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The Boy of La Mancha: J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus

The Boy of La Mancha: J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus URMILA SESHAGIRI J. M. Coetzee, The Childhood of Jesus. London: Harvill Secker, 2013. 277 pp. £12.99. o room at the inn: thus begins The Childhood of Jesus, J. M. Coetzee's enigmatic novel about a forty-fiveyear-old man named Simon on a journey with his ´ five-year-old charge, David. Among the astonishments of this story--the latest in a four-decade career devoted to narrative invention--are uncharacteristically candid expressions of love. A merciless chronicler of human frailty, Coetzee has until now denied love the clarity that he reserves for injustice or mortality, choking it into forms both oblique and violent. But in his latest work, a demi-allegory about the Christ-child, the unalloyed love between Simon and David announces a renewed ´ and welcome attention to emotion from a writer whose affective gifts have been underserved by arid recent experiments such as Diary of a Bad Year (2007) and Summertime (2009). The Childhood of Jesus takes readers into an unnerving future world where alienation is both revealed and resolved through encounters with literature. A tale suspended in medias res and bound together by serried contests between imagination and ethics, Coetzee's latest work suggests that the communion of souls arises from the world-making power http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

The Boy of La Mancha: J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus

Contemporary Literature , Volume 54 (3) – Nov 25, 2013

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin.
ISSN
1548-9949
Publisher site
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Abstract

URMILA SESHAGIRI J. M. Coetzee, The Childhood of Jesus. London: Harvill Secker, 2013. 277 pp. £12.99. o room at the inn: thus begins The Childhood of Jesus, J. M. Coetzee's enigmatic novel about a forty-fiveyear-old man named Simon on a journey with his ´ five-year-old charge, David. Among the astonishments of this story--the latest in a four-decade career devoted to narrative invention--are uncharacteristically candid expressions of love. A merciless chronicler of human frailty, Coetzee has until now denied love the clarity that he reserves for injustice or mortality, choking it into forms both oblique and violent. But in his latest work, a demi-allegory about the Christ-child, the unalloyed love between Simon and David announces a renewed ´ and welcome attention to emotion from a writer whose affective gifts have been underserved by arid recent experiments such as Diary of a Bad Year (2007) and Summertime (2009). The Childhood of Jesus takes readers into an unnerving future world where alienation is both revealed and resolved through encounters with literature. A tale suspended in medias res and bound together by serried contests between imagination and ethics, Coetzee's latest work suggests that the communion of souls arises from the world-making power

Journal

Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Nov 25, 2013

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