2003 : J. M. Coetzee

2003 : J. M. Coetzee

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“who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider”



February 9, 1940

Place of birth


Cape Town, South Africa



Novelist, Essayist, Literary Critic, Linguist



Australia / South Africa

Notable award(s)


Nobel Prize in Literature 2003


John Maxwell Coetzee (* Cape Town [Western Cape Province, South Africa], February 9, 1940) is a writer born in South Africa and Australian citizen, a country where he currently resides. On December 10, 2003 (announced on October 2) was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, thus becoming the fourth African who receives it. He spent his childhood and formative phase between Cape Town and Worcester, in addition to the Cape Province. He graduated in mathematics and English at the University of Cape Town. In the early 60s moved to London (England), where he worked for a time as a computer programmer. Recorded this stage of his life in his novel Youth (2002). Later undertook graduate studies in literature at the University of Texas (USA.), After giving classes in English language and literature at the University of Buffalo (USA) until 1983. In 1984 returned to South Africa to hold a professorship in English literature at the University of Cape Town, where he was taught until his retirement in 2002. During 1989 he was in the United States as a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University. At present serving as a researcher in the Department of English at the University of Adelaide (Australia). Coinciding with the Literary Week in Adelaide in March 2006, Coetzee received Australian citizenship, without giving him away as South Africa, his birthplace and spend much of his work. It was the first writer honored twice with the Booker Prize (the most prestigious of literature in English), for their work life and times of Michael K. (1983), the story of a survivor of the civil war in South Africa, and Disgrace (1999), which is about a professor of literature marginalized in the world for sexual harassment. In addition to novels, has also published numerous literary criticism and various translations. In his works, marked by a symbolic and metaphorical style, questioning the apartheid regime and any form of racism, and explores its negative consequences on man and society. Some of his influences: Samuel Beckett, Ford Madox Ford, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Daniel Defoe, Franz Kafka.


Works in English:

  • Dusklands : [two novellas] – Johannesburg : Ravan Press, 1974 – Contents: The Vietnam project ; The Narrative of Jacobus Coetzee

  • In the Heart of the Country : [novel] – London : Secker & Warburg, 1977. – Published in the USA as From the Heart of the Country

  • Waiting for the Barbarians : [novel] – London : Secker & Warburg, 1980

  • Life and Times of Michael K : [novel] – London : Secker & Warburg, 1983

  • Foe : [novel] – London : Secker & Warburg, 1986

  • White Writing : on the Culture of Letters in South Africa – New Haven : Yale Univ. Press, 1988

  • Age of Iron : [novel] – London : Secker & Warburg, 1990

  • Doubling the Point : Essays and Interviews – Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Univ. Press, 1992

  • The Master of Petersburg : [novel] – London : Secker & Warburg, 1994

  • Giving Offense : Essays on Censorship – Chicago : Univ. of Chicago Press, 1996

  • Boyhood : Scenes from Provincial Life – London : Secker & Warburg, 1997

  • What is Realism? – Bennington, Vt. : Bennington College, 1997

  • Disgrace : [novel] – London : Secker & Warburg, 1999

  • The Lives of Animals / edited and introduced by Amy Gutmann – Princeton : Princeton Univ. Press, 1999

  • The Humanities in Africa = Die Geisteswissenschaften in Afrika – Munchen : Carl Friedrich von Siemens-Stiftung, 2001

  • Stranger Shores : Essays, 1986–1999 – London : Secker & Warburg, 2001

  • Youth – London : Secker & Warburg, 2002

  • Elizabeth Costello : Eight Lessons – London : Secker & Warburg, 2003

  • Lecture and Speech of Acceptance, upon the Award of the Nobel Prize, Delivered in Stockholm in December 2003 – New York : Penguin Books, 2004.

  • Slow Man : [novel] – Secker & Warburg, 2005 (sept.)

  • Diary of a Bad Year – London : Harvill, 2007


  • Dovey, Teresa, The Novels of J.M. Coetzee : Lacanian Allegories – Cape Town : Donker, 1988

  • Penner, Allen Richard, Countries of the Mind : the Fiction of J.M. Coetzee – New York : Greenwood Press, 1989

  • Gallagher, Susan VanZanten, A Story of South Africa : J.M. Coetzee’s Fiction in Context – Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Univ. Press, 1991

  • Attwell, David, J.M. Coetzee : South Africa and the Politics of Writing – Berkeley : Univ. of California Press, 1993

  • Critical Perspectives on J.M. Coetzee / edited by Graham Huggan and Stephen Watson – Basingstoke : Macmillan, 1996

  • Kossew, Sue, Pen and Power : a Post-Colonial Reading of J.M. Coetzee and Andre Brink – Amsterdam : Rodopi, 1996

  • Head, Dominic, J.M. Coetzee – Cambridge : Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997

  • Critical Essays on J.M. Coetzee / edited by Sue Kossew – New York : G.K. Hall, 1998

  • Helgesson, Stefan, Sports of Culture : Writing the Resistant Subject in South Africa (Readings of Ndebele, Gordimer, Coetzee) – Uppsala : Dept. of Literature [Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen], Univ., 1999

  • Viola, Andre, J.M. Coetzee : romancier sud-africain – Paris : Harmattan, 1999

  • Attridge, Derek, J. M. Coetzee & the Ethics of Reading : Literature in the Event – Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2004

  • A Universe of (Hi)stories : Essays on J.M. Coetzee / Liliana Sikorska (ed.) – Frankfurt am Main : Peter Lang, 2006

  • J. M. Coetzee and the Idea of the Public Intellectual / edited by Jane Poyner – Athens : Ohio University Press, cop. 2006


2003: Nobel Prize in Literature.


Excerpts from Disgrace

As gently as he can, he offers his question again. ‘Lucy, my dearest, why don’t you want to tell? It was a crime. There is no shame in being the object of a crime. You did not choose to be the object. You are an innocent party.’

Sitting across the table from him, Lucy draws a deep breath, gathers herself, then breathes out again and shakes her head.

‘Can I guess?’ he says. ‘Are you trying to remind me of something?’

‘Am I trying to remind you of what?’

‘Of what women undergo at the hands of men.’

‘Nothing could be further from my thoughts. This has nothing to do with you, David. You want to know why I have not laid a particular charge with the police. I will tell you, as long as you agree not to raise the subject again. The reason is that, as far as I am concerned, what happened to me is a purely private matter. In another time, in another place it might be held to be a public matter. But in this place, at this time, it is not. It is my business, mine alone.’

‘This place being what?’

‘This place being South Africa.’

‘I don’t agree. I don’t agree with what you are doing. Do you think that by meekly accepting what happened to you, you can set yourself apart from farmers like Ettinger? Do you think what happened here was an exam: if you come through, you get a diploma and safe conduct into the future, or a sign to paint on the door-lintel that will make the plague pass you by? That is not how vengeance works, Lucy. Vengeance is like a fire. The more it devours, the hungrier it gets.’

‘Stop it, David! I don’t want to hear this talk of plagues and fires. I am not just trying to save my skin. If that is what you think, you miss the point entirely.’

‘Then help me. Is it some form of private salvation you are trying to work out? Do you hope you can expiate the crimes of the past by suffering in the present?’

‘No. You keep misreading me. Guilt and salvation are abstractions. I don’t act in terms of abstractions. Until you make an effort to see that, I can’t help you.’

He wants to respond, but she cuts him short. ‘David, we agreed. I don’t want to go on with this conversation.’

Never yet have they been so far and so bitterly apart. He is shaken.


Working as swiftly as he can, holding tight to Teresa, he tries to sketch out the opening pages of a libretto. Get the words down on paper, he tells himself. Once that is done it will all be easier. Then there will be time to search through the masters – through Gluck, for instance – lifting melodies, perhaps – who knows? – lifting ideas too.

But by steps, as he begins to live his days more fully with Teresa and the dead Byron, it becomes clear that purloined songs will not be good enough, that the two will demand a music of their own. And, astonishingly, in dribs and drabs, the music comes. Sometimes the contour of a phrase occurs to him before he has a hint of what the words themselves will be; sometimes the words call forth the cadence; sometimes the shade of a melody, having hovered for days on the edge of hearing, unfolds and blessedly reveals itself. As the action begins to unwind, furthermore, it calls up of its own accord modulations and transitions that he feels in his blood even when he has not the musical resources to realize them.

At the piano he sets to work piecing together and writing down the beginnings of a score. But there is something about the sound of the piano that hinders him: too rounded, too physical, too rich. From the attic, from a crate full of old books and toys of Lucy’s, he recovers the odd little seven-stringed banjo that he bought for her on the streets of KwaMashu when she was a child. With the aid of the banjo he begins to notate the music that Teresa, now mournful, now angry, will sing to her dead lover, and that pale-voiced Byron will sing back to her from the land of the shades.

The deeper he follows the Contessa into her underworld, singing her words for her or humming her vocal line, the more inseparable from her, to his surprise, becomes the silly plink-plonk of the toy banjo. The lush arias he had dreamed of giving her he quietly abandons; from there it is but a short step to putting the instrument into her hands. Instead of stalking the stage, Teresa now sits staring out over the marshes toward the gates of hell, cradling the mandolin on which she accompanies herself in her lyric flights; while to one side a discreet trio in knee-breeches (cello, flute, bassoon) fill in the entr’actes or comment sparingly between stanzas.

Presentation Speech:

Presentation Speech by Per Wastberg of the Swedish Academy, December 10, 2003.

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Esteemed Nobel Laureates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

To write is to awaken counter-voices within oneself, and to dare enter into dialogue with them. The dangerous attraction of the inner self is John Coetzee’s theme: the senses and bodies of people, the interiority of Africa. “To imagine the unimaginable” is the writer’s duty. As a post-modern allegorist, Coetzee knows that novels that do not seek to mimic reality best convince us that reality exists.

Coetzee sees through the obscene poses and false pomp of history, lending voice to the silenced and the despised. Restrained but stubborn, he defends the ethical value of poetry, literature and imagination. Without them, we blinker ourselves and become bureaucrats of the soul.

John Coetzee’s characters seek refuge beyond the zones of power. Life and Times of Michael K. gives form to the dream of an individual outside the fabric of human coexistence. Michael K. is a virgin being, viewing the world from an infinite remove. Although exposed to the violence of racist tyranny, he achieves through passivity a freedom that confounds both the apartheid regime and the guerrilla forces simply because he wants nothing: neither war nor revolution, neither power nor money.

Waiting for the Barbarians is a disturbing love story about wanting to possess another person and to turn that person inside out as though she were a riddle to be solved. Everyone who has recognised the threat of totalitarianism and felt the desire to own another person can learn from Coetzee’s dark fables. With intense concreteness and verbally disciplined desperation, he tackles one of the great problems of the ages: understanding the driving forces of brutality, torture and injustice.

Who does the writing, who seizes power by taking pen in hand? Can black experience be depicted by a white person? In Foe, Friday is an African, already dehumanised by Defoe. To give speech to Friday would be to colonise him and deny him what remains of his integrity. The girl in Waiting for the Barbarians speaks an unintelligible language and has been blinded by torture; Michael K has a harelip and Friday has had his tongue cut out. His life is recounted by Susan Barton: that is, through ‘white writing’, the title of one of Coetzee’s books.

However hard we attempt to grasp Michael and Friday, they have been made, by Coetzee, unsullied by interpretation. They remain silent. But between the lines, in what is unspoken, there is a distillation of feelings uncommon in contemporary literature.

The myth of the survivor on a desert island is the only story there is, Coetzee once said. Several of his books treat similar solitudes. Is it possible to stand outside history? Does freedom from the diktat of authority exist? “I don’t like accomplices. God, let me be alone,” says Jacobus Coetzee in the first novel, Dusklands, rejoicing in being abandoned. But he remains the tool of history, and what compels the natives to take him seriously is his victorious violence. He does, however, ask himself whether the blacks populate a wonderful world closed to his own senses: “Perhaps I have killed something of inestimable value.”

Coetzee’s work runs like a high-tension cable across an inhospitable South African landscape. Mrs. Curran in Age of Iron has witnessed monstrous actions but is unable to condemn them using the words of others. Neither will Coetzee himself sign petitions or join in political rallies.

In the dystopian novel Disgrace, David Lurie does not achieve creativity and freedom until, stripped of all dignity, he is afflicted by his own shame and history’s disgrace. In this work, Coetzee summarises his themes: race and gender, ownership and violence, and the moral and political complicity of everyone in that borderland where the languages of liberation and reconciliation carry no meaning.

Every new book by Coetzee is astonishingly unlike his others. He intrudes into the uninhabited spaces of his readers. In his autobiographies, he pitilessly ransacks his former selves. In his essay-novel Elizabeth Costello he combines, with uninhibited humour and irony, contemporary narrative and myth, philosophy and gossip.

Dear John Coetzee,

Your work is limited in pages, limitless in scope. What I have said in Swedish to those present here is merely in so many words: “Don’t listen to me, just go home and read, and some images will stay with you forever.”

In your own life, you have recently moved along the very latitude that unites Cape Town and Adelaide. You may have left South Africa; it will hardly leave you. For the Swedish Academy, national roots are irrelevant and we do not recognize what in Europe is often called the literary periphery.

You are a Truth and Reconciliation Commission on your own, starting with the basic words for our deepest concerns. Unsettling and surprising us, you have dug deeply into the ground of the human condition with its cruelty and loneliness. You have given a voice to those outside the hierarchies of the mighty. With intellectual honesty and density of feeling, in a prose of icy precision, you have unveiled the masks of our civilization and uncovered the topography of evil.

I would like to express the warmest congratulations of the Swedish Academy as I now request you to receive this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature from the hands of His Majesty the King.

Nobel Lecture:

7 December 2003

He and His Man

But to return to my new companion. I was greatly delighted with him, and made it my business to teach him everything that was proper to make him useful, handy, and helpful; but especially to make him speak, and understand me when I spoke; and he was the aptest scholar there ever was.

— Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

Boston, located on the coast of Lincolnshire, is a pretty small town, writes his man. You can see the highest tower across England, drivers take it as bitter to guide ships. Boston is surrounded by wetlands. Bitterns, or horse to water, are plentiful, they are of Loss birds whose cry, a deep roar, is so sound that is two miles away, as the echo of a shot . These wetlands are home to many species of birds, writes his man, ducks, Malard, teal and scoters, and the capture of the Fens men, men of Palus, domesticate and breed ducks they refer to as’ decoy or decoys. The Fens are marshy areas. There are such marshes throughout Europe in the world, but elsewhere it is not called the Fens. Fen is an English word that does not migrate. These appellants Lincolnshire, writes his man, are raised in ponds, duck callers and the domestic feeding by hand. Then came the season, they are sent abroad, Holland and Germany. In Holland and Germany, they found congeners, and seeing life miserable in these ducks Dutch and German, seeing that their rivers are taken by the winter freeze and that their land is covered with snow, they do not lack let them know in a language they know them to understand that in England where they come from, suggests otherwise: English ducks experiencing shores where they find enough to eat in abundance, the tides back unhindered far in rivers they have lakes, springs, open ponds and sheltered ponds and also land where they find plenty of wheat left by the garbage and freezing point or snow, or very little. By painting such a table, he wrote, what they do in duck language, the decoy or decoys, and attract birds congregate in large numbers and, so to speak, the kidnappent. Across the seas from Germany and Holland, they guide them to their country to their ponds in the Lincolnshire Fens, continues to twang and gossip to tell them in their language that these are the ponds which they have spoken and now where they can live safely. And while they are working to install their congeners, the SAUVAGINIERS, teachers ducks appellants begin to cover in shelters or canardiere they have built with reeds on the fens, and, without being see , Throw handfuls of wheat on water marsh, and the caller calls or follow in their wake bringing their foreign guests. Thus, in two or three days they lead their hosts by rivers increasingly close, continuing to invite them to see how well you live in England, to a place where nets have been deployed. Then the masters of callers send their dog was well prepared to pursue the birds to swim, which barks while swimming. Frightened at the highest point by this terrible creature, the ducks take their flight, but they are folded in water by nets stretched over them, and they must swim or perish, under the net. But the net is becoming closer, as a scholarship that is tightening, and after trainers are held decoys, which seized their captives one by one. And stroking the appellants and congratulate them. As for their hosts, they knock on the spot on the feather and sells hundreds and thousands. All this chronicle of Lincolnshire his man writes a write careful and alert, its feathers that size with his little knife each day before to get back to work to blacken a page more. In Halifax, writes his man, stood, before it removes the reign of King Jacques First, an instrument of torture and that worked: the head of the condemned was placed on the wooden beam or telescope at the base of ‘echaffaud, then skip the executioner was the stud holding the heavy hammer. The hammer came down between the uprights of a porch as high a church and beheaded the man also net a butcher knife. The custom in Halifax said however that if, between the time we did skip the stud and the moment when the hammer fell, the convict managed to get back readily on foot, down the hill and cross the river to the swim without getting back the executioner, he would have survived. But during all those years when this machine stands in Halifax, this never happened. As for him (not his man this time but himself), he sits in his room at the edge of the estuary in Bristol and reads these lines. It is old, it could almost tell him it’s an old man now. The skin of his face as the tropical sun had blackened almost before it makes an umbrella made of palm or palmetto leaves for shelter, is more pale today, but it remained tanned, parched and the sun had left him on the nose a wound that will not heal. The parasol he has still with him in a corner of his room, but the parrot who had returned with him no longer. Poor Robin! he said of his voice hoarse, perched on his shoulder, Poor Robin Crusoe! Who will save poor Robin? His wife could not suffer the lamentations of the parrot, Poor Robin, from morning to evening. I twisted her neck, she said, but she did not have the courage to do so. When England returned to his island with his parrot and his parasol and his chest full of treasures, for a time, he lived quite at peace with his old wife on the land he bought in Huntingdon, because it became a rich man, richer when we published the book its narrative adventures. But the island in years and years to run the world with his servant Friday (poor Friday, laments he couacs, couacs because the parrot would not ever say the name of Friday, it said than his own) he made the lives of many dreary landowner. And to tell the truth, her married life was a bitter disappointment. Increasingly, he retreated to the stable, with its horses, which, thank you God, do not chatter, but hennissaient slowly approach, to show they knew, and then stood quiet. It seemed, from his island where, until the arrival of Friday he had known a life of silence, that there were too many words in this world. In the bed next to his wife, he had the impression that a barrage of stones fell on her head, in a whisper, a crackle without end, while his only desire was to sleep. So when his old wife gave up his soul, he took grief but does not wept. He put in land and having missed the time required conveniences, he took a room in the hostel of the Brave Gabier on the quays of Bristol, leaving the administration of its field of Huntingdon to his son, and not taking with him the umbrella of the island reported that made him famous, the deceased parrot attached to his perch and a few essential items. There he has been living alone, ranging in the day to go to the docks and pontoons, bringing its eyes toward the west on Wednesday because it still has good eyesight, drawing on his pipe. For his meals, it makes up in his room, because it does no pleasure to be in company, was used to solitude on his island. It does little bed, he lost the love of reading, but writing his adventures, he took the habit of writing; it distracts somewhat. In the evening, by candlelight, he released his papers, its size feathers and wrote a page or two on his man, the man who sends his chronic callers Lincolnshire and the machinery of death of Halifax, which can escape if, before the dreadful s’abatte cleaver, you can, a bond, get up and down the hill, and much more. From wherever he goes, it sends its reports, this is the case most pressing his man, a very busy man. In his wandering near the dam, meditating on the equipment stood in Halifax, he, Robin parrot that once called the poor Robin, drops a pebble and ready ear. There should be a second, less than a second for the roller reaches the water. The grace of God is provided, but the great blade of tempered steel, a much more heavy roller, and greased with tallow, would it still provides no more? How can we ever escape? And what kind of man is this is to run the kingdom from one end to another, to get from one show to another death (from caning in decapitation) and tirelessly deploy its reports? Businessman, he said. Whether businessman, trading in grain or leather, for example, or manufacturer and supplier of tiles, established in a place where it obtains clay in abundance, say Wapping, which must travel much in the interest of its trading. Whether prosperous, with a woman who loves and does not jacasse too, which gives children, especially girls, know that happiness reasonable, then suddenly this happiness comes to an end. Thames, a winter swells, the kilns where we cooked tiles, or stores grain or leather, were swept by the waves: he is ruined, his man, his creditors crashed into him as flies, based above him as crows, he must flee his home, his wife, his children and seek refuge in the miserable slums of Beggars Lane under a false name and in whatever disguise. And all this – the rising waters, ruin, flight, poverty, poor clothes, loneliness – that this is a figure of the shipwreck and the island where he, poor Robin, found himself cut off from the world for Twenty-six years to become almost insane (and in truth, who could say it was not really mad, to some extent?). Or that this man is bourrelier: he has a home, a store, a warehouse in Whitechapel and a mole on the chin and a woman who loves him, which does not jacasse, which provides children, especially girls, and he expressed great happiness, until the plague s’abatte the city is the year 1665, the great fire has not yet ravaged London. The plague hit London: daily, parish by parish, the death toll grows, rich and poor, because the plague makes no distinction between the conditions of others, the richness of this does bourrelier save it. He sends his wife and daughters in the countryside, and plans to flee himself, but ultimately does nothing. Thou shalt not fear or terror of the night, lit it, opening the Bible at random, nor the arrow that flies into the open, nor the plague that lurks in the shadows, nor the scourge in noonday. If it falls miles to your side and ten thousand at your right, you you will not be achieved.

Echoing courage to sign this, sign crossing illegally, it remains in London struck the scourge and began to write reports. I found myself by chance in the street in front of a crowd, he wrote, in the middle of which a woman pointing a finger toward the heavens. See screams she an angel dressed in white brandishing a sword flamboyant! And in the crowd each leader’s views, at his neighbor, in truth, this is the one, they say: an angel and a sword! But he, the bourrelier, nor does the angel or the sword. All he saw was a cloud of strange shape, brighter on one side than the other side, which receives the radiance of the sun. It is an allegory! cried the woman in the street, but it was beautiful to watch, he did point allegory. And so in his report. Another day, as he was walking on the banks of the river at Wapping, the man who was once bourrelier, but which today is deprived of his job, says a woman on his door that a man called rowing in a dory: Robert! Robert! Cree does, and he saw the man rowing to shore and take his boat in a bag deposit on a rock beside the river and back to the train, then he saw the woman down to the bank, collect the bag she carries in her home, the mine footprint of a deep sorrow. It docked the Robert and he spoke. Robert informs him that this is his wife and that the bag contains a week of food for her and their children, meat, flour and butter, but he dares to approach more because all Women and children are stricken with fever and he has a broken heart. And all this – the man Robert and his wife, who remains in communion, calling across the river, the bag left on the shore – certainly includes literally, but also a figure of loneliness in him, Robinson, on his island, where, in the dark of despair, he called across the waves loved ones in England come to the rescue, and at other times, it nagea up the wreckage in search of stores. Relationship of these times of misfortune. Can no longer bear the pain of bubonic in the groin and under the armpits are the sign of plague, a man rushes, naked as a worm in the street, in Harrow Lane in Whitechapel, where his man the bourrelier is making leaps and jumps and gesticulate in the most strange, while his wife and children run after him, call it Kor to cry and to tell him to come back. And these bonds and these gestures are an allegory of its own bonds and gestures of foolish when, after the calamity of the shipwreck, and after he had gone on strike in all directions to find any sign of his companions, without finding the slightest trace, except a pair of shoes depareilles, he realized he was laid alone on an island wilderness where he would probably die without hope of salvation. (But that sings there another secret wondered Does this poor unfortunate whose fate it reads, in addition to its destruction? What it across the waters and beyond the years since the fire burning at the bottom of it?) A year ago, he, Robinson, bought a deck for two guineas a parrot that had crewman, he said, reported in Brazil – a bird not as lavish as his own beloved creature but splendid specimen indeed With a green plumage, a scarlet crest and a large talkative, according to the sailor. And it is true that the bird stood on his perch in his room at the inn, a small chain to the leg if he would seek to fly, and he said the words Poor Jacquot! Poor Jacquot! he repeated endlessly, to the point where it had to cover the head of a chaperone, but he could not teach him a word more. Poor Robin! For example, perhaps he was too old for that. Jacquot poor, which by the close window, his eyes wandering on the tower design and across mature on the gray swells of the Atlantic: What island is this, asks the Poor Jacquot, what am island So I threw, so cold, if gloomy? Where were you, my Savior, at a time when I need you? A man, drunk, an hour advanced night (one more than her husband), asleep under a porch in Cripplegate. The cart of the dead through there (we are still in the year of the plague) and neighbors, thinking that this man is dead, put in the cart among the corpses. The cart came to the pit common Mountmill and carter, face emmitoufle to protect fragrance, raises for the jump in the pit, and he wakes up, struggles, stunned. But where am I? he said. You are about to be ground with the dead, said the carter. But then, is that I am dead? said the man. And this is also a figure of him on his island. Some of the good people of London continue to go about their business, thinking they are healthy in body and they will be spared. But the secret plague in their blood in short: when the infection wins their hearts, they fall dead on the spot and reported her man as struck by lightning. And this is a figure of life itself, life as a whole. It should be well prepared. We should prepare to death, under penalty of being struck without notice. Like him, Robinson, did not fail to see, when suddenly, on his island, he fell on the trace of a human foot in the sand. It was a footprint, leaving a sign: a sign up, man. But it was a sign of much more. You are not alone, said the sign, and also, as far as you go on the seas, wherever you go you hide, you will be scrutinized. During the plague, writes his man, others in the grip of terror, abandoned all, their homes, their wives, their children and fled, so far away from London they could. Once the fever passed, all shares, their flight was condemned as cowardice. But, writes his man, we forget what kind of courage needed to face the plague. This was not the courage of the soldier who takes his weapon to load the enemy: this was nothing less than Death load on his horse pale. Even when it was doing its best, his parrot on the island, the two he loved most, does not say a single word that he had not taught his master. How is it then that his man to him, which is a kind of parrot, and rather poorly loved, writes as well or better than his master? Because he has a good pen, his man, no doubt. Nothing less than the Dead load on his horse pale. For him, know-how acquired in the room accounts, was to align numbers and invoices do not spinning sentences. Nothing less than death on his pale horse: these are words which he would not have thought. Only when fully engages his man, that such words come to him. And as far as duck decoys, for the appellants: that he knew him, Robinson, such decoy? Anything until the man began to send his columns. Callers of Lincolnshire Fens, the great instrument of torture Halifax relations of a great journey that led the man across the island of Great Britain, which is a figure of that journey ‘he himself on his island in the dugout he had built, the journey that showed him that there was another side of the island, steep entenebre, inhospitable, that thereafter he avoided at any price, whereas if in the future of settlers come to touch land on the island, they may explore and establish them; again a figure of entenebre side of the soul and light. When the first plagiaires bands and other imitators seized the island’s history, and the public infligerent their own tales of life of a shipwrecked, they were in his view neither more nor less than a horde of cannibals who had his own chair, meaning to his life and he does gena to say. When I defend myself against the cannibals who sought to lay me down to roast me and devour me, he wrote, I thought I defend myself against their own actions. There can hardly came to mind, he wrote, that these cannibals were nothing more than figures of a more devilish voracity, specific to erode the very substance of truth. But now, to better reflect, he feels creep into his heart as a grain of camaraderie for its imitators. Because it seems now that the world exists in a handful of stories, and if it prohibits young people from the old pirate, then they must forever remain silent. Thus, in the story of his adventures on the island, he tells how one night he woke appalled, convinced that the devil was in him lying on his bed in the form of a huge dog. On the bond, he got up, take a cutlass and began to pourfendre air right and left, while the poor parrot who was asleep at his bedside threw cries of fright. Only many days later that he realized that neither dog nor devil had been lying on him, but rather that he had been an attack of transient paralysis and, unable to move his leg, he had concluded that some creature was lying on it. The lesson of this event seems to be that all afflictions, including paralysis, are attributable to the devil, and are in fact the devil himself; if you are visited by the calamity of a disease, it can be be visited by the devil, or a dog that is the devil, and vice versa, such as visitation figure of disease, as in the history of the plague that bourrelier tale, it follows that person writing stories on one or the other should not be treated lightly by forger or thief. When, years ago, he resolved to sleep on paper the story of his island, he discovered that his words do not come, the pen refused to run on the page, his fingers were very stiff and resistant. But day by day, step by step, it acquired the business of writing, and when it came to his adventures with Friday in the north by freezing it covered on page page easily, without even thinking. This facility once the deal has unfortunately left. When he moved to his small office at the window overlooking the port of Bristol, he feels the fingers also gourds and the pen is as foreign an instrument as ever. And the other, her man is there to write this easier? The stories he wrote about ducks, the deadly devices and London during the plague are quite beautifully shot, but he was so used to his own stories. Perhaps the mejuge Does this dapper little man who walks a step lively and has a mole on the chin. Perhaps, in this very moment is sitting alone in a rented room somewhere in this vast kingdom, and retrempant dipping his pen, taken in doubt, hesitant, is delighted. How does it get them included, this man and him? The master and slave? Brothers, twins? Some comrades in arms? Or enemies, opponents? What name will happen to this anonymous companion with whom he shares his evenings and sometimes his nights too, which is absent in the day, when he, Robin, walks the quays inspecting the arrivals and that her husband travels the Kingdom galloping to its inspections. This man, during his travels, will he ever in Bristol? It would both meet in the flesh, shaking hands, take a walk on the dock with him and to listen as he tells the story of his visit entenebre north of the island, or his adventures in the profession of writing. But he fears that this meeting never held, not in this life. If we decide some resemblance to the pair they do, his man and he would write that they are like two ships sailing in opposite directions, one scathing towards the west, the other to the east. Or rather, they are sailors on the task in the wings, one on a ship bound for the west, the other on a ship sailing eastwards. Their ships cross board on board, they pass close enough to hail. But the sea is strong, the time the storm whipped through the eyes spray, hands burned by the ropes, they intersect without being recognized, too busy to even beckon.


In the Heart of the Country

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