His voice is gruff. He cannot express tenderness. He expects people to understand this and allow for it. But no one understands it, no one but I, who have sat in corners all my life watching him. I know that his rages and moody silences can only be masks for a tenderness he dare not show lest he be overwhelmed in its consequences. He hates only because he dare not love. He hates in order to hold himself together.
In the heart of the country, J. M. Coetzee