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“Given that the Venice Biennale has metastasized in recent years into an all-out plutocratic orgy featuring Louboutin-shod scenesters pushing and shoving to get onto Roman Abramovich’s yacht, “J.M. Coetzee, curator” sounds at first like a joke from some art world Onion—as unbelievable as Thomas Pynchon appearing on “Oprah” or Joan Didion doing a Reddit AMA. Coetzee may or may not be the greatest living writer in the English language, but he’s certainly the gravest. And while sending Coetzee to Venice may result in a fish-out-of-water surprise hit, I wouldn’t bet on it. He’s a writer whose whole career has been devoted to the virtues of seriousness, but in the funhouse of contemporary art, seriousness doesn’t look like a moral imperative. It looks like a stylistic tic, and I wonder if he realizes that.”

The New Republic, Feb. 7, 2013

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