[ EBOOK ] ☸ In the Heart of the Country ⚉ MOBI eBook or Kindle ePUB free
There are two types of novels by J M Coetzee the historical the metaphysical.The metaphysical ones include Summertime, Foe The best of these is Elizabeth Costello Historical Life and Times of Michael K, Waiting for the Barbarians, Slow Man, DisgraceAnd the best of these is THIS novel.His unending obsession with the insufficiency stupidity of words and language as well as the story s reliance on its components of beginning middle end finally strikes the reader as meaningful and ever appropriate Sharing many themes with his most successful work, Disgrace, this one absolutely chills the blood with its tense moments of violence, rape murder. Il mio mezzo la lirica, non la cronaca La narratrice ci racconta la sua storia con parole potenti, personali, crude Ci descrive il caldo sole del Sudafrica che fa spaccare le pietre e i mille animali, insetti per lo pi , che popolano il suo mondo Un mondo, quello di Magda, pi animalesco che umano Compaiono pi pecore, mucche, porcospini, cavalli, che uomini Un mondo molto particolare, ricco di natura e polvere, frutti troppo maturi o sassi troppi bianchi Un mondo che sa di sudore Un mondo piccolo in un paesaggio immenso, una fattoria con poche persone e tanto terreno, ore intere prima che cali il sole, lunghe pause notturne per pensare Un mondo, poi, interiore, visto attraverso le parole e i ricordi, le visioni della narratrice che, partita come poetessa, si ritrova a cadere nel baratro delle allucinazioni O sono solo fantasie, le sue Ci sta raccontando quello che vede o quello che immagina solo nella sua testa tutto qui un paesaggio scontroso, un gruppuscolo di uomini in una landa desolata, una mente in continuo movimento Magda un personaggio che attira e, allo stesso tempo, mette apprensione Non si sa mai quale sar il suo prossimo passo, perch attraverso le sue parole non si riesce a capire come si muover nella storia Una donna che ha vissuto sola, nella sua mente e nel corpo, per la maggior parte della vita Rivive, sudando e faticando, solo nel momento in cui costretta dagli eventi a mettere mano alla fattoria E ne prova soddisfazione Ma la mente, questo mostro che continua a toglierle le notti e la fa cedere continuamente alla paura, la indebolisce, l annienta E noi, poveri lettori, non possiamo che vedere questa eroina cadere sempre pi nella negativit e nella pazzia Forse, per , non tutta pazzia, visto che ci lascia con una delle frasi pi belle he io abbia letto sul rapporto con il proprio ambiente naturaleSono corrotta fino al midollo dalla bellezza di questo mondo abbandonato Secondo incontro con Coetzee, dopo La vita degli animali, non posso non ammettere che lo scrittore ci sappia fare con le parole Prende il lettore e lo strascina in nuovi mondi, lo scaraventa in differenti situazioni, sempre con un linguaggio esatto, ricco di sfumature e significati, ammirevole Sar ora di prendere un altro suo libro in biblioteca Libro letto per la all around The world reading Challenge , per il Sudafrica The first person narrator of this book is Magda, the daughter of an Afrikaner sheep farmer on a remote ranch in the South African veldt Magda has grown up alone with her stern, patriarchal father and the servants She is a bitter old maid, ignored and disregarded By page ten, you figure out that Magda is kind of nuts Somewhere along the way, you figure out that between one paragraph and another, sometimes within the same paragraph, Magda slips between fantasy and reality without warning By the end of the book, she has completely lost her mind and you have to reevaluate everything you ve read because it s not clear what really happened and what was Magda s imagination, fabrication, or delusion.The story centers around Magda and her father and Hendrick, a black African servant who comes to work on the farm, and his wife Anna, whom Magda s father, living alone and wifeless out on the veldt, soon covets Obviously this isn t going to end well, especially with Magda watching, judging, and resenting The violence seems to be the point where Magda goes off the rails into complete unreliability She tells multiple separate and conflicting stories over the course of the book, with no textual clue to the reader that they are not all part of one seamless narrative.The imagery is stark and isolating as Magda and the handful of other characters scratch out a living in the scorpion and jackal haunted boonies, but what s really stark and isolating is the relationship between the white farmer and daughter and the black servants, initially friendly and benevolent on the surface, but their every interaction is fraught with the weight of colonialism The power dynamic between oppressor and oppressed switches several times over the course of the novel, which I think was probably Coetzee s intent It is indeed a bleak and powerful tale.That said, this is a book for readers who like literary prose, meaning sentences and paragraphs worked and reworked to artistic effect rather than to tell a story Magda s internal monologue, even when it s not spinning off into crazy la la land, is incessantly navel gazing, dense, and verbose In the Heart of the Country is one of those books where sometimes you have to reread a paragraph several times to figure out what is actually being said and what s going on You would think a novel with as much sex and violence as this one packed into its sparse few pages would be , well, interesting, but it s only interesting on the level of verbiage and literary analysis It s the kind of book literature professors like to talk about and ask midterm questions like Describe some of the metaphors the author uses for colonial and patriarchal relationships, blah bah blah.Honestly, I don t understand people who read books like this for fun Literary, prize winning prose is often not exciting, storytelling prose, and in this case it s almost like simple declarative sentences and a linear narrative are verboten Yes, I understand the story, yes, I saw the hidden depths in Coetzee s book and I m sure I could write a term paper about it as well as the next English major even though I was never an English major , but boy did did it drag and unlike some other literary authors like Cormac McCarthy and Haruki Murakami who sometimes annoy me but also tell a story even when they are experimenting, and intrigue me enough to want to read , Coetzee makes me want to stay away from anything else he s written because this book did not endear him to me.That sounds like a pretty negative review, and if I were rating this based on my enjoyment of the book alone, In the Heart of the Country would probably get 1.5 or 2 stars But I can t help but admire an author who puts words together in a way that most can t and manages to drag such powerful weight and layered meaning into such a small book So I am bumping it up to 2.5 stars based on literary merit, but rounding down because I still thought it was self important dudeliness I can t say I recommend it unless you are reading it for a specific purpose, though, or you just really like this kind of book. Faulkner and Dostoevsky in South AfricaIntriguing, bold, staggering, revolting, horrible these are some of the emotions I experienced, while reading this short book The young spinster Magda is the daughter of a sturdy but brutal farmer in a dark corner of South Africa Magda yearns for love and attention, especially that of her father She gives us a very distorted view on reality, in endless repetitions and variations, not only very close to insanity but even far beyond This book is a true writing experiment in the best of modernist tradition it reminded me of Becket and of Faulkner But it is also a relentless and gruesome exploration of the human psyche and human condition Coetzee is a worthy successor of Dostoevsky Through the eyes and terrible acts of Magda we are confronted with the question of good and evil, but from a postmodernist perspective And Coetzee s reflections upon the master slave relation Magda and her father versus the black servant Jakob give this book a real South African flavour In my opinion this is one of the best and most interesting books of the last quarter of the 20th Century. [ EBOOK ] ☹ In the Heart of the Country ♢ Stifled By The Torpor Of Colonial South Africa, And Trapped In A Web Of Reciprocal Oppression, A Lonely Sheep Farmer Seeks Comfort In The Arms Of A Black Concubine But When His Embittered Spinster Daughter Magda Feels Shamed, This Lurch Across The Racial Divide Marks The End Of A Tenuous Feudal Peace As She Dreams Madly Of Bloody Revenge, Magda S Consciousness Starts To Drift And The Line Between Fact And The Workings Of Her Excited Imagination Becomes Blurred What Follows Is The Fable Of A Woman S Passionate, Obsessed And Violent Response To An Africa That Will Not Heed Her
Magda is a white spinster who loves to keep her thoughts to herself This whole book is all about what s going on in her mind as she is a self absorbed, self centered, unfriendly and thinks of herself as a victim of the people around her So, instead of speaking to her father and their family s servants, she just keeps her thoughts to herself.When her father seduces Anna the wife of their farmhand Hendrik, Magda resents it and the narration becomes confusing as if it mirrors her mind When her father dies, Magda sees it as a way to freedom However, she does not have money to run the farm and the household, so Hendrik takes her as his mistress This is a difficult read because if you don t slow down, you will not know what s being said and what s going on Magda is definitely an unreliable narrator and you just can help marvel on how Coetzee, this being just his second novel, was able to second guess the mind of an intelligent yet a bit crazy woman This is my 5th book read by him and he definitely does not rewrite himself Although most, if not all, of his books are set in South Africa, they speak to me maybe because I am also from a third world country and Philippines was also colonized by Spain, US and Japan for many years.And oh, the prose The prose is scintillating and I can not help wonder how Coetzee was able to put all those beautiful and meaningful phrases and seemed to just go on and on.Overall, I liked this book Thin plot Metaphor is obvious Magda is the colonized African country and his father represents the native people who embraced the colonizers Hendrik is the colonizer and the races are reversed just to put a nice spin on the usual race colonizer roles. Well, that was just the feel good read of the year, wasn t it Jesus.I don t often read books like this, and, even now, I can t even begin to describe what that category actually is I remember reading Thomas Hardy s Jude The Obscure and fucking hating it It was so filled with misery without the slightest attempt of hope or reason or a remote coming and going of happiness It read like an endurance test And I noticed some similarities between the general depressing tone of Jude The Obscure and In The Heart Of The Country But J.M Coetzee succeeded where Hardy failed by making the protagonist strangely engaging and sympathetic I don t know how he did it, becausethat bitch was straight up nuts However, I have to admit that I was generally intrigued by Magda.The narrative was very first person, given that there wasn t much dialogue, and I find that that style usually ends up sounding like a long, long half assed diary entry It was way tell than show and it only worked because of the poetry style of narration If it had been a stream of consciousness of complaining, I would ve considered taking vengeance on the novel But, instead, it reads like a long, really good Emily Dickenson poem and I never actually dug her work It provided a stillness of life that I don t often observe or acknowledge I can t imagine any of us raised in the city or the suburbs having the patience to live on that South African farm because there s so very little culture and entertainment Seriously, she did nothing All she had was her insanity If she didn t have her insanity, she would have killed herself out of boredom Her misery and insanity gave her something, which was actually a pretty intriguing concept Kids can have imagination, sure, but what if you lived in a place where that wasn t enough What if you had to have an imagination that was so uncontrolled to survive the boredom that it had to become absolute madness I certainly did find the book exhausting though Oh my god I would look at it like a chore I had to do But then once I was reading it, I d remember how oddly intrigued I was by the narrator and how spectacularly impressed I was with the writing It was a give and take feeling If I came home from a long day at work, I d tell the book to go fuck itself and read something else Really, that 138 pages felt like 1,000 The novella probably aged me Coetzee can write though That dude can seriously spin some words.I don t know how well developed I d consider the character of Magda, as her past doesn t often make an appearance though I really liked the end when she asks her dead father if he remembers her favorite moments on the farm I would ve liked to know about her childhood, but maybe that would ve taken away from the main theme of feeling like goddamn crap But one of the best moments of the book is when she talks about how happy she was playing with Arthur page 48 You know every thought she has, sure, but how she came to be her wasn t really there Then again, maybe who she used to be was always who she is so it didn t matter I don t know, people I m not a fucking scientist.BEST PART OF THE BOOK My favorite part of the book was only two pages, I think It s towards the end when the Spanish voices start coming from above It lasts for a while, but she s still insane when she s dissecting what they mean and how the messages are relevant However, there s, like, two pages where she starts yelling back and it seems like she s the sanest in that instant because she believes she s refusing the messages But there s a speech coming from the sky gods and she screams, Spanish filth It was so relieving to see Magda divide herself up into two minds, one crazy and one sane After spending the entire book in misery and isolation, she comes into her own sanity for a brief moment and refuses the crazy within her and she does it with gusto It gave me a rather quick instant of awesome hope I was honestly stoked for her Her insanity actually cured her madness, I thought Butit was short lived.I give this book three stars too because, honestly, Coetzee wrote an entire novella on misery and made it refreshing However, I can t imagine why I d ever reread this book unless I was tucked away in a cabin for the winter and wanted to get weird I enjoyed an in depth look at a character s constant feelings, but there wasn t too much of a plot for me to get into.RANDOM LINES I FOUND INTRIGUING I am not a happy peasant I am a miserable black virgin, and my story is my story, even if it is a dull black blind stupid miserable story, ignorant of its meaning and of all its many possible untapped happy variants page 5 I thought this sentence summed her up the best, and it was the first instance where I thought, this bitch is gonna be trouble whom I would vow to bend to a little lower, slave for a little harder than another woman in the dark, so as not to alarm him, and arouse, if the arts of arousal can be learned, and guide to the right hole, rendered penetrable with a gob of chickenfat from a pot at the bedside, and endure the huffing and puffing of, and be filled eventually, one expects, with seed by, and lie listening to the snoring of, til the balm of slumber arrive page 42 She s as awkward horny as you can get and this description of sex was veryher It made me feel awful inside I must not fall asleep in the middle of my life page 43 It s one quiet moment where she admits she s unhappy and wants to be happy in a way that weighs on the joy than the desolation The sex is smaller than I thought it would be, almost lost in a bush of black hair straggling up to the navel a pale boy, a midget, a dwarf, an idiot son who, having survived for years shut away in the cellar, tasting only bread and water, talking to the spiders, singing to himself, is one night dressed in new clothes, set free, made much of, pampered, feasted, and then executed Poor little thing page 69 I was pretty impressed with this description of a man s junk This also made me feel terrible. Dif cil de definir e classificar assim que considero este livro.Este romance n o , de todo, uma cria o que nos transporta para l da nossa respira o mas, por m, ainda nos faz suspirar A sua narrativa, a sua estrutura e a forma como est escrito fornecem lhe um interesse relevante Digamos que, de algum modo, genu no e incomum valorizando, obviamente, o facto de este livro ser escrito no in cio da carreira de Coetzee.Sendo o car cter geral deste livro um romance quase em mon logo onde algu m nos relata uma s rie de acontecimentos e suposi es, apreciei, em parte, o facto de a narrativa desenrolar se pausadamente, apresentando, em corrimento, uma escrita pormenorizada que permite ao leitor perceber e aproximar se do interior da personagem principal Magda ora com momentos intensamente densos e flu dos, ora, por outro lado menos positivo, com momentos demorados e penosos que, por me cansarem enquanto leitor, me pareceram ser desnecess rios e em demasia, como por exemplo as longas linhas de cepticismo que marcam a personagem principal Devido a estes momentos menos bons que considero que se este romance fosse mais conciso poderia ser mais vantajoso e ajustado ao seu car cter liter rio, e, assim, mais interessante, intenso e profundo, visto que estes tr s aspectos parecem me ser as suas qualidades mor.Nos momentos mais interessantes encontram se filosofias e perspectivas de vida profundas que, por vezes, chegam a ro ar a loucura, o excesso do sentido do amor, o desespero de algu m que se quer ver e re conhecer, e quer ser visto e ser re conhecido E, depois das v rias interroga es sobre um mundo silencioso e silenciado, no qual a personagem principal considera a sua exist ncia uma nulidade em parte por ser mulher, o que nos revela um mundo onde as diferen as de g nero s o muito presentes , conclui se que a essa exist ncia foi uma auto escolha Manter se inexplicada e inexplic vel foi, pura e simplesmente, uma op o de Magda, porque aquela exist ncia, apesar das infelicidades e d vidas, era a que, no fundo, Magda n o desejava mas construiu para si Nessa exist ncia, Magda encontra um conforto na solid o e na infelicidade Vivo, sofro, estou aqui Com ast cia e perf dia, se necess rio, luto para n o me transformar numa das esquecidas da hist ria Sou uma solteirona com um di rio fechado a sete chaves, mas sou mais do que isso Sou uma consci ncia agitada, mas tamb m sou mais do que isso Quando todas as luzes se apagam, sorrio na escurid o Por incr vel que pare a, os meus dentes luzem pp 11 Como disse, n o uma leitura excepcional, mas tem pormenores muito interessantes como por exemplo o facto de terminar se o livro e ficar se com a sensa o de que tudo ou nada do que foi lido pode, ou n o, ter acontecido Como Magda diz S enterrando os nossos segredos dentro de n s que os conseguimos guardar invento tudo para que me inventem.N s, leitores, n o temos acesso a tais dimens es, sendo os segredos lidos possivelmente inventados que, por sua vez, inventam o romance de uma personagem que tem sempre algo a desvendar. How can you commet on Coetzee Everything he wries is extraordinary This is no exception Brutal, hits you in the guts with some of the most amazing images created in the modern novel, i d say Check out the scene when the aeroplane flies over head Until that moment, I thought the book was set in the C19th And of course, that was Coetzee s point If you want to know about South Africa, read this book. Coetzee es una garant a Garant a de sobriedad, de profundidad, de estilo De ambici n literaria, ni m s ni menos En medio de ninguna parte , como se ha traducido en Espa a su novela In the Heart of the Country , fue su segunda obra publicada, pero en ella ya se percibe esa habilidad especial de Coetzee para penetrar en los recovecos m s profundos e ignotos del alma humana No importa mucho lo que se nos cuenta, al fin y al cabo desvar os mentales de una mujer apartada en buena medida del contacto humano, perdida en la inmensidad del desierto sudafricano, sometida por un padre del que apenas sabemos qui n es, qu hace, c mo vive, ni siquiera si a n vive, hija de un r gimen racista y criminal del que ella misma es, en buena medida, su m s viva representaci n Son los sentimientos, las ambiciones, los anhelos, absolutamente trasladables a cualquier otra circunstancia, lo que prima es el ansia por vivir, por ser, unido a la imposibilidad de escapar de ese mundo reducido donde est recluida Es la lucha b sica de todo ser humano, una lucha que las circunstancias cercenan las m s de las veces El gran Coetzee pone el dedo en la llaga una vez m s.