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Issue Details: First known date: 2013... 2013 The Childhood of Jesus
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

''The child is silent. For a while he too is silent. Then he speaks. 'Please believe me—please take it on faith—this is not a simple matter. The boy is without mother. What that means I cannot explain to you because I cannot explain it to myself. Yet I promise you, if you will simply say Yes, without forethought, without afterthought, all will become clear to you, as clear as day, or so I believe. Therefore: will you accept this child as yours?'

David is a small boy who comes by boat across the ocean to a new country. He has been separated from his parents, and has lost the piece of paper that would have explained everything. On the boat a stranger named Simón takes it upon himself to look after the boy.

On arrival they are assigned new names, new birthdates. They know little Spanish, the language of their new country, and nothing about its customs. They have also suffered a kind of forgetting of old attachments and feelings. They are people without a past.

Simón's goal is to find the boy's mother. He feels sure he will know her when he sees her. And David? He wants to find his mother too but he also wants to understand where he is and how he fits in. He is a boy who is always asking questions.

The Childhood of Jesus is not like any other novel you have read. This beautiful and surprising fable is about childhood, about destiny, about being an outsider. It is a novel about the riddle of experience itself.' (Publisher's blurb)

Exhibitions

7979488
7979488

Notes

  • Dedication: for DKC

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2013 .
      person or book cover
      Image courtesy of Text Publishing
      Extent: 224p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: 07/03/2013
      ISBN: 9781922079701 (hbk.), 1922079707 (hbk.), 9781922182265 (pbk.), 1922182265 (pbk.)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Harvill Secker ,
      2013 .
      image of person or book cover 3539592903750583058.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 277p.
      Edition info: 1st ed.
      ISBN: 9781846557262 (hbk.), 1846557267 (hbk.), 9781846557385 (pbk.), 1846557380 (pbk.), 9781846557699 (limited ed.), 1846557690 (limited ed.), 9781448155866 (ebook), 144815586X (ebook)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Viking ,
      2013 .
      image of person or book cover 6366586473920571090.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 277p.
      ISBN: 9780670014651 (hbk.), 0670014656 (hbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Penguin Books ,
      2014 .
      image of person or book cover 6205112079176725484.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 288p.
      ISBN: 0143125761 (pbk.), 9780143125761 (pbk.)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Vintage ,
      2014 .
      image of person or book cover 7842047928291622824.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 329p.
      ISBN: 0099581531, 9780099581536
Alternative title: De kinderjaren van Jezus
Language: Dutch
    • Amsterdam,
      c
      Netherlands,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Cossee ,
      2013 .
      image of person or book cover 2221266666792936234.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 317p.
      ISBN: 9059363884, 9789059363885, 9789059364028 (ebook), 9059364023 (ebook)
    • The Hague,
      c
      Netherlands,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Stichting Uitgeverij XL ,
      2013 .
      image of person or book cover 8509865208541821066.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 400p.
      Edition info: Large print ed.
      ISBN: 9789046310144, 9046310140
      Series: y separately published work icon XL The Hague : Stichting Uitgeverij XL , 1994 7962272 1994 series - publisher novel

      A series of large-print books published by Stichting Uitgeverij XL. Translations of J. M. Coetzee's novels feature in this series.

      Number in series: 1995

Other Formats

  • Also e-book and sound recording.

Works about this Work

“Let Us Keep Going and See What Comes up” : The Poetics of Study in J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus Charlotta Elmgren , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: Ariel , April - July vol. 50 no. 2-3 2019; (p. 163-190)
'This article argues that J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus embodies a poetics of study. Noting Coetzee’s sustained interest in educational thought, the article places Coetzee’s enigmatic novel in dialogue with Giorgio Agamben’s idea of study, which brings together the latter’s foundational thinking on infancy, impotentiality (Agamben’s term for the distinctly human capacity to withhold a certain potential), and the messianic. It shows how The Childhood of Jesus prompts its readers towards the experimentative pursuit of infinite possibilities for thought in the present moment, inviting a different mode of reading than the future-directed Derridean/Levinasian ethics of hospitality through which Coetzee’s work is often read. In showing how Coetzee’s late work resonates with Agamben’s thought rather than Derrida’s, the article highlights the emergence in Coetzee’s fiction of a view of learning (and, analogously, of reading) that is characterized by irresponsibility and the idea of study with no presupposed end in sight—a dynamic that is quite distinct from an ethics of reading guided by responsibility towards a presupposed “other” to come.' (Publication abstract)
The Creature-Feeling as Secular Grace : On the Religious in J.M. Coetzee’s Fiction Kai Wiegandt , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Literature and Theology , March vol. 32 no. 1 2018; (p. 69–86)

'In this article, I argue that the epiphanies in J.M. Coetzee’s fiction can be read as literary enactments of the ‘creature-feeling’, a feeling of absolute dependence on one’s creatureliness that was first described by the theologian Rudolf Otto. I begin with a discussion of the creature-feeling with reference to William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) and Rudolf Otto’s The Idea of the Holy (1917). Critics have observed that Coetzee’s fictions suggest shared embodiment as the basis for humans’ ethical responsibility towards other humans and towards animals, and have focussed on Emmanuel Lévinas when addressing theological influences on Coetzee’s non-rational ethics. Bringing James and Otto into the discussion allows me to account for those epiphanic moments in Coetzee that do not overlap with the ethical or the aesthetic, moments in which characters experience what I call secular grace. Coetzee is not the first to enact the creature-feeling: he reworks earlier enactments by James Joyce.' (Publication abstract)

Beyond the Literary Theme Park: J. M. Coetzee's Late Style in The Childhood of Jesus Yoshiki Tajiri , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: J. M. Coetzee's The Childhood of Jesus : The Ethics of Ideas and Things 2017; (p. 187-209)
Coetzee's The Childhood of Jesus and the Moral Image of the World Timothy J. Mehigan , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: J. M. Coetzee's The Childhood of Jesus : The Ethics of Ideas and Things 2017; (p. 165-186)
J. M. Coetzee and the Parental Punctum Sue Kossew , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: J. M. Coetzee's The Childhood of Jesus : The Ethics of Ideas and Things 2017; (p. 149-164)
To Hell With Self-Help Craig Sherborne , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , March no. 87 2013; (p. 48-49)

— Review of The Childhood of Jesus J. M. Coetzee , 2013 single work novel
[Review] The Childhood of Jesus Susan Johnson , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier Mail , 2-3 March 2013; (p. 22)

— Review of The Childhood of Jesus J. M. Coetzee , 2013 single work novel
Gospel According to David A. P. Riemer , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 2-3 March 2013; (p. 30) The Canberra Times , 2 March 2013; (p. 22)

— Review of The Childhood of Jesus J. M. Coetzee , 2013 single work novel
A Restless Questing James Ley , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 2 March 2013; (p. 22)

— Review of The Childhood of Jesus J. M. Coetzee , 2013 single work novel
[Review] The Childhood of Jesus Thornton McCamish , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 10 March 2013; (p. 14) The Sun-Herald , 10 March 2013; (p. 13)

— Review of The Childhood of Jesus J. M. Coetzee , 2013 single work novel
World of Words Jane Sullivan , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28-29 December 2012; (p. 22) The Canberra Times , 29 December 2012; (p. 15-16) The Saturday Age , 29 December 2012; (p. 22-23)
Jane Sullivan nominates the best Australian and overseas published books for 2013.
A Pair of Ragged Claws Stephen Romei , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2-3 February 2013; (p. 19)
Monument to Moral Symmetry Geordie Williamson , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 9-10 March 2013; (p. 20-21)
A Ragged Pair of Claws Stephen Romei , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 12-13 October 2013; (p. 19)
Miguel de Cervantes and J.M. Coetzee : An Unacknowledged Paternity María J. López , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Literary Studies , vol. 29 no. 4 2013; (p. 80-97)
'This article points to the 17th-century Spanish writer, Miguel de Cervantes, as one important literary predecessor of the contemporary South African writer, J.M. Coetzee, a relation that has generally passed unnoticed among critics. This relation is brought to the foreground in Coetzee’s most recent novel, The Childhood of Jesus (2013), but it also underlies his previous ones, Age of Iron (1998), Disgrace (2000), and Slow Man (2005), as well as his critical pieces, “The Novel Today” (1988) and the “Jerusalem Prize Acceptance Speech” (1992b), all of which contain echoes of Cervantes’s masterpiece, Don Quixote ([1605, 1615]2005). My argument is that the conflict between imagination and reality, the novel and history, central in Coetzee’s fictional and non-fictional production, needs to be re-examined as a fundamentally Cervantine one. The adventures and fate of Don Quixote lie behind Coetzee’s exploration of whether literature may be an effective and ethical guide in our dealings with reality, whether the ordinary may be transformed into the extraordinary, and of the relation between the literary imagination and the onslaughts of the real world.' (Publisher's blurb)
Last amended 5 Nov 2014 00:56:17
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