A fascinating collection of essays on literary subjects ranging from Daniel Defoe to Samuel Beckett by a Nobel and Booker Prize-winning writer
Late Essays gathers together J.M. Coetzee’s literary essays from 2006 to 2017. The subjects covered in this stunning collection range from Daniel Defoe in the early eighteenth century to Coetzee’s contemporary Philip Roth. Coetzee has had a long-standing interest in German literature and here he engages with the work of Goethe, Hölderlin, Kleist and Walser. There are four fascinating essays on fellow Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett and he looks at the work of three Australian writers: Patrick White, Les Murray and Gerald Murnane. There are essays too on Tolstoy’s great novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich, on Flaubert’s masterpiece Madame Bovary, and on the Argentine modernist Antonio Di Benedetto.
A writer of JM Coetzee’s stature needs no preamble… This book emerges as an engaging series of master classes in novel writing, from which we might distil a selection of dos and don’ts
J.M. Coetzee's essays are filtered through boundless reserves of knowledge, wisdom and reading...A spare, dry sense of humour...Not a single page goes by in this collection when you don't learn something
Coetzee remains a highly original thinker, able to take a much-dissected novel such as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and offer an appreciation that stretches the boundaries of the reading experience. The most intriguing essay is one on Philip Roth, a rare occasion where Coetzee tackles one of his contemporaries
His essays are models of clarity, judicious reasoning, and respectful attention… a kind of sage who brings composure to bear on the earthquake zones of mind and heart. He is a master of prose’s lucidities, all the while cognisant of the hidden presence of poetry… Late Essays gives you the feeling that Coetzee has come to look into the eyes of writers, the better to read them with the justice they deserve
His interest is in delving into the writer’s mind, the circumstances surrounding the work and the thinking processes that led to writerly choices in terms of form, style, and themes...Above all, he brings the perspective of one who has much to teach us about slow reading.