Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chosen Book Passages for the Day



The chosen book passages today come from a favorite and brilliant author from South Africa, J. M. Coetzee.

"Although he devoted hours of each day to his new discipline, he finds its first premise, as enunciated in the Communications 101 handbook, preposterous: 'Human society has created language in order that we may communicate our thoughts, feelings, and intentions to each other.' His own opinion, which he does not air, is that the origins of speech lie in song, and the origins of song in the need to fill out with sound the overlarge and rather empty human soul. "

From J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace

....
* Can desire grow out of admiration, or are the two quite distinct species? What would it be like to lie side by side, naked, breast to breast, with a woman one principally admires?


* 'Paul here is unhappy because unhappiness is second nature to him but more particularly because he has not the faintest idea of how to bring about his heart's desire. And I am unhappy because nothing is happening. Four people in four corners, moping, like tramps in Beckett, and myself in the middle, wasting time, being wasted by time.'


* 'Our lies reveal as much about us as our truths.'

From J. M. Coetzee's Slow Man






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7 comments:

JJ said...

I really enjoy him too. Thanks for the Slow Man bits. I haven't looked at it, yet but I know to get to it soon. I like how concise his speech is. And how tender at the same time. An absolute treasure. And he's an academic, too.

Dan said...

Coetzee is not appreciated enough. A truly relevant voice of the literati. "Disgrace" is a wonderful novel....

James said...

'Our lies reveal as much about us as our truths.'

Haven't been able to quite phrase it like this, but I'd have to agree.. On some level, at least. Great author and he's got quite a personality, too!

Sra said...

Love the language quote. Yet another book to add to my neverending list.

Started Chabon's Mysteries of Pittsburgh last night, btw. It starts well.

dave said...

added him to my reading list, too. thks.

Mry said...

I haven't read him but I feel I have looking at these....

Nicki said...

Good character development. Coetzee's forte, for sure.