee never misses the mark. The novel is invested with great passion, empathy, searing self-examination and sympathy.
This is not silly, game play postmodern fiction, but an authentic examination of life from a very close and uncompromising angle