Recent Coetzee interview snippets

Two newspaper reports summarize recent interviews granted by J.M. Coetzee. Selected remarks from the author:

On books in the age of television: “A lot of children go through a phase of reading in a literally voracious way. It is their primary imaginative activity. Maybe that’s an experience which is not so common any more with the presence of television in every home.”

On public speaking invitations: “It has always struck me as one of literary fame’s more strange sides. When you have shown your competence in writing and creating stories, people suddenly demand that you should give speeches and tell them about what you think of the state of the world.”

On the lack of a Nobel prize for music: “Music is … more universal than literature, which always remains tied-up to a certain language.”

On his writing and thinking as the result of European expansion from the 1600s to present: “I say that I’m a product of this expansion because my intellectual domicile is evidently European, not African.”

On his youthful dream of becoming a poet: “If I had been born 20 or 30 years later, I would probably have ended up studying theoretical linguistics and perhaps artificial intelligence, something of that order, and perhaps have continued with a sideline in poetry in the evenings.”

Asked if he might still embark on such a career, Coetzee said: “It is much too late.”

(First link via The Literary Saloon.)


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