Be Inspired! J.M. Coetzee

In the last talk of the day, Peter McDonald talks about J.M Coetzee. He suggests that in certain ways, J.M Coetzee is very far from what we traditionally think a ‘great writer’ should be.

Peter asks what we mean by ‘great writers’. What do we want from them, what forms our expectations? With examples from Coetzee’s work, he shows us examples of Coetzee’s ‘linguistic disruptiveness’ and other features of his writing that makes us all feel that traditional or not, he is surely a Great Writer.


At the Be Inspired! event on December 14, 2011, a group of Oxford academics presented a series of short inspirational talks around various writers that inspire. The talks were all recorded and will be published as podcasts as part of the Great Writers Inspire project.

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