Travelling Texts, Travelling Ideas. Janina Duszejko Meets Elizabeth Costello, or on Reading J.M. Coetzee in 21st Century Poland
For essentially we live in spiritual and intellectual solitude; through a specific educational method or particular reading, chosen at random, each of us has achieved a particular personal orientation; each of us, behind an intellectual mask, thinks, feels and struggles differently from the others, and misunderstandings become so numerous and even in spacious houses life together becomes so difficult, and everywhere we are constrained, everywhere strangers, everywhere far from home. (Heine 2006: 92–93) All cultures are involved in one another, none is single and pure, all are hybrid, heterogeneous, extraordinarily differentiated, and unmonolithic. (Said 1993: XXV)
Since 2003 – the year when he was named the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature – J.M. Coetzee has been enjoying steadily growing popularity in the “country by the Vistula river.” Today, I should argue, his prominence can hardly be matched by any other winner of the prestigious distinction over the last several decades.1 Of course, this does not mean that, prior to the selection made by the Nobel Committee for Literature, the Polish cultural and academic scenes had not been familiar with (then) the South African writer. By that time, five of his novels had been translated and published in Poland2 which he visited for the first time in 2000 to attend an academic symposium held in Kraków; ← 63 | 64 → one cannot also overlook his interest and writing on Polish artists (writers and filmmakers such as Bruno Schulz,3 Zbigniew Herbert4 and Andrzej Munk5)...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.