Critical Library: J.M. Coetzee

by Eric Banks | Oct-03-2009


Each week, the NBCC will post a list of five books a critic believes reviewers should have in their libraries. We recently heard from Nobel Prize winner (and former NBCC finalist) J.M. Coetzee, who this year published his third collection of critical essays, Inner Workings. Here are the books he named:

The Iliad. Sets the standard for the narrative of action.

Aristotle, Poetics. Sets the terms for all later debate on the truth claims of history versus the truth claims of poetry.

Cervantes, Don Quixote. The source-book for all writers of fiction. Reminds us how old most of our bright new ideas are.

Rousseau, Confessions. Reminds us how hard it is to tell the truth.

Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov. Reminds us what the novel of ideas can achieve.

J.M. Coetzee’s work includes Dusklands, Life & Times of Michael K, Disgrace, and, forthcoming in January, Diary of a Bad Year. He has won many literary awards, including the CNA Prize (three times), the Booker Prize (twice), the Prix Etranger, the Jerusalem Prize, the Lannan Literary Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize; and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. In 2003, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.




About the Critical Mass Blog

Commentary on literary criticism, publishing, writing, and all things NBCC related. It's written by independent members of the NBCC Board of Directors (see list of bloggers below).

Subscribe

SIGN UP FOR CRITICAL NOTES





Categories & Archives

Become a Friend of the NBCC

Upcoming Events

NBCC at AWP18: March 09th, 2018

NBCC Finalists’ Reading: March 14th, 2018

NBCC Awards Ceremony and Reception: March 15th, 2018


NBCC Awards

Award Winners for 2016

See all award winners

Find out how to submit

Read how we select

Frequently Asked Questions


Videos and Podcasts

NBCC 2016 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2015 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2015 Finalists Reading

NBCC 2014 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2013 Awards Ceremony

NBCC 2013 Finalists Reading

Video: New Literary Journals

Video: The VIDA Count and Gender Bias in Book Reviewing

Podcast: What Is Criticism? NBCC Winners and Finalists at AWP

All videos and podcasts.