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Slow Man – Post Nobel Gibberish

May 16, 2011

Slow Man is a tortuously slow book. It is about boredom and sexual fantasies of the aged mind of J M Coetzee. The story is of an old man who has lost his leg in an accident and is now lonely. Coetzee is experimenting in style in this late work. Like many other works of Coetzee it is hard to distinguish reality from fantasy in Slow Man. The old man reflects the feelings of Coetzee, but there is another character Elizabeth Costello who is an alter ego of the old man and the Coetzee.

The book is about the sexual ravings of a lunatic old man who is also suffering from the bug of literary desire. The inability to tell an honest story forces Coetzee to experiment with style, which makes the book even more unreadable and meaningless.  Coetzee tries to compensate the dishonesty of content and style with making the narrative realistic in places most unwanted, like describing the sexual organs and the sexual act in most dirty and ugly details. It is strange to witness a writer giving such ugly details when he is so far from realism otherwise.

Slow Man is so unnecessary that it should not have been written at all. If Coetzee were not a Nobel Laureate, this work would not have been published.

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