The Lives of Animals

by J. M. Coetzee | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by Plinius of Schiedam, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on 2/25/2004
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
12 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Plinius from Schiedam, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Wednesday, February 25, 2004
This is a part of the story of Elizabeth Costello. Most of the story is about the main character defining and redefining her relations to animals and to the natural world. Very interesting, very Coetzee, offers a lot of thinking matter.



Released on Monday, March 01, 2004 at Bookray in Mailed to fellow bookcrosser, Postal Release Controlled Releases.

to Anness

Journal Entry 3 by anness from Zuiddorpe, Zeeland Netherlands on Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Vandaag zat The Lives of Animals bij de post, bedankt Plinius! Ik zal er morgen in beginnen , pauzelectuur bij het afbijten van de trap. De flap belooft me een nieuw perspectief niet alleen op dieren maar ook op mezelf. Ben benieuwd.

Journal Entry 4 by anness from Zuiddorpe, Zeeland Netherlands on Thursday, March 04, 2004
Very Coetzee indeed.
In a conversation with bookfriends I questioned the principle that human beings are superior to animals because of their selfconsciousness and rationality. I was looking for the good words for defining an animal and Coetzee is giving it: ''fullness of being''.
A wonderfull definition, it is exactly what I was looking for.

I'll ask Powerhouse to mail her address to me.
Thanks Plinius!

Journal Entry 5 by anness from Zuiddorpe, Zeeland Netherlands on Sunday, March 14, 2004
Door moeilijkheden met haar computer kon Powerhouse me niet gauw laten weten wat haar adres is, maar nu kan het boek op de post. Ik vond het zelf het leesbaarst als ik voor Elisabeth Costello speelde en de lezingen hardop las. De romanlaag is flinterdun, het gaat Coetzee denk ik eerder om de filosofie van een menselijke omgang met dieren. En om bezinning op wie we zelf zijn. Hij heeft me wel geraakt.

Journal Entry 6 by powerhouse from Culemborg, Gelderland Netherlands on Saturday, March 20, 2004
O, Schande, heb je al een week in huis en nog niet gejournald, m'n eerste ring-boek, vandaar.

Journal Entry 7 by powerhouse from Culemborg, Gelderland Netherlands on Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Very intelligent observations in a cheerless setting. On its way to Mamalot12.

Journal Entry 8 by mamalot12 from Amsterdam, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Sunday, April 11, 2004
Boek was donderdag aangekomen, maar mamalot12 was vergeten het BCIDnummer aan lot12 door te geven.

Het is alvast een prachtige uitgave en niet erg dik. Ik ben er al in begonnen en vind het mooi.

Journal Entry 9 by biba89 from Olst, Overijssel Netherlands on Monday, August 02, 2004
On the day of the meetup I found this one on my desk at work, it came in my mail during my holidays. I will start reading today. I am looking forward to learn about Coetzee's perspective on our relationship towards animals.

Journal Entry 10 by biba89 from Olst, Overijssel Netherlands on Friday, August 06, 2004
The first time I read something by Coetzee. His ideas about animals and our attitude towards them are familiar, I am reading more and more about this subject. "Eternal Treblinka" by Charles Patterson also compares the practices of intensive farming with Second World war's concentration camps.
One idea still haunts me though - Coetzee describes an experiment in research of chimp behaviour, where a scientist hangs a bunch of bananas from the ceiling and puts a couple of boxes in the cage. The scientist expects the chimp to start working on solving the banana problem, whereas the chimp might be wondering why he is being punished.
A Gary Larson cartoon comes to my mind, which I read this morning - a deer is hiding behind a tree from a hunter armed with a shotgun. The comment:"He's really trying to kill me! Do I know this guy? I've got to think!"
Imagine animals being aware of what we are deliberately doing to them. Let's start by questioning the rights we granted ourselves to do as we please, with all living creatures. I thank Coetzee for making us think about this.
This book goes to Maupi.

Journal Entry 11 by biba89 from Olst, Overijssel Netherlands on Friday, August 06, 2004
Off to maupi, who is on holidays at the moment, I think.

Journal Entry 12 by HHX-328595 on Monday, August 09, 2004
Ha, yet another BX book! But a slim and appealing one, so I should be able to read it soon and send it on.

Journal Entry 13 by HHX-328595 on Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Were I to rate with stars, no stars would I give.

My thoughts, not happy ones about this book

Wrong, wrong, no way was this appealing.
I was really put off by some of the views given in it, especially those voiced by Elizabeth Costello. What an opinionated, narrow-minded woman with muddled, disturbing ideas. Very disturbing, esp. her direct analogy between how humans treat animals and the Nazis' treatment of Jews. Very disturbing too that the only character in the book who actually articulates his outrage about this insulting analogy is an elderly Jewish poet. Apparently we have to believe that only someone with an obvious personal connection to the shoah would take offence. Appalling.

And here another example of one of her crooked analogies, this time a really unintelligent one: that it would be wrong to state that as a human one would be unable to imagine animal emotions, suffering, etc. Her argumentation: she can imagine the feelings of a fictive person, Molly Bloom, so hey, if that's possible, then humans can also emphasise with animals. Excuse me? Molly Bloom, fictional as she may be, is still a human being.

Oh, and I really missed a reference to William Hauff's "Der junge Engländer". Speaking of apes posing as humans, this one at least would have been fun.

I read somewhere about this book: "The real question the book raises is, can we as vegetarians have any dialogue with the meat-eating world at all?" I sure hope that's not the real question. If Costello is to be regarded as the typical vegetarian, I must hurry to the butchers and start eating large quantities of meat again. In no way do I wish to be associated with Costello and the likes of her.

No Coetzee for me for the time being. (And no meat either; I'm not changing my diet because of an unpleasant fictional character.)

Book goes to the next reader. Out of sight, out of mind, I hope.

Journal Entry 14 by wing1972Galadrielwing from Schiedam, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Thursday, September 02, 2004
hee leuk nog een boekring (nummer 2 vandaag)Dankuwel!

Journal Entry 15 by wing1972Galadrielwing from Schiedam, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Friday, September 03, 2004
The lives of animals..sounds interesting.
This is a story about a novelist whom is passionate about animal rights. Could be a nice story..but all I read is an old woman rambling about many different ways to look at animals and their way of thinking.
The only interesting parts were about her son and daughter in law..and what they were thinking. I hope the others do enjoy it though...
Off to Mymlan it goes.

Released 14 yrs ago (9/7/2004 UTC) at n/a in Mailed to fellow bookcrosser, Postal Release -- Controlled Releases



And off it goes to Mymlan!

Journal Entry 17 by Mymlan from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, September 10, 2004
Recieved today, thanks!

Journal Entry 18 by Mymlan from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, October 14, 2004
Oops, forgot: the book is going off to Martinburo tomorrow.

Journal Entry 19 by Mymlan from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, October 14, 2004
I read the book in two phases, but in between I thought about it quite a lot. I liked it, because it treats an important subject and does it skillfully. It is not easy to disguise philosophy in fiction, but I think that Coetzee has succeeded quite well. Actually I think that the book should not be read as fiction, but as a philosophical dialogue, in the best Socratean tradition. I liked the way in which Coetzee puts out quite objectively both sides of the argument; I definately disagreed with the arguments of Elizabeth Costello, but I found myself in the arguments of her daughter in law.

I didn't know what to wait, so I was at first a bit surprised by the book, but it held my attention all the way. The story is a bit shallow, but the language is very vivid and makes for a very readable little book.

Journal Entry 20 by martinburo from Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Thanks, I will read this asap.

Journal Entry 21 by martinburo from Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 30, 2004
I really liked this book. By choosing the format of a novel JC can present two sides of an argument without becoming inconsistent. I think that by presenting both sides equally convincingly he may have been saying that there is no right and wrong side in this discussion, or at least that is what I got out of it. And yes, very thoughtprovoking. After reading the story I thought that both the argument that animals have the same quality as we do, and the argument that our higher quality gives us the right to do with animals as we see fit are untenable. The reverse of these two arguments are not irreconcilable by definition, they are only in apparent contradiction in our mainstream society.
Today I read that vegetarianism is a valid option for decreasing human induced climate change (Chapter 6 in The global carbon cycle (2004) Field & Raupach (Eds.)ISBN 1559635274).
I sent the book to CatrionaMacLeod.

Journal Entry 22 by CatrionaMacLeod on Saturday, December 04, 2004
It arrived today. Thank you very much :-)
Thanks to martinburo who sent it to another country...

I liked the book very much. It gave me new ideas, other point of vues.

Thank you very much for the ring.

Released on Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at about 8:00:00 AM BX time (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) at ab die Post! in controlled release, ---controlled release--- Switzerland.


Back to the Netherlands. Hartelijk bedankt.

Journal Entry 24 by Olifant from Porthmadog, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, January 24, 2005
The day after... the Utrecht meeting this book arrives. One of many to be reads. Thanks CatrionaMacLeod for sending and Plinius for raying.

Journal Entry 25 by Olifant from Porthmadog, Wales United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Although a very interesting theme, not a book I really like. I guess I rather prefer to talk about these things than to read about it, for I find the philosophical aspects quite difficult to grasp. The discussions were, for me, better to get than the long lectures of Elizabeth Costello.

Book is off to Jesi!

Journal Entry 26 by Jesi from Havelte, Drenthe Netherlands on Saturday, January 29, 2005
I received the book by mail this morning. Thank you Olifant!

I really want to start reading the book, because I have already heard (read) so many different opinions on the book..

Journal Entry 27 by Jesi from Havelte, Drenthe Netherlands on Friday, March 11, 2005
I just finished the book. Absolutely not a book for me at this moment, this time of my life! Perhaps because I can hardly concentrate these days (due to other pressing matters), but an essay of 120 pages barely held in the form of a roman.. is, no, nothing for me at the moment!

Halfway the book I started skipping paragraphs and later even pages. It is not because it is not interesting, but because it does not suit my 'reading needs' at the moment.. Probably a year ago I would have read it with more interest. For now it is too abstract, the level is in content and form (story) too high for me, allthough the concepts mentioned very interesting and sometimes really new for me. I did pick up some ideas, started thinking about some things, but also I was soon fed up reading it and wanted to finish the book faster than the 120 pages available.

The storyline was very thin and I did not really understand it, allthoug for me it was the more interesting part of the book. I read more easily into life stories than in theories (most people I guess), so that kept me going.

Not a book that I would recommend just anybody, but I do not know anybody right now to pass the book on to. (I saw I am the last on the list, Plinius, do you want the book back?)

Thank you for sharing the book with me though. I will try Iron Age by the same author, and then maybe I hope I am able to enjoy it really!

Journal Entry 28 by Jesi from Havelte, Drenthe Netherlands on Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Met instructies meegegeven aan iemand die toevalligerwijs heel erg veel van lezen bleek te houden, net als ik. Ik ben benieuwd wat ze ermee gaat doen!

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