• The secret of happiness is not doing what we like but in liking what we do

    J.M. Coetzee
  • His own opinion, which he does not air, is that the origin of speech lie in song, and the origins of song in the need to fill out with sound the overlarge and rather empty human soul

    J.M. Coetzee
  • I want to find a way of speaking to fellow human beings that will be cool rather than heated, philosophical rather than polemical, that will bring enlightenment rather than seeking to divide us into the righteous and the sinners, the saved and the damned, the sheep and the goats

    J.M. Coetzee
  • In a world of chance is there a better and a worse? We yield to a stranger's embrace or give ourselves to the waves; for the blink of an eyelid our vigilance relaxes; we are asleep; and when we awake, we have lost the direction of our lives. What are these blinks of an eyelid, against which the only defence is an eternal and inhuman wakefulness? Might they not be the cracks and chinks through which another voice, other voices, speak in our lives? By what right do we close our ears to them? (Susan Barton)

    J.M. Coetzee
  • Well, that is what you risk when you fall in love. You risk losing your dignity

    J.M. Coetzee
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