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.”
Share Betsson outrides pandemic challenges as regulatory dramas loom July 21, 2020 Related Articles Submit Share GiG lauds its ‘B2B makeover’ delivering Q2 growth August 11, 2020 StumbleUpon LeoVegas hits back at Swedish regulations despite Q2 successes August 13, 2020 Issuing its first trading statement as a Nasdaq Stockholm-listed enterprise, Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) details a tough opening to 2019 trading, as the company undertakes Swedish market adjustments.Updating investors, GiG records a 13% group revenue decline to €32 million (Q12018: €37m), attributed to anticipated Swedish market costs following the re-regulation of the market.Swedish adjustments impacted GIG’s revenue segments for both B2B €14.2 million (Q12018: €15.3m) and B2C €20.2 million (Q12018: €25.4m) segments.Adjusting to new Swedish conditions, GiG governance details that the company ‘tightened its cost control’, reducing its period cost of sales and marketing expenditures.Despite its revenue slowdown, GiG maintained a positive EBITDA of €4.1 million (Q12018: €4.3m) in-line with corporate expectations.Robin Reed, GiG CEO, commented: “The Company delivered an EBITDA of €4.1m in Q1 and the key highlight was all-time high revenues and EBITDA in our media business. It is a performance I am reasonably satisfied with in light of the loss of a major B2B customer which we announced in Q4-18, and the new regulation in Sweden which is impacting both our B2C and B2B revenues. We had anticipated this and managed the impact by careful cost control.“The business is robust with cash flow from operating activities of €2.6m. GiG has become better and more competitive as the Company matures. Our leadership has never been stronger, our processes are more robust, and our strategic understanding and intent has evolved. I am looking forward with confidence to the growth opportunities for the rest of the year.”
Atlético de Madrid wants to sign Edinson Cavani and the Uruguayan striker wants to wear rojiblanco and get under the command of Cholo Simeone. But there has been a setback: Beckham Inter Miami has interfered in the arrival of the charrúa to the Wanda Metropolitano. AS has confirmed the news that Josep Pedrerol advanced in ‘El Chiringuito’ last night that the club owned by the former English player has made an offer to Cavani to play MLS. “His number one goal is Atlético, that has not changed, and he will wait for an agreement between Atlético and PSG, but the offer made by Inter Miami is very important and we must understand that this is a profession that, among other things, moves by the law of supply and market demand “, sources close to Cavani say to this newspaper.Remember that Beckham has excellent relations with PSG and Al Khelaifi and that could influence the decision of the Parisian club. And is that the former Real Madrid player, among other teams, played for the PSG in the 2012-13 season. In the following campaign it was when Cavani arrived at the Parisian team from Naples. These sources close to the Uruguayan player consulted by this newspaper understand, in relation to the “dizzy” Beckham Inter Miami offer, that “Edinson has at least three years left to compete at the highest level in Europe. We still have high hopes that he can go to Spain, but PSG and Atlético have the last word. Hopefully if it isn’t now, it can be in summer “.No newsThe brother and representative of Cavani continues in Madrid, where yesterday Monday he negotiated with Atlético de Madrid the conditions of the Uruguayan striker’s contract with the club rojiblanco. The idea of the entity chaired by Enrique Cerezo, who yesterday affirmed that “there is no news”, is that it comes in this winter market, as Simeone has claimed, but there is no agreement between the Parisian club and Madrid, “although the PSG is starting to give way”, confirm AS from the surroundings of Cavani. In this sense, L’Equipe has published that Atlético de Madrid would have again raised its offer for the Uruguayan striker, with a proposal of 15 million euros, but the PSG would have rejected it.What they have denied from the surroundings of Cavani is thatHe hasn’t said goodbye to his classmates in the locker room, as they have told in some French media. Still in Paris waiting for events.