One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Friday, May 6, 2011

Coetzee's Reading of Gordimer

   Gordimer has throughout her career held to the belief that the artist has a special calling, a talent that it is death to hide, and that his art tells a truth transcending the truth of history. Though this position has become increasingly old-fashioned, Gordimer has, to her credit, remained tenaciously faithful to it. At the same time, however, she has been concerned to give her work, a social justification, and thus to support her claim to a place inside history, a history which she herself has to some extent been successful in shaping, as, in her fictional oeuvre, she has written the struggle of Africa against Europe upon the consciousness of the West.

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The above excerpt is from Coetzee's essay, "Gordimer and Turgenev."  I squeezed the essay in between classes and found much of the content thought-provoking (e.g., I'll have to reread Turgenev's Fathers and Sons now).

I've not read Gordimer, so it's hard to say if this is more "reading" or "misreading" (which, to some extent, is always the case) on Coetzee's part. Will have to give her a chance to speak. 
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