„So funktioniert Höflichkeit. Man pflegt Beziehungen mit Leuten, auch wenn man sie nicht mag.“

—  J.M. Coetzee

Tagebuch eines schlimmen Jahres

„Asymmetrie [macht] Menschen unglücklich.“

—  J.M. Coetzee, buch In the Heart of the Country

In the Heart of the Country

„To me she was a woman but to herself she was still a child calling to her mother to hold her hand and help her. And her own mother, in the secret life we do not see, was a child too. I come from a line of children without end.“

—  J.M. Coetzee, buch Life & Times of Michael K

Life & Times of Michael K (1983)
Kontext: He closed his eyes and tried to recover in his imagination the mudbrick walls and reed roof of her stories, the garden of prickly pear, the chickens scampering for the feed scattered by the little barefoot girl. And behind that child, in the doorway, her face obscured by shadow, he searched for a second woman, the woman from whom his mother had come into the world. When my mother was dying in the hospital, he thought, when she knew her end was coming, it was not me she looked to but someone who stood behind me: her mother or the ghost of her mother. To me she was a woman but to herself she was still a child calling to her mother to hold her hand and help her. And her own mother, in the secret life we do not see, was a child too. I come from a line of children without end.

„I am looking for such a place in order to settle there, perhaps only till things improve, perhaps forever. I am not so foolish, however, as to imagine that I can rely on maps and roads to guide me.“

—  J.M. Coetzee, buch Life & Times of Michael K

Life & Times of Michael K (1983)
Kontext: Though this is a large country, so large that you would think there would be space for everyone, what I have learned from life tells me that it is hard to keep out of the camps. Yet I am convinced there are areas that lie between the camps and belong to no camp, not even to the catchment areas of the camps — certain mountaintops, for example, certain islands in the middle of swamps, certain arid strips where human beings may not find it worth their while to live. I am looking for such a place in order to settle there, perhaps only till things improve, perhaps forever. I am not so foolish, however, as to imagine that I can rely on maps and roads to guide me. Therefore I have chosen you to show me the way.

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