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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Taking the Name of Jesus : John Coetzee's Second Childhood Book
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'The first thing to be said about The Schooldays of Jesus is that like its predecessor, The Childhood of Jesus (of which it is the continuation), this new book is remarkably odd. The second thing to say is that like its precursor it is a masterpiece: it comes across as Shakespeare's Henry IV Part Two does, despite naysayers, as the second part of the same masterpiece. And who could ever have imagined that J.M. Coetzee, the celebrated South African Nobel Prize winner who expatriated himself to Adelaide as if its sandstone and the symmetrical grid of its cityscape were the recapitulation of a kindred colonialism, should now be writing what are essentially - or at any rate incidentally - parables about the lost childhood of some chosen child called David, like a teasing joke of genealogy, who is somehow (the title seems to suggest) the Messiah, the Christ Child, whose ego is the sum of all the becauses in the world, and every high priest will rip up his garments in awe either at the blasphemy of it all or because this is the apparition of the shadow of the Most High.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Meanjin vol. 76 no. 2 Winter 2017 11860667 2017 periodical issue

    'In a phone call followed by several conversations and a string of other phone calls, John Clarke slowly explained to me the concept of the Commonplace Book. Not a diary. Not a journal. Jottings and observations; little notes on the subtle specialness of life. Several emails followed with various jotted musings attached.' (Editorial introduction)

    pg. 140-149
Last amended 25 Feb 2021 07:24:56
140-149 Taking the Name of Jesus : John Coetzee's Second Childhood Booksmall AustLit logo Meanjin
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