J. M. Coetzee Quotes

J. M. Coetzee Quotes: To me, a philosopher who says that the distinction between human and nonhuman depends on whether you have a white or a black skin, and a philosopher who says that the distinction between human and nonhuman depends on whether or not you know the difference between a subject and a predicate, are more alike than they are unlike.
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J. M. Coetzee Quote: The idea of writer as sage is pretty much dead today. I would certainly feel very uncomfortable in the role.
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Quotes about J. M. Coetzee: Scapegoating worked in practice while it still had religious powers behind it. You loaded the sins of the city on to the goat's back and drove it out, and the city was cleansed. It worked because everyone knew how to read the ritual, including the gods. Then the gods died, and all of a sudden you had to cleanse the city without divine help. Real actions were demanded instead of symbolism The censor was born, in the Roman sense. Watchfulness became the watchword: the watchfulness of all over all. Purgation was replaced by the purge.
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Quote about J. M. Coetzee: You think you know what is just and what is not. I understand. We all think we know.
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J. M. Coetzee Sayings: Because a women's beauty does not belong to her alone. It is a part of the bounty she brings into the world. She has a duty to share it.
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J. M. Coetzee Saying: Yet what happened in fact? In the middle of the night John woke up and saw me sleeping beside him with no doubt a look of peace on my face, even of bliss, bliss is not unattainable in this world. He saw me
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Sayings about J. M. Coetzee: But the truth, he knows, is otherwise. His pleasure in living has been snuffed out. Like a leaf on a stream, like a puffball on a breeze, he has begun to float towards his end. He sees it quite clearly, and it fills him with (the word will not go away) despair. The blood of life is leaving his body and despair is taking its place, despair that is like a gas, odourless, tasteless, without nourishment. You breathe it in, your limbs relax, you cease to care, even at the moment when the steel touches your throat.
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Saying about J. M. Coetzee: Restoration is a skilled profession. You might even call it an art in its own right, except that it is frowned on to be original. First rule of restoration: follow the intention of the artist. Never try to improve on him.
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J. M. Coetzee Quotes: he knows too much about himself to subject her to a morning after, when he will be cold, surly, impatient to be alone.
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J. M. Coetzee Quote: Some years ago I wrote a book called The House on Eccles Street. To write this book I had to think my way into the existence of Marion Bloom...Marion Bloom was a figment of James Joyce's imagination. If I can think my way into the existence of a being who has never existed, then I can think my way into the existence of a bat or a chimpanzee or an oyster, any being with whom I share the substrate of life.
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Quotes about J. M. Coetzee: It is not, then, in the content or substance of folly that its difference from truth lies, but in where it comes from. It comes not from 'the wise man's mouth' but from the mouth of the subject assumed not to know and speak the truth.
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Quote about J. M. Coetzee: Pain is truth; all else is subject to doubt.
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J. M. Coetzee Sayings: If you were blind you would hardly have fallen in love in the first place. But now, do you truly wish to see the beloved in the cold clarity of the visual apparatus? It may be in your better interest to throw a veil over the gaze, so as to keep her alive in her archetypal, goddesslike form.
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J. M. Coetzee Saying: If you have reservations about the system and want to change it, the democratic argument goes, do so within the system: put yourself forward as a candidate for political office, subject yourself to the scrutiny and the vote of fellow citizens. Democracy does not allow for politics outside the democratic system. In this sense, democracy is totalitarian.
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Sayings about J. M. Coetzee: All creatures come into the world bringing with them the memory of justice.
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Saying about J. M. Coetzee: What is miraculous about the past is that we have succeeded--God knows how--in making thousands and millions of individual human beings, lock well enought into one another to give us what looks like a common past, a shared story.
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J. M. Coetzee Quotes: There is first of all the problem of the opening, namely, how to get us from where we are, which is, as yet, nowhere, to the far bank. It is a simple bridging problem, a problem of knocking together a bridge. People solve such problems every day. They solve them, and having solved them push on.
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J. M. Coetzee Quote: Despair ... is like a gas, odourless, tasteless, without nourishment. You breathe it in, your limbs relax, you cease to care, even at the moment when the steel touches your throat.
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