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Dag: 20 februari 2017

Grote emoties

Grote emoties

coetzee4coetzee5J.M. Coetzee, de grootste schrijver van deze tijd

 

Veertig Nederlandstalige auteurs werd gevraagd wie volgens hen de beste schrijver van deze tijd is. Volgens het panel is dat J.M. Coetzee.

Daan Heerma van Voss schrijft: “Het was Coetzee die me leerde dat je, als je echt dieper wil graven, de ernst in je werk moet durven toe te laten. Het oeuvre van Coetzee bestaat uit rijke, absoluut meesterlijke romans die alvast één ding gemeen hebben: ze móésten er zijn.”

Griet Op De Beeck voegt toe: “Hij is één van de weinige schrijvers die erin slaagt onze innerlijke complexiteit te verzoenen met de diepe wereldproblematiek. Bovendien is elke zin van Coetzee een klets in je gezicht. Precies daarom is hij me zo lief: hij loopt niet in een boogje om de grote emoties heen, maar staart ze vol in het gezicht. En maar goed ook, want als je ’t mij vraagt is het hem uitgerekend dáár om te doen in het leven.”

[jmcoetzee.nl]

 

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Swordsman

Swordsman

chest14Het autobiografische geloofsgetuigenis ‘Orthodoxie’ van de Engelse schrijver en essayist Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) heeft tot op de dag van vandaag vele lezers geraakt en geïnspireerd. Chesterton laat ons delen in zijn verwondering over het aloude christelijk geloof dat meer dan andere religies blijkt aan te sluiten bij de werkelijkheid. chestert1‘Ondanks al zijn persoonlijke eigenaardigheden slaagde hij erin het christelijk geloof met zoveel spitsvondigheid, humor en intellectuele overtuigingskracht naar voren te brengen als niemand in de 20e eeuw dat gelukt is’ (Philip Yancey). In de boekenkast staat Chesterton naast Augustinus, Pascal, C.S. Lewis en Bonhoeffer. [ako.nl]

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[thewardrobedoor.com] In a 1947 letter Lewis wrote, “the best popular defense of the full Christian position I know is G. K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man.” Lewis would also place the book in a list of 10 books that “most shaped his vocational attitude and philosophy of life.”

In his spiritual autobiography, Surprised by Joy, Lewis notes that Chesterton was subtly influencing him to Christianity, while Lewis remained oblivious.

“In reading Chesterton, as in reading [George] MacDonald, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere — “Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,” as Herbert says, “fine nets and stratagems.” God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”

Lewis said that MacDonald baptized his imagination, while Chesterton did the same for his intellect; both paving the way for Lewis to later respond to Christ.

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Chesterton – Eliot – Lewis – Tolkien

Before Lewis knew what was happening, it was too late. He had already been challenged and changed by the wit of Chesterton. Again, he wrote of Chesterton in his autobiography.

It was here that I first read a volume of Chesterton’s essays. I had never heard of him and had no idea of what he stood for; nor can I quite understand why he made such an immediate conquest of me. It might have been expected that my pessimism, my atheism, and my hatred of sentiment would have made him to me the least congenial of all authors. It would almost seem that Providence, or some “second cause” of a very obscure kind, quite over-rules our previous tastes when It decides to bring two minds together. Liking an author may be as involuntary and improbable as falling in love. I was by now a sufficiently experienced reader to distinguish liking from agreement. I did not need to accept what Chesterton said in order to enjoy it.

chest12His humour was of the kind I like best – not “jokes” imbedded in the page like currants in a cake, still less (what I cannot endure), a general tone of flippancy and jocularity, but the humour which is not in any way separable from the argument but is rather (as Aristotle would say) the “bloom” on dialectic itself. The sword glitters not because the swordsman set out to make it glitter but because he is fighting for his life and therefore moving it very quickly. For the critics who think Chesterton frivolous or “paradoxical” I have to work hard to feel even pity; sympathy is out of the question. Moreover, strange as it may seem, I liked him for his goodness.

Lewis fell in love with the literary works of G.K. Chesterton. I have no doubt that many others will as well when they experience his way with words. [Aaron Earls]

 

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