HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Disgrace (1999)

by J. M. Coetzee

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,017252573 (3.85)695
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 farm. For a time, his daughter's influence and the natural rhythms of the farm promise to harmonize 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 faults in their relationship. Chilling, uncompromising and unforgettable, Disgrace is a masterpiece. "From the Trade Paperback edition."… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 695 mentions

English (215)  Dutch (10)  Spanish (8)  French (4)  Italian (4)  German (3)  Hebrew (2)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Greek (1)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (253)
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
Took me 4 years to read this a second time. Just as good as the first. ( )
  jaydenmccomiskie | Sep 27, 2021 |
I don't think I ever saw such a mixed range of stars but where the majority had such deep emotions about a book. It makes me want to read it. But ... the subject.. is a major trigger to me. So for now it goes on my maybe list and maybe in the future I can handle a story that seems to evoke such intens emotions.
  Jonesy_now | Sep 24, 2021 |
I've rarely come across a book this evocatively written, with such well-developed characters, set in such a distinctive setting, and probing such (arguably) fundamental questions, that I felt so tepidly about.

Perhaps it was the protagonist -- an objectionable guy, a literature professor who practices his hedonism with total disregard for his effect on others. But despite the way he exploits and "Cat Person"s his student, and despite his neglect of his daughter, blindness to her needs, and denial of her autonomy, the professor is someone I identified with. He is in a constant state of thought, always trying to balance his desires and actions with the way they fit into his framework of the world.

But perhaps this was the problem -- this "framework", the character's constant and seemingly offhand attempts to observe and understand the society around him. E.g., a foreshadowing:

A risk to own anything: a car, a pair of shoes, a packet of cigarettes. Not enough to go around, not enough cars, shoes, cigarettes. Too many people, too few things. What there is must go into circulation, so that everyone can have a chance to be happy for a day. That is the theory; hold to the theory and to the comforts of theory. Not human evil, just a vast circulatory system, to whose workings pity and terror are irrelevant. That is how one must see life in this country: in its schematic aspect. Otherwise one could go mad. Cars, shoes; women too. There must be some niche in the system for women and what happens to them.

Yes, his thinking is often dirtied by puerile and even despicable ideas, as demonstrated here. That's not the part that bothered me. I think what bothered me is how the character eventually became so useless, so isolated, so nearly irredeemably disgraced so as to render all of his ideas -- not just the barefaced despicable ones -- as silly and trivial. His redemption (is there a redemption? This seems like a question ripe for book club consensuses) is unbelievable; his trials and tribulations feel "sloppily" plotted -- maybe in the way that life can resemble a rambling course, but more in the way that symbols and motifs and moments of buried character insights flow out casually.

Anyway. 3.5 stars for a book I can acknowledge as great. ( )
  Gadi_Cohen | Sep 22, 2021 |
So what can I say? Actually I didn't quite understand the idea of the book. It tells us about the university teacher who gets fired because of the affair with his student. And then there are a lot of reflections about his disgrace, about what happened to his own daughter, about animals' lives... And no ending.

I didn't like neither book nor the main hero. Main hero's thoughts were disgusting for me, I don't think I'll be able to understand such people even later. Not my topic, not my hero, not my genre. ( )
  Diana_Hryniuk | Aug 28, 2021 |
A skillfully written book from which I I derived no enjoyment at all. Yes, I did learn something about the tensions of post apartheid South Africa, but otherwise I could only dislike the male chauvinism of the lead character. He judges all women by their looks, and does not hesitate to pursue those whose looks he likes. And he is completely confounded by his inability to control the decisions of his daughter in determining her own life. Meanwhile, as an unpleasant background, there is much dwelling on the killing of dogs. ( )
  scunliffe | Aug 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
Coetzee erweist sich als ein Autor, der ein außerordentlich feines Gespür für die Atmosphäre und Probleme seiner Heimat besitzt. Er versteht es, eine beunruhigende, kompromisslose Geschichte daraus zu entwickeln.
 
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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
For a man of his age, fifty-two, divorced, he has, to his mind, solved the problem of sex rather well.
Quotations
Follow your temperament.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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 '='.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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 farm. For a time, his daughter's influence and the natural rhythms of the farm promise to harmonize 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 faults in their relationship. Chilling, uncompromising and unforgettable, Disgrace is a masterpiece. "From the Trade Paperback edition."

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.85)
0.5 7
1 51
1.5 5
2 162
2.5 42
3 486
3.5 173
4 1009
4.5 166
5 646

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 170,032,519 books! | Top bar: Always visible