Coetzee on Sport and Roger Federer

Charlie Cooper peeks into a forthcoming volume of Coetzee/Auster correspondence
J. M. Coetzee
Charlie Cooper (The Independent) (link via Susan Tomaselli):
J M Coetzee, the notoriously publicity-shy Nobel Prize-winning author, has made an art of revealing almost nothing about his life.

But now the South African novelist has surprised critics by revealing his profound, almost obsessive respect for an unlikely figure – the Swiss tennis star Roger Federer.

One of literature’s great recluses, the South African writer rarely submits to being interviewed but has granted a glimpse into his daily musings in an exchange of correspondence with the American author Paul Auster, to be published as a book in the UK in May.

Revealing himself as an armchair sports fan, Coetzee describes Federer’s best tennis as “something like the human ideal made visible” and says the experience of watching him play is “very much like my response to masterworks of art”.

The two authors, who met in February 2008 and decided to embark on an epistolary friendship to “strike sparks off each other”, corresponded via post and fax for three years, covering topics as diverse as philosophy, friendship, the financial crisis and their shared love for the “guilty pleasure” of watching sport. [Read More]

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