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Coetzee recalls a reading childhood

first_img The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Accepting the inaugural Mahindra Award for Global Distinction in the Humanities, Nobel Prize-winning author J.M. Coetzee treated the audience filling Sanders Theatre on Wednesday to thoughts about his earliest reading and the concept of a mother tongue.The ceremony, which included a panel discussion among 11 humanities scholars, opened with a performance of Bach by pianist Stephen Prutsman. Homi K. Bhabha, director of the Mahindra Humanities Center, then introduced the award, named after Anand G. Mahindra ’77 and his wife, Anuradha Mahindra, which “celebrates the work and vision of an internationally renowned public figure whose career has contributed significantly to the flourishing of the arts and humanities.”Calling Coetzee a “foundational writer of the century,” Bhabha said, “What I have learned from Coetzee’s works … is that great classics glow with the slow fires of survival, their flint igniting again and again and again, rather than burning out in a showy blaze of genius.”The award itself, designed (as was the color-washed logo of a jagged mountain range) by Sir Anish Kapoor, was presented by University President Larry Bacow. Referring to the award’s gold-toned peaks, Bacow thanked Coetzee “for seeking summits in your craft and for opening our eyes to vistas beyond our imaginations.”Accepting the honor, the 78-year-old Coetzee began with a reference to his age: “You see a venerable gent nearing the end of his days.” But the two-time Booker Prize winner quickly transitioned to speaking about his “relations with the English language,” via his earliest reading.The author related how, as a child in South Africa (he now lives in South Australia), he was given a copy of the “Children’s Encyclopedia,” a British book he cited as a formative influence. Even before he could read, he recalled, “I used to pore over the pictures and try to make sense of them, and by them make sense of the world.” Once he could understand the words, he would often reread the “green books” that made up the encyclopedia. Revisiting them as an adult, however, he found them somewhat less entertaining.Published “shortly before the Great War” and revised shortly thereafter (Coetzee’s childhood edition was published in 1923), the book was very much a product of its time, he recalled, espousing British nationalism that promoted “unthinking obedience.”“In particular, it was committed to the idea of patriotic sacrifice,” he said. With its teachings on race (defending the superiority of Anglo Saxons), sex (“simply absent”), and nationality, “it was not a good preparation for the late 20th century.”Even as a child, Coetzee recalled, he felt a disconnect between the life he experienced and the one described in the green books he knew so well. “I could never quite associate myself with that world,” he said. That disconnect created a rupture with English itself.“Only later did my commitment to the language begin to fade,” he explained. “As it faded, English began to look to me like just one language among many. Writing in English still came easily to me, but it did not come naturally. I no longer felt I had any duty to continue in it or sustain it.”Returning again to the concept of a “mother tongue,” he asked, “Is ‘mother tongue’ just a locution, or are there people who feel enfolded in the language they hear as a child feels enfolded in a mother’s arms? Are there people who feel … motherless?” He said the question feels particularly relevant today, “an experience worth exploring in depth, or so it seems to me.”The novelist’s major works include “In the Heart of the Country” (1977), “Waiting for the Barbarians” (1980), and the Booker Prize-winners “Life & Times of Michael K” (1983) and “Disgrace” (1999). He also wrote the fictionalized memoirs “Boyhood” (1997) and “Youth” (2002).Coetzee won the Nobel in literature in 2003.The idea of a mother tongue was the first of several concepts picked up by the panel that followed his remarks.,Prutsman, Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music Suzannah Clark, composer Osvaldo Golijov, writers Elaine Scarry and Professor of African and African American Studies in Residence Jamaica Kincaid, Jonathan Trumbull Research Professor of American History Nancy F. Cott, Cogan University Professor of Humanities Stephen Greenblatt, Museum of Modern Art Director Glenn D. Lowry, scholar and Coetzee chronicler David Attwell, and Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought Robert B. Pippin traded thoughts on mother tongues, as well as on bicycles, Roget’s Thesaurus, and Bach, three favorite topics of Coetzee, before another performance by Prutsman closed the event.While Golijov discussed learning English after hearing both Spanish and Yiddish at home, others spoke of unease with the language, stemming from their parents’ greater fluency in other languages, from French and Norwegian to Yiddish. Reacting to the honoree’s speech, Scarry noted that fluency is not always an answer. “If I have a mother language, it is English,” she said. “But I also recognize the feeling of not always feeling at home in it.”last_img read more

Lebanese in impoverished north protest virus lockdown

first_imgBEIRUT (AP) — Dozens of Lebanese protesters, enraged at a nearly month-long lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus, took to the streets of the country’s second largest city pelting security forces with stones. The protest that continued into the night Monday prompted tear gas from the security forces and the eventual deployment of army troops to break up the gathering. The protesters gathered in central Tripoli despite a strict lockdown in place since mid January aimed at containing a major surge in infection in the small Mediterranean country.  Tripoli residents say their impoverished region can’t cope with a continued lockdown to contain coronavirus, which comes amid an unprecedented economic meltdown in the small Mediterranean country.last_img

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Dec. 26

first_imgAfter reading Wendell Neugebauer’s Dec. 6 letter “Assisted suicide laws do more harm,” I feel compelled to speak for many who face a situation similar to the one my family is facing.Please reference Eleanor Aronstein’s fact-filled letter on Dec. 13 (“Allow New Yorkers to die with dignity”).My ex-husband no longer has a voice to express his fears and wishes. My grown children’s father is diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). His children lovingly took him into their homes and fully supported him, physically, emotionally and financially, until it became impossible.He is now in an assisted living facility, but as his condition continues to deteriorate, his quality of life diminishes. He has lost his ability to laugh, smile, communicate or control his body.A proud and meticulous man, he would never have chosen to end his life like this. I cannot say what choice he would have made between this slow and painful way, or to “die peacefully’’, but he would not have opted to have his children see him tied into a wheelchair to keep him safe and have his loved ones witness such a demise.Mr. Neugebauer’s cutting paragraph about “greedy relatives” not wanting to see their inheritance “frittered away” changed my anger to tears. I’m sad for him and anyone who fears that that’s how their relatives would treat their end days. But unless you have walked in the moccasins of those who live this nightmare, you know not of what you speak.  Jill McGrathHowes CaveIf Joe Biden gets in, he must impeachedIn 2013, Harry Reid (D-NV) changed Senate rules to use the so-called “nuclear option” to allow the Senate to basically approve any candidate for a federal judge position with a simple majority versus two-thirds rule.Using the same rules Reid implemented in 2013, the Republican Senate has approved a record number of judges to the bench.Unfortunately for Democrats, all of them are conservative. This will impact the Supreme Court and all federal courts for years.Now we have an impeachment passed by the Democrats in a totally partisan process.The bar on the impeachment has reached a new low. The articles of impeachment don’t identify a “high crime or misdemeanor” by any definition. No bribery, no quid pro quo.  Strictly as a non-professional in law, I would suggest that Hunter Biden and his dad, Joe Biden, should be investigated in the hiring of Hunter by Burisma as a member of its board. He had no experience on the job. He landed a spot on a corrupt Ukraine oil company’s board of directors and got paid an obscene monthly payment. It’s obvious to the most casual observer that his last name got him the job.If Joe Biden gets the job of president of the United States and the Republicans get control of the House, the first order of the House of Representatives should be his impeachment. If not, every Democrat should be asked if they are comfortable with what Hunter and Joe did in Ukraine. What goes around, comes around.Mark SampsonNiskayunaEllen’s generosity worthy of giddinessThis is in response to Rick Splawnik’s Dec. 18 letter (“Ellen audience a bit too giddy over gifts.”): If you have ever watched the Ellen DeGeneres Show, you would know that she has 12 days of giveaways during Christmas season. No, they are not just a free toaster or whatever. They are gifts that are worth thousands of dollars. They are trips, gift cards, etc. So yes, I would be just as giddy as them. In fact, I have been to the bonus days of giveaways at the Ellen Show years ago and there were gifts that totaled more than $2,000, and the show even paid the taxes on what we were given. I had donated everything I received to a family who needed it more.Ellen is not only generous, she is funny. So maybe next time you can sit down and actually watch her show.Judy YoungRotterdamPoorly chosen words promote stereotypesThe Dec. 18 article, “Official: ‘Gang-related’ fight breaks out in Schenectady High hallway” includes a quote from district spokesperson Karen Corona, “Kids (are) bringing issues from the community into the school…sometimes the kids just show up and they start fighting.” Both Corona’s comment and the headline of this article support stereotypes that Schenectady students know only violence. They also highlight a larger lack of understanding for how external factors affect student performance.Issues of the community cannot be detached from school, for they are both apart of a larger community. Rather than perpetuating the idea that students should detach school life from their community, they should be supported in figuring out the interconnections.Superintendent Larry Spring’s comment on focusing on solutions rather than blaming students would have made for a less divisive heading.By solely relegating the high school’s issues into being gang-related, the community becomes scared off. And it is only through engagement that we can hope to grow.Intent does not negate impact, and the impact of this headline and Corona’s comment perpetuate longstanding racist and classist stereotypes. Thus, Schenectady students have been failed support and are owed a great apology.I call upon readers to think reflexively over the words you use in relation to Schenectady High and the assumptions they make.If your words smuggle in gross stereotypes, then you halt progress and bolster discrimination.Grace HerrmannSchenectady Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDon’t discount love in assisted suicides Allow secret ballots in Senate trialI urge Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who will serve as judge for the impeachment trial in the Senate, to take politics out of the trial.Senators serve as the jury. Allow them to have a secret ballot. All other jury trials are secret ballot, and the Constitution doesn’t prohibit this. Remove the threat of Trump’s attacks against those who vote for impeachment.I suggest this will make the trial fair and impartial.Herb DieckGlenvilleBring the Stockade’s roads up to standardThe Stockade is one of Schenectady’s jewels, with its long history, many important structures and some small businesses.The condition of its streets is deplorable.When does the city expect to address this? Union Street from Erie to Washington is an adventure in pothole-dodging, and it’s only December. This would seem like a good place to invest.Perhaps before we make the city Smart, we can bring its streets up to 20th century standards.Mark VermilyeaNiskayuna Impeachment is a hollow win for DemsCongratulations Democrats for a tremendous win for our country. The impeachment of Donald Trump is an enormous victory.I think the leadership of Schumer, Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff, among others is very commendable. They have successfully and, might I add, finally accomplished something in the nearly three years of Trump’s presidency. May you all be very proud. Stand tall, shout “impeachment” from the rooftops. Why? Because at the end of the day, that’s all you will have. He won’t be removed from office. And even if he were to be removed, he could simply run again. Oh yes, it’s true. He would win also, again, because clearly, there is no one who can beat him. Joe Biden? I don`t think we want to have his abuse of power exposed like that, do we? How else could his son get on the Burisma board with no experience or knowledge in that field making $50,000 a month? Well, I’m happy for you Dems, to be honest. You finally got this done. Congratulations.Brian BaldwinBurnt Hills More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18last_img

Let’s get together

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Amartha CEO steps down as presidential millennial staffer following controversy

first_imgAnother expert staffer of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Andi Taufan Garuda Putra, has stepped down from his position following a conflict of interest controversy involving his own company, fintech lending startup PT Amartha Mikro Fintek.”I’ve submitted my resignation as a special staffer to the President on April 17, which he has subsequently approved,” Andi said in a public statement on Friday.Andi, who is also Amartha CEO, was recently in hot water after the public and politicians alike criticized him for writing a letter to district heads across the country, asking them to support a coronavirus relief program launched by his company. The request was printed on a document bearing the cabinet secretary’s letterhead.However, Andi did not mention the controversy in the public statement, instead saying his decision to step down was taken “based on my sincere desire to fully dedicate myself to the economic empowerment of the people, especially the small and micro businesses.”With his resignation, Andi has become the second millennial among Jokowi’s special staff to leave the State Palace after being hit by controversy.His colleague and former presidential aide Adamas Belva Syah Devara, the cofounder of education technology start-up Ruangguru, also announced on Tuesday that he had stepped down from the position. Belva said he had submitted his resignation letter to Jokowi on April 17.The Ruangguru CEO experienced a public backlash following the appointment of his company as one of eight government partners in the pre-employment card program, which was launched recently to augment the social safety net during the COVID-19 pandemic.Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung separately confirmed Andi’s resignation and said the President had accepted it.”The President appreciates [Andi’s] commitment to fully dedicate himself to the economic empowerment of the micro businesses. It’s in line with the President’s focus,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

This house is described as the ultimate entertainer

first_img53 Limetree Pde, Runaway Bay will go under the hammer next month.FROM the ultra-modern facade to the tropical pool setting complete with thatched island hut, timber deck and a towering feature palm tree, this residence can’t help but invoke a holiday atmosphere. A towering feature palm tree takes pride of place. Tropical pools don’t get much better than this.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa19 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoThe standout entertaining feature is the pool setting, which offers a fully equipped kitchen including beefeater barbecue, has under deck storage and is decked out with glass fencing to showcase wide water views of the canal, that can be explored with a variety of water craft launched from the 8 metre pontoon. The rear surrounding gardens are manicured, low maintenance and equipped with lighting. Inside, there’s plenty of room to entertain or accommodate a family, with six bedrooms — or five bedrooms plus a large study — on offer. An outdoor setting adjoins the pool and indoor living spaces.center_img The home features open plan living and dining. The rumpus room boasts a bar.The master suite and two bedrooms are each ensuited, while the master suite and one bedroom open out to a large balcony with water views. There’s also two additional guest bathrooms.It also boasts modern conveniences from a laundry chute, to an intercom and alarm system, LED lighting and stainless steel fans. The property has recently been revamped with a freshly painted exterior and new carpet throughout.last_img read more

Wildcats Fall To Trojans On The Links

first_imgFC golf was defeated by East Central last night in a makeup match from 4/25 195 to 207.The story of the night was Nate Heinrich. He recorded a hole-in-one on hole 12 at Grand Oaks. Zach Jewell was medalist with a 45. Other scores were Cole Erfman 50, Austin Hill 56, Evan McKinney 56, Trent Meyer 60, Brandon Cowen 61, Austin Bohman 64, and Chase Tolhurst 67.Courtesy of Wildcats Coach Dustin Riley.last_img

Wozniacki to retire after 2020 Aussie Open

first_imgRelatedPosts Aussie Open: Thiem upsets Nadal to reach semi-finals Wozniacki withdraws from Dubai tourney  Wozniacki knocked out of Australian Open Former World Number One, Caroline Wozniacki, has announced she will retire in 2020 after the Australian Open in Melbourne. She will bring her impressive career to a close at the Australian Open, where she won her first Grand Slam title in 2018. The 29-year-old Dane has won 30 WTA singles titles, winning six in 2010 and 2011. In 2010 she became the first Scandinavian woman to reach the top of the rankings in tennis history. “I’ve thought about it for a long time,” she told People magazine. “It’s obviously not an easy decision, and I don’t think it ever would be. “Tennis is something that I’ve done for my entire life, and I wake up and I practice and I play tournaments, but there are so many other things out there that I’d love to do.” Wozniacki was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis before the US Open in 2018 but says her diagnosis was not a factor in her decision to retire. “I don’t think it is hindering me. It makes some things more challenging, but I feel great in the day-to-day. “I feel like I can do anything, and I’ve won some of the biggest titles of my career with this illness.” In fact, she won the Australian Open in January of 2018 the China Open last year after being diagnosed with RA. Following her diagnosis, Wozniacki plans to raise awareness of RA in her life post-tennis. “We’re launching a new health education campaign centred around rheumatoid arthritis. I felt that it was important that I use my platform to share my story and show that anything is possible, regardless of RA.” Another part of her decision came from wanting to start a family with her former NBA husband David Lee, who she married in June. “We want to start a family,” she said. “And I can’t wait to spend more time with my friends and family that I haven’t been able to over the past 20 years that I’ve been travelling.”Tags: Australia OpenCaroline Wozniackilast_img read more

Two Martin County Deputies Involved in Serious Wreck on I-95

first_imgAll northbound lanes of I-95 were blocked after Indiantown Road due to a crash involving two Martin County Sheriff’s Deputies who were hit by another driver.At this time one northbound lane is open at Bridge Road.Two MCSO Deputy SUV’s were badly damaged.The deputies were responding to a crash when they were hit by another vehicle. A deputy responding says that vehicle did not obey the move over law.One person was airlifted to the hospital.last_img

Fulham set to snub approach for Johnson

first_imgFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook Fulham are set to reject an approach from Blackburn for striker Andrew Johnson.Struggling Rovers have long been linked with a move for the 30-year-old and are believed to have made an offer to Fulham.But the Whites want more money for Johnson – even though he could leave on a Bosman free transfer when his current contract expires in the summer.AdChoices广告QPR also recently made an approach for the player but they too were given short shrift.Related stories:Fulham snub QPR’s approach for JohnsonJol wants Johnson to sign new deallast_img