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High Seriousness

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Geoff Dyer cracks a joke; J.M. Coetzee doesn’t laugh:

Comments

  1. Martin says:

    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.

  2. Thomas Jones says:

    Exactly: that’s why I put it up.

  3. jsf says:

    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.

    • Thomas Jones says:

      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.

  4. outofdate says:

    Not nearly as excruciating as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucchNOgm2mQ

  5. Saffy says:

    Good grief, that’s awful. “Don’t give up the day job”, etc

  6. Anthony Cummins says:

    Dyer gets a laugh eventually (as the Q&A ends – see 18-min mark too though).

    http://www.themonthly.com.au/geoff-dyer-adelaide-writers-week-jm-coetzee-p2-2336

  7. loxhore says:

    If Amis says he is humourless, Coetzee is humourless.

  8. alex says:

    Surely J.M. could have smiled at least. It’s a matter of Coetezee…

  9. loxhore says:

    The Guardian review: only four months behind the internet

  10. Elvis Bego says:

    I wonder if Coetzee’s unmoved poise itself isn’t a deliberate, comic response?


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