Using third-person narration, J. M. Coetzee depicts his boyhood (ages ten to thirteen) in South Africa, where he experiences familial problems, racial prejudice . The Schooldays of Jesus · Late Essays · The Good Story · The Childhood of Jesus · Here and Now. See all books by J. M. Coetzee. : Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life (): J. M. Coetzee: Books.

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Each chapter usually serves as a stand-alone, non-cumulative story of his childhood about one or more subjects.


Very unusual and enjoyable sentence construction throughout — third person, present tense, always in reference to his year-old self. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. At one point, introduced to Roman history and literature, he decides he is a Roman Catholic, though his family is atheist and he knows nothing about religion. Una delle paure principali era quella di essere trasferito in una scuola afrikaans, lui che, di origine afrikaans, aveva fatto sua la cultura inglese e trovava insopportabilmente grossolani coeyzee compagni di origine boera.

Sep 01, notgettingenough rated it really liked it Shelves: Or is it the author himself who was such a complicated, dark young soul? South Africa, after all, where he was born and lives boyhoox writes, was until recently a very graphic working model of a dystopian, dysfunctional society.

As with most biographies, there’s no real story arc, no real plot, but that’s not the point. As long as the report is faultless, she will have no right to ask questions.

This is a boy of softness, aware of his weaknesses and failures, who seethes against boyhoood failed father and adores his mother who keeps the family going. He shares nothing with his mother. Learn how your comment data is processed. Sure, when I was splayed on the couch reading this thing, I could’ve gotten up and wiki’d ‘South Africa’ but I wasn’t motivated enough, so the subtleties of Afrikans, ‘Coloured People,’ ‘Natives,’ and the English were mostly lost on me.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. But now he has to deal with more than occasional persecution by Protestant bullies — he also arouses the suspicion of his fellow exiles, the Catholic boys who want to know why he is absent from catechism!

Indeed, all three novels share a dystopian view of the world but Coetzee more than the other two has a particularly potent brand of stoic desperation in the face bohhood the world! I was lured into checking out those blurbs because I found myself without any strong feelings whatsoever about Boyhoodand I wanted to see what was causing its fans to get off.

Book ReviewsJ. Beautifully written, it’s very gripping, but it took me a while to grasp the point of the novel. The house concerned was a local one, so people continued to tell that story and the young boy is entranced by it.


But people notice his difference and recognise he will be seen. There was, it seems, precious little bliss in that South African dawn. I really wish I could meet Coetzee one day and tell him how I felt the resemblance of my childhood in this book. Dec 04, Babak Fakhamzadeh rated it really liked it Shelves: He’s an amazing writer, one of th best ever. South Coetzse memoirs, whether written by blacks or whites, tend to have a thread of sameness woven through: It turns him inward, sharply, he probably has no other way out.

In later works, namely The Diary of a Bad Year, the author’s self-indulgent laments about himself seem tiring.

Everyone is staring at him, judging him, finding him wanting. In this intense memoir we get the background for how the ideas he engages with in cotzee novels came about: But gradually it dawns on him where this apprenticeship in fear and loathing will take him.

Sep 22, jo-booksy rated it it was ok Shelves: He has plenty of historical insight to move the book.

These “scenes from provincial life” far exceeded my expectations. Watched twice, but still not read. I am an ex-Calvinist and this severity seems familiar to me, but Coetzee is sort of a non-reltigious Calvinist, wracked as he is by fears and guilt.

Truth in Autobiography White Writing: Era un bambino intelligente che analizzava attentamente le dinamiche familiari, subendole e ferendo a sua volta; consapevole dei difetti degli altri come dei propri; spaventato e orgoglioso. There is the uncalibrated cruelty of children, the heedlessness of adults, Coetzee’s pervading sense of difference magnified by his Afrikaans parents’ decision to raise him as English-speaking: Oct 06, Lukasz Pruski rated it it was amazing.

By Trevor Berrett T His careful attention is part of an unending pursuit of some deterministic pattern that might explain everything going on around him; the rules of the world are utterly unclear to him whenever expectations and scenarios are not made perfectly clear and explicit, and desperately-desired normalcy is out of reach as a result, so he seeks isolation, keeping his life a series of careful secrets from the world, prudently and privately enduring his dutiful shame as a penance of sorts as he tries to puzzle out why certain manifestations of violence and implicit sexuality are acceptable, even desirable and alluring, in certain settings—corporal punishment during school, rough-housing between boys after school—but not others, and why the personal freedoms of women and minorities are so hindered.

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He does not know where to direct his eyes, what to do with his hands, how to hold his body, what expression to wear on his face. Uniquely written fictional autobiography of Coetzee in Primary School. It’s a look back at a period in his early adolescent when his sense of separate selfhood developed, when he emerged to be something more than a target of his mother’s a My first Coetzee; I take it you’re supposed to start with Waiting for the Barbarians or Michael K. One of the interesting things about this story is that issues of race, class, gender and sexuality, barely on his radar as a young kid, emerge throughout his growing up story set in apartheid South Africa.


I wonder if, as an adult writer, he assuages his own guilt by this story. In the end Coetzee also becomes a teacher, and off course a writer, but at the time he thinks: How he feels as a boy and his observances of the world around him remind me of what it was like to look at the world through child’s eyes and know that everything was not the way that it was supposed to be and to wonder how it would all turn out one day.

And uniquely equipped to do so—no one else seems to be as open to the world, and besides, even those who are paying attention at all aren’t recording it, and certainly not like this. His tender heart, Summer Vacations on farms, money crisis of childhood, love for books, sport fanaticism, bully kids in school, attention on wealthy kids in school, scout guiding, differences between Catholics and Jews, mother’s love and her sacrifices for him, fantasies during school days for sex and how babies come, the blood of white and black people, Afrikaans and Coetzee’s unwillingness to acceptance or denial of their culture, English culture and urge to into sophisticated meshes of it, burning of heart by seeing poor people, animal killing, death of an Aunt abandoned in obscurity of illness and funeral and later dead display of emotions, thirst for ambition, ineptitude of playing outdoor games, mediocrity in school But here, where he’s reflecting upon his childhood, I guess you’d hope he’d invest the telling with a little animation, a hint of passion or energy, and attempt at least to convince us that the ten-year-old Coetzee wasn’t as grim and emotionally ascetic as the sixty-five-year-old Coetzee.

BOYHOOD by J.M. Coetzee | Kirkus Reviews

The “he” is little John Coetzee, a precocious child, who loves and hates his mother and is ashamed of his father. These were some of the best spent 12 hours in my life. Remember the byohood told of a local couple who married and the husband went away to sea and was presumed dead?