'Nothing could have testified more forcefully to J. M. Coetzee’s special relationship with the Netherlands than the determined stoicism with which he endured the three-day festival celebrating him in Amsterdam last week. It began with the surprise conferral, on behalf of the Queen, of a knighthood: the Order of the Dutch Lion, an honour rarely, if ever, awarded to a foreigner.
There followed lectures and discussions of his writing, while he observed in silence from the front row – the kind of experience he has hitherto resolutely avoided. His out-of-character behaviour owes much to his respect for Eva Cossee, the enterprising publisher of his work in Dutch translation. He even allows her to bring out the Dutch translations some months before the English originals appear.
Cossee was the inspiration behind the festival, which also included films, artworks and a theatrical production, and her handsome editions of Coetzee’s books were much in evidence. Coetzee has translated Dutch poetry and a Dutch novel, and he began the final event – a reading of a new Elizabeth Costello story – with an address in Dutch. But the story, both funny and searing in its exploration of our relation to animals, to outcasts, to our own dying, reminded us that in the end it’s his handling of the English language that we most value him for.'
Derek Attridge in The Guardian - 22 mei 2010
Artikel in Vrij Nederland
Recensie op 8weekly.nl I
Recensie op 8weekly.nl II
Artikel op Literatuurplein.nl