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Simon Caterson

Simon Caterson reviews 'Chamfort: Reflections on Life, Love and Society' by Chamfort (edited and translated by Douglas Parmée)

April 2004, no. 260 01 April 2004
‘Anyone who’s not a misanthrope by the time he’s forty has never felt the slightest affection for the human race.’ It was apparently at this time of life that Nicolas-Sébastien Roch de Chamfort (1740–94) began jotting down his thoughts, reflections and anecdotes. As the above sample indicates, Chamfort’s life of excess and disappointment had equipped him with a heightened sensitivity ... (read more)

Simon Caterson reviews 'Something About Mary: From girl about town to crown princess' by Emma Tom, and 'Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark' by Karin Palshoj and Gitte Redder translated by Zanne Jappe Mallett

April 2006, no. 280 01 April 2006
One of the contestants on television’s Australian Princess last year was a stripper, the oscillation in whose carriage was queried by the judges. ‘Of course I wiggle when I walk,’ the young woman protested, ‘I’ve got booty.’ Another competitor found that the going got tough when she was called upon to make a cup of tea. ‘I’m more of a bourbon girl,’ she shrugged. We were meant to ... (read more)

Commentary | J.M. Coetzee by Simon Caterson

November 2003, no. 256 01 November 2003
One of the phrases used by the Swedish Academy to describe J.M. Coetzee, winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature, is ‘scrupulous doubter’. In his novels, memoirs, essays, lectures and academic criticism, Coetzee conveys the uncertainty and complexity of lived experience with extraordinary precision and, sometimes, with a clarity that is almost unbearable. Coetzee’s work is triumpha ... (read more)