Saturday, May 30, 2009

Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians

"I am not surprised by what they are doing. I know very well the weight that insinuations and nuances can be made to bear or how a question can be asked in such a way as to dictate its answer. They will use the law against me as far as it serves them, then they will turn to other methods. That is the Bureau's way. To people who do not operate under statute, legal process is simply one instrument among many."

"No matter if I told my interrogators the truth, recounted every word I uttered on my visit to the barbarians, no matter even if they were tempted to believe me, they would press on with their grim business, for it is an article of faith with them that the last truth is told only in the last extremity."

-From Waiting for the Barbarians, J.M. Coetzee, 1980