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Tässä ja nyt : kirjeitä ystävyydestä (2012)
Tekijä: Paul Auster, J. M. Coetzee
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Ei tämänhetkisiä Keskustelu-viestiketjuja tästä kirjasta.
Occasional insights, mild pleasures. Nothing here to pierce armour in this chatty exchange between two polished performers. They exchange chit-chat about the trials and pleasure of their lives as feted authors, the invitations accepted and speeches given, their works in progress. Both were feeling their age; Auster was 61 and Coetzee 68 when their correspondence began. They are each in their own ways grumpy about the way the world has changed as the years have passed. Writing in 2010, Coetzee lamented the 'mean vision' that has come to dominate the practice of politics and signs off, 'Yours in dark times'. Auster responds with an extended reflection on the 'great carnival of stupidity that has become our public life'. Fortunately for the reader, their doom gives way to nostalgia, as they exchange memories of the portable typewriter and the landline telephone. Auster still types his correspondence on an Olivetti Lettera 22, but the characters in his novels use cellphones. Coetzee laments the prevalence of 'personal electronic devices': 'The telephone is about as far as I will go in a book, and then reluctantly'. So much is lost he writes, in the plotline possibilities of fiction when everyone has instant access to everyone via electronic communications. Novels of clandestine adultery or others involving fraud and deception in which delayed communications once played a role are quaint survivors from a now distant past. 'One used to be able to get pages and pages' out of the necessity for letters or messengers and their unreliability for the exchange of information.
I’ve read maybe half of Coetzee, but only one Paul Auster book besides this one.
I believe it was in this collection of correspondence that I found one of my favorite lines, related by Auster, about the business of living, having life happen to you, getting old, watching friends and family die, and then dying yourself: “As my friend George Oppen once said to me about getting old: what a strange thing to happen to a little boy.”
I have always enjoyed reading Paul Auster. It doesn't matter what he says, I just love the way he says it. I discovered Coetzee a few years ago when he came to Argentina for the annual bookfair. I wasn't impressed by his talk, but felt curious about his writing so I read a book by him and he became one of my favorite writers. I could simply not fall in love with their letters. A book I enjoyed from beginning to end, even when they were discussing sports ( a topic I am not interested at all) I highly recommend this piece. Paul Auster's fans won't be disappointed.
Without having read any letters by either Paul Auster or J.M. Coetzee, it is hard to decide how "natural" this collection of correspondence is. Any two writers can of course be friends, and will then, likely correspond. Still, the start of this correspondence per explicit suggestion to "begin exchanging letters on a regular basis" does smack a bit of commercial interest.
The somewhat artificial basis of the correspondence remains in the background, and resonates with the decision to publish such a small, immature collection within five years of its commencement: Here and now. Letters 2008-2011.
Auster and Coetzee do not have much in common, and do not have much to tell each other. They banter a bit about writing, mentioning books, which they have often "seen" in film adaptations. Their closest proximity is in the discussion of major literature, which, inevitably, both of them have read: Dostoyevsky, Kafka, and to a lesser extent, Philip Roth.
There is quite a lot of talk about politics, esp. Israel, and sports. All rather banal.
Auster is revealed as not using email or a mobile phone, and there is some further discussion about their attachment to type writers, and the significance of modern communication technology to prose fiction.
Fortunately, both authors are gifted writers, and the letters read easily. Therefore, despite its limited interest, reading Here and now. Letters 2008-2011 does not set the reader back much time, and could be read at a glance in a few hours.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)
Correspondence between two authors over three years, offering a portrait of their lives and touching on a variety of subjects ranging from sports to fatherhood, literature to film, philosophy to politics, and from the financial crisis to art, death, eroticism, marriage, friendship, and love.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)816.54Literature English (North America) American letters 20th Century 1945-1999
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Se reporter à la critique de Jean-Paul BEAUMIER
In: (2014). Compte rendu de [Essai]. Nuit blanche, (135), pp. 50-51… ; (en ligne),
URL : https://id.erudit.org/iderudit/72171ac