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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Il ragazzino vive nel Sudafrica post seconda guerra mondiale, tifa per gli inglesi ed ama i russi, adora il cricket. Are memoirs any good? His opinion of himself is that he is not worthy of notice by default, but he is nevertheless delighted on the rare instance that he gets any; when he he is saved from drowning by his Scout troop leader, he recalls it for weeks.

J.M. Coetzee: Boyhood – The Mookse and the Gripes

This is an autobiographical work with Coetzee coetzew as the narrator, referring to himself in the book as “he”. His real achievement is, however, that all his books are so concentrated, so poised, that they do not solely depend for their power on our knowledge of where and in what circumstances they were written. How could be special coming from where he has bojhood, his parents, his schooling, this arid veld? Jun 12, Billy rated it liked it.


Sep 22, jo-booksy rated it it was ok Shelves: Or is it the author himself who was such a complicated, dark young soul?

Sometimes the gloom lifts. His mother runs the house and he is thankful for this fact. In fact, it is not obvious to him by what right his father is there at all. Here, the author writes four sentences about the meaning of the word “mustn’t”, and these four sentences perceptively boyuood the nature of racial inequality. Colette Jones April 20, at 3: Does this part of Coetzee’s autobiography contribute to a better understanding of his novels?

Coetzee shows how he, as a boy, struggled with the meaning of his being, questioning everything and not understanding anything.

Coetzee shows the racial fissures in the South African society sharply yet subtly. I love the writing of J. I wonder if, as an adult writer, he assuages his own guilt by this story.

And In the end of this first installment of his life storywe see his “destiny” emerging, what really does come to be his specialness.

He only mentions a sense of belonging with respect to his mother. Scenes from Provincial Life Youth: 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. He dare not slip.

There is a piercing discussion of the boy’s parents.


Nothing is idealized, nothing overly vague. Remember the story told of a local couple who married and the husband went away to sea and was presumed dead? Your comments are very helpful. Each chapter usually serves costzee a stand-alone, non-cumulative story of his childhood about one or more subjects. But here is where you see the tone and subtlety of his tale.


Scenes from Provincial Life, offers coetzeee great opportunities to explore the world of a young boy who is trying to make sense of the adult world around him. Here in Boyhoodthere is much discussion of the difference between groups, including the Coloured people who are part of his life in a mysterious and uncomfortable way.

Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life

This is not the only way in which Coetzzee seems to transcend the senses which he appeals to; there is, for example, a stunning passage, absolutely inexplicable in its effect, in which the sound is so precisely designed and described in words as to actually imitate the effect of ambient sound starkly dropping out in reality.

He’s self deprecating throughout.

As long as the report is faultless, she will have no right to ask questions.