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Infancia by J. M. Coetzee
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7542112,315 (3.86)18
Member:gneoflavio
Title:Infancia
Authors:J. M. Coetzee
Other authors:Juan Bonilla
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Rating:****
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Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life by J.M. Coetzee

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    Youth by J.M. Coetzee (zasmine)
    zasmine: The next in the autobiographical series by Coetzee
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English (13)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Talk about not doing yourself any favors; if young John could meet old John and read what he's said about him, he'd probably lash out in his imagination, go home, cry in his over-protective mothers' lap, then lash out at her for smothering him. Not much happens, which makes perfect sense, since as I remember childhood it isn't exactly filled with memorable events at all. Just a generalized mood with the occasional trauma and joy. This book captures that nicely, and might illuminate Coetzee's other books for you too. Be prepared to think if you read it, and be prepared to think despite the apparent simplicity of the style. The man can write beautifully and clearly, and thanks to that, young John Maxwell will contradict himself from page to page without your noticing it, unless you're really on point. I read this a few years ago and was sadly not on point. This time I thought it was great. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
De zeer problematische jeugdjaren van de schrijver in een provinciestadje in Zuid-Afrika worden beschreven door de ogen van het kind maar met een scherpte en een diepgang die soms naar adem doen happen. Meesterlijk. ( )
  joucy | Jan 31, 2013 |
Memoirs about childhood have a tendency to be overly precocious and self involved. Coetzee doesn’t completely dodge this tendency; but is saved by the beauty of his writing and the insightfulness of his observations. Coetzee shows himself as a child within a troubled family situation and a troubled country.
His family is quite dysfunctional, and Coetzee shows the dynamics from a child’s perspective. As a parent, it’s a good reminder about how children pick up on their parent’s inconsistencies and hypocrisies. His descriptions of racism in South Africa from the perspective of a white child are interesting. He is uncomfortable with racism, but doesn’t know how to deal with his discomfort.
In one event, he is eating pastries with friends in a sweets shop. Some colored children come by and are looking in the window. This spoils his appetite, and makes him angry and unhappy. He could shoo the children away—as a white he has that power---but even if he does so, his appetite will still be spoiled. ( )
  banjo123 | Jun 7, 2012 |
Great description of a time long gone and still throwing its shadows. Fascinating interplay between adults and children, parents and their offspring, teachers and schoolchildren, afrikaans and english people, church and religion, school, politics, sports, race and other perspectives in the rural Cape - and then the issues of growing up in a time no longer ours, but still with us. ( )
1 vote Wilhelm_Weber | Aug 7, 2011 |
Splendid book.
An autobiography which could be a fiction. Incredibly precise and fair discovery of what's in a child mind - a child to be Nobel Prize for Literature one day.
Coetzee is as tough with himself as he is with his characters in his novels. ( )
  sinaloa237 | Nov 15, 2010 |
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Ze wonen in een nieuwbouwwijk aan de rand van de stad Worcester, tussen de spoorlijn en het Nasionale Pad.
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Ce mai poţi face cu picioarele, decât să le sorbi din priviri? Ce anume stârneşte dorinţa?
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 014026566X, Paperback)

Until writing this book, the author of Waiting for the Barbarians and other acclaimed novels has remained determinedly private about the personal experiences that sparked his writing. In Boyhood, describing his youth in the third person, J. M. Coetzee limns the halting struggle toward maturity of a sensitive, bookish boy contemptuous of his weak father who yearns--and fears--to loosen a powerful attachment to his mother. He evokes the narrowness and cruelty of South African society in the years following World War II with the same austere yet passionate prose that distinguishes his fiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Coetzee has been reluctant to talk about himself. Now, revisiting the South Africa of a half century ago, he writes about his childhood and his own interior life. Boyhood's young narrator grew up in a new development north of Cape Town, tormented by guilt and fear. With a father he did not respect, and a mother he both adored and resented, he led a double life - at school the brilliant and well-behaved student, at home the princely despot, always terrified of losing his mother's love. His first encounters with literature, the awakenings of sexual desire, and a growing awareness of apartheid left him with baffling questions; and only in his love of the veld ("farms are places of freedom, of life") could he find a sense of belonging. Bold and telling, this masterly evocation of a young boy's life is the book Coetzee's many admirers have been waiting for, but never could have expected.… (more)

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