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Tags: reading | writing
Geoff Dyer cracks a joke; J.M. Coetzee doesn’t laugh:
Well, I think JMC might be justified there. It’s not exactly Geoff Dyer’s (or anyone’s) best joke. And Coetzee was never one to bother with such social niceties as laughing politely at a limp joke. But it is very funny footage – far funnier than Geoff Dyer’s joke in fact.
Exactly: that’s why I put it up.
A few months ago I went up to Oxford to see a rare Coetzee reading, and at the signing afterward I told him I always thought he was an underestimated humorist. He looked up, cocked his head slightly, stared at me, and emitted a very, very short “Ha.” One of the few major achievements of my short life.
That’s a great story. I agree that his (very dry) sense of humour is often overlooked in accounts of his work. There’s not much to laugh at in Waiting for the Barbarians, it’s true, but the more recent autobiographical, or semi-autobiographical, or anti-autobiographical books can be very very funny.
Not nearly as excruciating as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucchNOgm2mQ
Good grief, that’s awful. “Don’t give up the day job”, etc
Dyer gets a laugh eventually (as the Q&A ends – see 18-min mark too though).
If Amis says he is humourless, Coetzee is humourless.
Surely J.M. could have smiled at least. It’s a matter of Coetezee…
The Guardian review: only four months behind the internet
I wonder if Coetzee’s unmoved poise itself isn’t a deliberate, comic response?
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