Growing Up Coetzee


Richard Linklater’s Boyhood has received a lifetime’s worth of press, but over at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Wai Chee Dimock grasps its literary paralells; alternating between analysis and essay, Dimock considers the film alongside J.M. Coetzee’s novel of the same title. He also touches on Coetzee’s plotting, The Prisoner of Azkaban, and the emotional weight underlying any epic:

Linklater says: ‘I had a rough outline. I had a grid, a lot of structure. First through 12th grade, that’s a structure. I knew it would be until he went to college. I knew the last shot of the movie pretty early on.” That last shot — Mason at Big Bend, talking to a young woman he has just met in his college dorm — is actually more like a beginning than an ending, and a tentative one at that. Yes, she has all the right vibes, and they clearly enjoy each other’s company, but surely it’s too early to tell?’… Linklater calls Boyhood an “epic of the intimate.” That seems about right.

Bryan Washington has written for Puerto Del Sol, Ninth Letter, and Midnight Breakfast, among others; he's also the recipient of a Houstonia Fellowship. He lives around New Orleans. More from this author →