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The computer poetry of J. M. Coetzee’s early programming career

By Rebecca Roach

Writer J. M. Coetzee’s early poetry is almost undecipherable. That’s because it was written in computer code.

Coetzee’s global reputation rests on his literary output, for which he received a Nobel Prize in 2003. Before he embarked on a career as a scholar and writer, the South African–born writer was a computer programmer in the early years of the industry’s development (1962–1965). I believe that this experience, while short, was vital for the development of Coetzee’s writerly project. While visiting the Ransom Center on a research fellowship, I examined Coetzee’s papers, which offer tantalizing clues about his neglected “other career.” Read more

“Una historia de Cien años de soledad a través de sus documentos”

By Alvaro Santana-Acuna

“El problema es mío”, confesó García Márquez a un amigo por carta en julio de 1966, “que después de tantos años de trabajar como un animal, me siento agobiado de cansancio, sin perspectivas ciertas, salvo en el único terreno que me gusta y no me da de comer: la novela”. Read more