Sunday, May 15, 2011

Elizabeth Costello


A few years ago I read J.M. Coetzee's Foe, which is supposed to some kind of metafiction about Daniel Defoe and Robinson Crusoe. I couldn't make heads or tails of it. So I've been leary about reading anything more by Coetzee since. For some reason, Elizabeth Costello recently came onto my radar, and it seemed like a good place to get reacquainted with Coetzee.

And all I can really say about it is "eh."

It's another metanovel, this time incorporating a series of talks/articles that Coetzee really did. There were some interesting parts, some interesting discussions. But beyond that, the book was a bit of a yawn. That's really all I can say about it.

Coetzee and I will likely run into each other again in the years to come, but I can only hope our "relationship" improves.


Tom Goodfellow said...

I've read a fair amount of Coetzee, and you have somehow managed to go for his worst two novels first. Try "Disgrace" or "Waiting for the Barbarians" which are far, far better.

Kristin said...

Good to know! I haven't given up on Coetzee...which says something.

Italia said...

In Elizabeth Costello, we find Coetzee confronting some of the fundamental structures of the society we have known for so long, forcing the reader to think and have an insight into life. This thought-provoking novel which is actually a collection of essays with some having been published before as lectures, is a deep but entertaining book. Coetzee uses Costello Elizabeth as a fictional character to put forward these essays and uses other characters as critics to create a dialectical outlook for the book.