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Disgrace (1999)

by J. M. Coetzee

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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9,403239546 (3.85)656
After years teaching Romantic poetry at the Technical University of Cape Town, David Lurie, middle-aged and twice divorced, has an impulsive affair with a student. The affair sours; he is denounced and summoned before a committee of inquiry. Willing to admit his guilt, but refusing to yield to pressure to repent publicly, he resigns and retreats to his daughter Lucy's isolated smallholding. For a time, his daughter's influence and the natural rhythms of the farm promise to harmonise his discordant life. But the balance of power in the country is shifting. He and Lucy become victims of a savage and disturbing attack which brings into relief all the faultlines in their relationship.… (more)
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» See also 656 mentions

English (202)  Dutch (11)  Spanish (6)  French (4)  Italian (4)  German (3)  Hebrew (2)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Greek (1)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (239)
Showing 1-5 of 202 (next | show all)
Davie Lurie, Literaturprofessor in mittleren Jahren und zweimal geschieden, ist in Ungnade gefallen - eine Affäre mit einer seiner Studentinnen ist an die Öffentlichkeit gedrungen. Der peinlichen Befragung entzieht er sich durch ein Schuldbekenntnis. Er quittiert seinen Dienst und verläßt Kapstadt, um für eine Weile zu seiner Tochter aufs Land zu ziehen. Lucy, die keinerlei Ambitionen in der Welt ihres Vaters hat, versucht auf einem entlegenen Stück Land eine kleine Farm aufzubauen. Zunächst scheint es, als könnten der Einfluss Lucys und der natürliche Rhythmus des Farmlebens Davids aus den Fugen geratenem Leben neuen Halt geben, doch dann werden Vater und Tochter Opfer eines brutalen Überfalls, in dessen Folge der grundlegende existentielle Konflikt zwischen beiden offen zutage tritt.
  Fredo68 | May 18, 2020 |
It is an unsettling work.
My favourite parts were the inquest where Lurie stands for what he believes in disregarding the ways of society, the puzzling attitude of Lucy towards the rapists, the incineration of the dogs, and the short essay on Petrus, the angst he felt when Lucy decides to ‘forgive’ her violators, the rage against the little boy. And above all, the narrative voice which are the self-reflections and thoughts of Lurie. It is that beautiful and uniquely effortless stylistic voice that manages to get the multi-layered intentions of the author across to the reader. If a book was written just exploring Lurie’s self-reflections in the voice of the author and ran for a thousand pages plus, most people including me would enthusiastically read it.
Finishing the book leaves you in turmoil and makes you look hard at your own morality. It did at least for me because I thought the way Lurie did. The indifference, the apathy and cold-heartedness as the perfect solution to a happy, satisfied life devoid of the worries of others. And a bit of the misogyny. But Lurie doesn’t feel that way for Lucy, quite the opposite. When Lucy tries to get him to be indifferent, he can’t and becomes naggy. I feel Coetzee was teaching Lurie something through Lucy. And in effect, teaching us. I am confident there is a lesson here, a lesson Lurie learnt which allowed him to ‘love the dogs’ and apologise to the Issacs family. Perhaps the lesson of patience, tolerance, understanding. Perhaps how to live in a world divided by the race and gender, in a world of violence. A re-reading would serve this novel well. ( )
  pod_twit | Mar 30, 2020 |
This book was given to me by my SantaThing through LibraryThing.

Let me first say that this was my first book by Coetzee and I was immediately reminded of Philip Roth, but soon found a richer, more poetic style of writing with Coetzee.

To quote The New Yorker, Disgrace is "compulsively readable" and transports the reader into a world of the unthinkable, although not unfathomable. Well worth the read and very well written. ( )
  CJPG | Dec 29, 2019 |
A sad book. Interesting to read, the story wasn't going the way I expected it to.
Sometimes all the good will in the world can't make problems go away. And sometimes no possible solution is a good one.
I can't stop thinking about the possibility that this/these kind of circumstances may be real life for real people. Not just a fictional story. And for some reason that makes me shudder a bit more today. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Sep 21, 2019 |
Disgrace by South African author, J. M. Coetzee is a difficult book to review. I actually quite liked the book but a big part of the main story-line involves both rape and violence toward animals. The book’s main character David Lurie is a lecturer at a Capetown university who, when accused of sexual misconduct with one of his students, chose not to defend himself but rather to simply suffer his fate with stoicism. In his mind, Lurie has done nothing wrong, so he prefers to get fired and suffer the disgrace rather than to endure a process of rehabilitation. He loses his job and then goes into the country to live with his daughter, Lucy, on her isolated farm.

At first this seems like a peaceful interlude, but this is South Africa and the violence is never far away. The farm is attacked by a group of black men, Lurie is beaten and burnt, while Lucy is raped. His daughter refuses to press charges, even when one of rapists turns up at her ambitious coloured neighbour, Petrus’ party. Instead she signs over her land and equipment to this neighbour in the unspoken agreement that she will not be attacked again.

This is a novel of bleakness, turmoil and conflict. The reader is drawn into the psychological makeup of David, yet the story is also about the political standards of South Africa and conditions in that post-apartheid country. There is also a connection made between humans and animals, both as David helps out in an animal clinic and at Lucy’s farm with her dog kennel business. I found myself both shocked and deeply affected by the brutal reality of this book yet I am eager to read more by this author. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Sep 15, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 202 (next | show all)
Even though it presents an almost unrelieved series of grim moments, ''Disgrace'' isn't claustrophobic or depressing, as some of Coetzee's earlier work has been. Its grammar allows for the sublime exhilaration of accident and surprise, and so the fate of its characters -- and perhaps indeed of their country -- seems not determined but improvised.
 
Any novel set in post-apartheid South Africa is fated to be read as a political portrait, but the fascination of Disgrace – a somewhat perverse fascination, as some will feel – is the way it both encourages and contests such a reading by holding extreme alternatives in tension.
added by Widsith | editThe Guardian, Adam Mars-Jones (Jul 18, 1999)
 

» Add other authors (58 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. M. Coetzeeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Preis, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vosková, MonikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For a man of his age, fifty-two, divorced, he has, to his mind, solved the problem of sex rather well.
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Follow your temperament.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
De gescande versie van In ongenade die op www.bibliotheek.nl als e-boek beschikbaar is, is van een zeer slechte kwaliteit: hele woorden zijn weggevallen, afbreektekens zijn spaties geworden en lettercombinaties als 'fj' en 'ff' zijn gelezen als '@' en '='.
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