The Schooldays of Jesus

The Schooldays of Jesus LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE When you travel across the ocean on a boat all your memories are washed away and you start a completely new life That is how it is There is no before There is

  • Title: The Schooldays of Jesus
  • Author: J.M. Coetzee
  • ISBN: 9781911215363
  • Page: 344
  • Format: Paperback
  • LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2016When you travel across the ocean on a boat, all your memories are washed away and you start a completely new life That is how it is There is no before There is no history The boat docks at the harbour and we climb down the gangplank and we are plunged into the here and now Time begins.Dav d is the small boy who is always askingLONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2016When you travel across the ocean on a boat, all your memories are washed away and you start a completely new life That is how it is There is no before There is no history The boat docks at the harbour and we climb down the gangplank and we are plunged into the here and now Time begins.Dav d is the small boy who is always asking questions Sim n and In s take care of him in their new town Estrella He is learning the language he has begun to make friends He has the big dog Bol var to watch over him But he ll be seven soon and he should be at school And so, Dav d is enrolled in the Academy of Dance It s here, in his new golden dancing slippers, that he learns how to call down the numbers from the sky But it s here too that he will make troubling discoveries about what grown ups are capable of.In this mesmerising allegorical tale, Coetzee deftly grapples with the big questions of growing up, of what it means to be a parent, the constant battle between intellect and emotion, and how we choose to live our lives.

    One thought on “The Schooldays of Jesus”

    1. [Originally appeared here (with edits): timesofindiadiatimes/li]The journey from a toddler to a schoolchild is often the most memorable and ironically, chaotic one. The sudden loosening of parental grip propels the child without doubt; towards what direction, of course, is the biggest question to be answered.The Schooldays of Jesus is a sequel to The Childhood of Jesus wherein we continue to befriend David and walk along with him as he traces the arc of his life. With a former stevedore, Simon, [...]

    2. Coetzee’s quiet skill shows us how an old bible story parallels events that happen today in every country—the dislocation of migration for instance—making us scour the landscape for examples of God working through us. By telling the old story in a new way, we think anew about Christian values—charity, kindness, and love for instance—and what they really mean in practice.The city Estrella to which Davíd, Inés and Simón escape sounds remarkably like Australia when spoken. Davíd atten [...]

    3. I literally have no idea what I just read. Perhaps it's very much my fault, as I didn't read the first book, and as I know very little about the story of Jesus between his birth and his adult ministry. This is an extremely smoothly written but quite boring book set in a fantastical version of Spain (why Spain?) that is a little totalitarian, a little antique and a little future dystopian all at the same time. Although the state is actually depicted as mostly inept. Everyone in Spain is an immigr [...]

    4. In 1999, the South African writer J.M. Coetzee topped his already celebrated career by publishing “Disgrace,” an unforgettable novel that earned him a second Man Booker Prize — the first time anyone had done that. Four years later, he won the Nobel Prize in literature. But since then, his published fiction has strained mightily to repel any reader who might be interested.Perhaps that’s as it should be. If you’re 77 years old, and you’ve collected every literary prize in the world, yo [...]

    5. As I started this book, for the first few pages, I thought I was going to like it a lot more than I did The Childhood of Jesus which I read in preparation for reading this and which I really did not enjoy. This one started off a lot more promisingly. But then I started to notice repeated use of phrases like “to him, Simon”, “so he, Simon”, “he, Simon”, “then he, Simon” and, worst of all “says he, Simon”. From that point onwards I found it hard to concentrate on the book prope [...]

    6. (Lightning Review)The best thing JMC's done in a long while. While that may not be saying much considering its predecessors, the book delivers on what you want: passionless, idiomatic Coetzee-isms that include the killing of a duck delivered with all the passionate verve of a BINGO caller. That's not a put-down, it's what I like about the man's writing. I just wouldn't want to sleep with him, if ya know what I mean.Lightning Review rating: Jesus got more interesting after he entered school and b [...]

    7. 'I cannot tell you, señor Arroyo,' he says, 'how much I dislike these cheap paradoxes and mystifications." p. 199That pretty much sums up my feelings about Coetzee's allegedly allegorical work, which - although marginally more interesting than its predecessor ('Childhood of Jesus'), since it in large part deals with a mysterious murder and its aftermath - is still somewhat incomprehensible and meaningless. The story moves quickly, and there are some interesting sections, but the underlying phil [...]

    8. Wow! It was crystal clear liquid moving over rusting surfaces. Sir Coetzee's writing always floats, deflects and with sly polish of meaning, elevates.That's why I love Coetzee because of my CONNECTION with his writings. This book was unexpectedly good. Detailed review will be soon to come.

    9. I really enjoyed this book about two adults trying to raise a very headstrong, very 'different' little boy.I'm sure that there were some very clever messages in the book that I didn't necessarily pick up, however, even at face value, the book was very entertaining, and even humorous. This was my first Coetzee novel, but I am definately interested in reading more of his work.

    10. To his and Inés' enquiries about his schooldays the boy responds briefly and reluctantly. Yes, he likes señor Arroyo. Yes, they are learning songs. No, they have not had reading lessons. No, they do not do sums. About the mysterious arc that señora Arroyo sounds at the end of the day he will say nothing.The Schooldays of Jesus picks up where The Childhood of Jesus left off (and as a result, I can't imagine understanding much of this book without having read the earlier): In this new land wher [...]

    11. I find these Coetzee novels mesmerizing. I'd taken notes while reading Childhood of Jesus last year and never compiled them into a review (too late now), but this second novel was as interesting to me as that one and I feel the same elation and pleasant perplexity that I did after finishing the first. Schooldays picks up where Childhood left off but its themes are expanded. The city of Estrella allows more expression than Novilla, and the concerns/obsessions of its inhabitants are different. Man [...]

    12. Lascio volutamente da parte il 'gioco' delle interpretazioni di questa misteriosa storia (gioco che, tra l'altro, può essere molto interessante).Il romanzo ripropone gli stessi protagonisti de L'infanzia di Gesù, sbarcati in un'altra città, ma poco cambia. Gli abitanti, come nel romanzo precedente, non ricordano le loro vite precedenti, e sembra che questo non abbia molta importanza per loro.E poi c'è David. Lui è un bambino 'speciale', che fa domande 'speciali', e ora è un po' cresciuto, [...]

    13. I was really looking forward to diving in to this longlisted Man Booker Prize nominee. It was simple to follow (something I cherish in a novel — at times) and surprisingly funny (mainly when the child David drops a comment into conversation that manages to illuminate some fundamental social aspect of our world, that we take for granted, encouraging everyone present to feel uncomfortable). Allegorical? Absolutely. Although, I am still trying to grasp the allegory and worry about what that illum [...]

    14. “Passion can’t be explained, it can only be experienced. More exactly, it has to be experienced from the inside before it can be understood from the outside”The Schooldays of Jesus is the second book in the Jesus series by award-winning author, J.M.Coetzee. It follows on directly from The Childhood of Jesus and was longlisted for the2016 Man Booker Prize. David, Simon and Ines have left Novilla, perhaps as fugitives. In the town of Estrella, Simon and Ines find work on a farm until the har [...]

    15. Duncan White escribió sobre The Schooldays of Jesus: "Este es otro oscuro libro de un autor ascético que siempre encuentra la manera de negarle al lector lo que quiere, mientras que, al mismo tiempo, le da justo lo que necesita." Las novelas de John están, cada vez más, más allá de la novela. Está escribiendo una literatura que ya va más allá de la literatura. Estoy atónito. Completamente atónito.

    16. Drie jaar geleden las en recenseerde ik het raadselachtige "De kinderjaren van Jezus", een parabel zonder sleutel, waarbij ik mij prima amuseerde met de vele open vragen die dat boek opriep. En nu is er dan tot mijn verrassing een vervolg, dat de raadsels van het eerdere boek nog vergroot en vermeerdert. Ik vond dit tweede deel zelfs nog wat mooier en intrigerender dan het eerste, vooral door de verdieping en vermeerdering van de vragen en raadsels, maar ook omdat de stijl voor mijn gevoel wat h [...]

    17. The second of a trilogy exploring life's fundamentals in simple, profound, parables in the life of David, his displaced mother Ines and minder and adopted father Simon. The minimalist style of writing and setting focusses the novel down to its fundamentals, although their abstraction, in this case through a kind of mystic numerology, is difficult to get to grips with. The book reminds me of Lars von Trier's Dogville/Manderlay film series in style - stripped back to the basics of human interactio [...]

    18. I found this book very perplexing indeed. If I thought that it was my own intellect at fault, then I would be willing to put the time and effort in to try to make more sense of the novel. But I have a sneaking suspicion it would not be worth it because I have a sneaking suspicion that the book is neither as profound nor as intellectual as it obviously thinks it is. For a start, the title. Cryptic titles are only successful if by the end of the book they stop being cryptic. This one doesn’t. Un [...]

    19. A story so powerful that it exasperates; a plot so deep that it exhausts and a narrative so angst inducing that it literally drives one to involuntary rage. When I first read "The Life and Times of Michael K" by Coetzee, the experience was so unsettling that I resolved never to read this giant of contemporary literature again. The one word that remained etched in my mind after the experience with "Michael K" was 'grime'. A loathsome, repulsive, revolting grime. Reneging on my own self-imposed bo [...]

    20. This book continues the parable-like saga of the unlikely and circumstantial nuclear family of Simon, David and Ines, picking up where 2013's The Childhood of Jesus left off as they flee authorities in Novilla.Ines, as the maternal carer for the precocious and headstrong David, is mostly peripheral to this book, which again focuses on Simon's deep questioning of his role and relevance in a world he feels himself an anachronism. The measure of his lack this time around comes in the antithetic cha [...]

    21. Oh Boy, I have struggled with these two Coetzee books. In the scope of the Man Booker Longlist, I felt a similarity in annoyance with Hystopia, I think due to the repetition of phrasing, but in this case it was stronger. The Schooldays of Jesus is a dreamy book. I felt a sense that anything could happen. What does happen is surreal and unexpected, or at least how the characters handle it all could be deemed so. I felt no connection to these characters, in fact I disliked them. Mainly for their b [...]

    22. The aged Coetzee writes what he wants, as he likes. He's probably reached a stage of near-complete creative freedom: does he still need to care about selling books ? About creating what customers or consumers would like to buy ? I doubt it. The Schooldays of Jesus is essentially a philosophical parable. Take your time when reading it (There's a bit of Kazuo Ishiguro to it). Enjoy the subtle abstraction, the weightless figuration, the metaphors without images.

    23. Второй частью дилогии округляется мысль об устройстве этой действительности, с авторской т. зр как я ее понимаю: в любой жизни (из прошлых, текущих и грядущих) по закону мрзд полагается спаситель. к спасителю прилагается его свита, она сгущается вокруг него по законам некот [...]

    24. This novel brought to mind Ishiguro’s most recent novel, The Buried Giant, in that both are allegorical and involve a world where there is a general loss of memory. However, I found Coetzee’s prose, characters, and story far more interesting. In this sequel (which I felt worked better than its predecessor), Coetzee continues to play with ideas and characters in a way that doesn’t need to be understood in order to be appreciated, a lesson that the non-philosophical philosopher-protagonist, [...]

    25. Probably his best book since Disgrace, Schooldays is the deeply knowing, profound and fascinating parable that The Childhood of Jesus promised but ultimately failed to be. A true Empire Strikes Back moment for lovers of fine literature.

    26. This sequel to Coetzee's The Childhood of Jesus (2013) provides further adventures of Davíd, Simón, and Inés in an ambiguous dream-like setting. The first novel tells of characters who arrive from over the sea to a mysterious socialist society called Novilla; Simón, a middle-aged man, meets the child Davíd on shipboard and takes responsibility for him; then he persuades a woman named Inés to serve as the child's mother. Eventually, they flee Novilla because Davíd's unorthodox behavior—h [...]

    27. THE SCHOOLDAYS OF JESUS. (2016). J. M. Coetzee. ***.This is the story of David, a young boy found on a ferry by his soon-to-be parents, Simon and Ines. Simon and Ines are married, but only share the same apartment. David clings to Ines, but tells everyone he meets that Simon is not his father and that David is not his name. In an effort to provide some form of education for David, Simon and Ines enroll him in a local school of dance. David soon excels at the dances taught by the school, which ar [...]

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