I just finished reading the brief essay I'd set out for myself today, Elizabeth Lowry's duel review of Disgrace and The Lives of Animals. Like most pieces from the London Review of Books, Lowry's "Like a Dog" is written in language highly influenced by literary-critical writing but does not get bogged down by the often super-specialized argot one typically associates with such prose. I think Lowry's understanding of both Disgrace and the two fictionalized lectures in The Lives of Animals that would later form the center of Coetzee's excellent Elizabeth Costello is far superior to that of many fellow critics. She is both attuned to the novel's relationship to the author's well-established (and oft-criticized) oblique engagement with South African power dynamics, colonizer-colonized relationships, and postmodern undermining of narrative authority as well as some of the less-discussed developments in Coetzee's later work, which translates to an exceptionally insightful review that any budding Coetzee scholar would do well to read.
For tomorrow: Dissertate.
Lowry, Elizabeth (1999) "Like a Dog." London Review of Books 21.20 (1999): 1-12. Available online.