This Coetzee novel, though far from a favourite, stimulates the same thought inspired by reading Beckett and Dante: perhaps I should read only this, only Coetzee, or only Beckett. To read one writer’s oeuvre so deeply, sentence by sentence, that it becomes engrained.
Though I relished most of Life and Times of Michael K, I was impervious to the second part, narrated by a medical officer that attempts to restore Michael K to health. In this section, though the allusion is subtle, Coetzee drifts into a spiritual journey allegory, adopting a messiah/simpleton analogy.
Michaels, forgive me for the way I treated you, I did not appreciate who you were till the last days. Forgive me too for following you like this. I promise not to be a burden.
It is impossible to ignore the symmetry between Michael K and Kafka’s Josef K. Coetzee’s fiction often reveals Kafka’s presence in the shadows, but perhaps more overtly in Life and Times of Michael K with its idiot savant motif.
I have read nearly everything by Coetzee. I love his work. There’s something new in it every time you reread one of his novels.
I’m working my way through at the moment, and enjoying them thoroughly. THey are each so different thematically.
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