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To begin with, let me make something clear J.M Coetzee s Disgrace left me intellectually fulfilled and severely shocked Fulfilled at the simplicity and beauty of its narrative which resulted in a powerful drama shocked at the impact it had on my innermost self This is not a book for the faint hearted If you lack faith in your fortitude, do not even start, read something easier But that would be a pity, for you would be deprived of an experience that will only enrich your understanding of the world If you stay, Coetzee will grant you a masterpiece And there have been some moments of genuine awe in my reading experiences, but I can without any trace of doubt testify that reading Coetzee is always one of them Disgrace follows David Lurie s fall from grace, a professor of poetry and communications, that is unable to fit in a tormented post apartheid South Africa David clashes with the University s politically correct environment as well as with the land dispute barbarism in the country s interior, where his daughter lives.With an immaculate prose, in which no word is wasted, the novel is a plunge into a society lacerated by poverty, criminality and a social conduct values deadlock Disgrace is a work of art, rare nowadays that that refuses simple explanations, which reinvents and enriches realityBut the truth, he knows, is otherwise His pleasure in living has been snuffed out Like a leaf on a stream, like a puffball on a breeze, he has begun to float towards his end He sees it quite clearly, and it fills him with the word will not go away despair The blood of life is leaving his body and despair is taking its place, despair that is like a gas, odourless, tasteless, without nourishment You breathe it in, your limbs relax, you cease to care, even at the moment when the steel touches your throatAt 52, twice divorced, David is solitary, resigned, erudite and sarcastic He does not care for the disinterest of his students show his poetry classesHe continues to teach because it provides him with a livelihood also because it teaches him humility, brings it home to him who he is in the world The irony does not escape him that the one who comes to teach learns the keenest of lessons, while those who come to learn learn nothingHe contemplates writing an opera on Lord Byron, but always postpones the project He believes to havesolved the problem of sex rather wellon Thursdays afternoons he visits a prostitute that could be his daughter, pays what he owes her and has the right to the oasis of one and half hours of his continuous and dreary mundane existence view spoiler His life, bureaucratically justified, capsizes when the prostitute dismisses him and, even knowing the mistake it is, has an affair with one of his students By disdaining political correct codes, accused of abuse, David falls in disgrace He becomes an outcast and retreats to the country to his daughter Lucy s the only person he has some affectionate bond remote piece of land in the Eastern Cape He comes, then, in contact with the post apartheid South Africa,country where it is a risk to own things a car, a pair of shoes, a pack of cigarettes. hide spoiler [[ Ebook ]] ⇴ Disgrace ⇨ Set In Post Apartheid South Africa, J M Coetzee S Searing Novel Tells The Story Of David Lurie, A Twice Divorced,Year Old Professor Of Communications And Romantic Poetry At Cape Technical University Lurie Believes He Has Created A Comfortable, If Somewhat Passionless, Life For Himself He Lives Within His Financial And Emotional Means Though His Position At The University Has Been Reduced, He Teaches His Classes Dutifully And While Age Has Diminished His Attractiveness, Weekly Visits To A Prostitute Satisfy His Sexual Needs He Considers Himself Happy However, When Lurie Seduces One Of His Students, He Sets In Motion A Chain Of Events That Will Shatter His Complacency And Leave Him Utterly Disgraced Update 1.99 Kindle special today for those who can handle reading this book the writing and story gets inside you and doesn t leave quickly Disgrace is a perfect title David Laurie, professor, father, divorced, twice married , jobless after and inappropriate affair, temporary farmworker, is a disgrace David dips into a downfall transgression with himself and his daughter, Lucy Racial tensions run high.violence is on the rise.brutal..in South Africa and this was post apartheid.It was easier for me to understand the disgrace of David..than it was for me to understand Lucy s train of thought after the horrific things that happened to her Step into Africa with J.M Coetzee..complex, controversial, personal political..Choices to cringe over.yet compassion is circulating in our thoughts Powerful winner of the 1999 Booker Prize note readers who are extremely sensitive to animals abuse, may not want to read this or skip over parts. This short novel, written in spare, economical prose, tells the story of a not particularly likable middle aged Capetown college instructor who falls into disgrace because of an affair with a student and is soon reduced to living with his daughter in the bush and working as a euthanizer at the local animal shelter A violent incident occurs, and disgrace takes on another meaning The novel is both merciless and compassionate not an easy combination to achieve , and is also incisive in its portrayal of the changing world of South Africa. Perhaps it does us good to have a fall every now and then As long as we don t break Professor David Lurie is forced to resign when his affair with a student comes to light His resignation and the humiliations he gets to swallow as a parent burn chinks in his cynical armour and self image By volunteering in a veterinary clinic, his indifference to man and animal gradually gives way to empathy Disgrace deals with the human inability to communicate effectively and with the uncertain relations between black and white in post apartheid South Africa Coetzee writes soberly and compactly He aptly records the wry horror of raw physical and psychological violence.Disgrace hits like a sledgehammer, but results in a catharsis that one doesn t forget lightly A staggering book Willie Bester, Transition, 1994Misschien is het goed voor ons om af en toe te vallen Zo lang we maar niet breken Professor David Lurie ziet zich gedwongen ontslag te nemen als zijn affaire met een studente aan het licht komt Zijn ontslag en de vernederingen die hij als ouder te slikken krijgt, slaan barsten in zijn cynische pantser en zelfbeeld Door zijn vrijwilligerswerk in een dierenkliniek maakt zijn onverschilligheid voor mens en dier geleidelijk plaats voor empathie In ongenade handelt over het menselijke onvermogen tot werkelijke communicatie en over de onzekere verhoudingen tussen blank en zwart in het Zuid Afrika van na de apartheid Coetzee schrijft sober en compact Hij registreert trefzeker de wrange gruwel van rauw fysiek en psychisch geweld.In ongenade komt aan als een mokerslag, maar resulteert in een catharsis die je niet licht vergeet Een onthutsend boek. This could have been the most uncomfortable I ve ever felt while reading a novel The issues and themes addressed are those that are immersed in the sensitive, pitch black parts of my insides And it didn t relent not once did it get easier It was painful to keep going, yet I was gripped and couldn t stop.Mining through our darker spirits is not pleasurable Looking at the world and its sickness, and feeling some of its constant, inherent pain is no easier But when these merge together, a glorifying truth is present one we train ourselves to avoid in order to make life easier But to read Disgrace intently and honestly is to not have a choice in these matters, and the reward is a realness and truth found in very few novels Your own moral inadequacies are dug up and looked at directly, as is your culture your race your generation your values your guilts and your sense of justice Your way of life gets shaken Yet the general state of all life, as a whole, is exposed Because people are weak and corrupt, life for the individual wavers in many ways But life itself, with all its beings put together with nature, the earth, and all it entails is solid and ongoing Life is still Life is indifferent The meat of existence is unbending and immovable And it goes on.. I read Disgrace by Nobel Laureate J M Coetzee with a few friends in the group reading for pleasure A winner of the Man Booker Prize, Disgrace also fulfills the Nobel Laureate square on my classics bingo card All of Coetzee s novels have received multiple awards or prizes, and Disgrace is the first of his novels that I have read Although short in length, this introduction reveals to me the brilliance of Coetzee s writing David Lurie is a fifty two year old professor of communications at Cape Town Technical University Having been divorced twice and struggling to get inspired by his courses, Lurie engages in one affair after another with either prostitutes or women passing through town Lurie s last affair left a bad taste in his mouth, and for the first time he decided to sleep with a student Although this is hardly unheard of, Lurie is caught and forced to resign his position In the throes of both a scandal and midlife crisis, he moves in with his grown daughter Lucy A child of the city, Lucy has decided to live in a rural farming community on the eastern cape A young, determined woman of the younger generation, Lucy allows her father into her homestead but from the onset it is obvious that she would rather be left alone The generation gap is evident as she calls her father by his first name and does not bestow any respect on him Determined to do a better job as a parent as a middle aged man, Lurie feels the inherent need to parent Lucy at this trying time for both of them Coetzee s writing delves into what an affair and a rape is like for both the man and the woman, across lines of race and class Set in post apartheid South Africa, it is evident that blacks are still struggling in their relations with whites and feel the need to turn the tables on them Likewise, the younger generation that Lucy is a part of also does not see a need for white male protection In striving to erase these lines, Coetzee writes in third person and refers to all characters, even in passing, by their first names He treats all his persona with the same respect regardless of age, gender, or class, even the animals at the clinic where Lucy and later David work As a result, as a reader, I am able to feel empathy for all of the characters, even the stubborn ones like Lucy and the disgraced David For an introduction to Coetzee, Disgrace is a poignant novel After reading only women authors during women s history month, it was refreshing to read a novel written by a male author that shows empathy toward strong women characters The writing is powerful and deserving of its praise I am now inspired to readof Coetzee in the future to see firsthand the work that merited him the Nobel Prize Solid 4.5 stars. It s a little known fact where fact is understood in the contemporary, alternative sense that the title of this book was originally an acronym that Coetzee used as a guide for writing it Dishonor Inducing Sex Glaring Racial Antipathy Corroding EmotionsDavid Lurie, a white South African professor in his fifties, had taught communications and poetry in Cape Town An ill advised affair with a student spoiled all that David sought refuge with his daughter Lucy who experienced some conflicts of her own living in the country s interior With its setting in post apartheid South Africa, a race angle was virtually inevitable I have to say, the emotions packed a real punch, including some you don t see coming As far as I know, Disney had no role in producing the movie version of this raw and hard edged book Despite the lack of uplift, I did appreciate the writing and the plausibility of the angst Evidently, the Booker committee did, too, since they gave this one their fiction prize in 1999.This has been another entry in the KISS series Keep It Short, Steve Note that Steve itself is an acronym Severely Testing Every Visitor s Equanimity I finished this book a little over a week ago and for the first time I couldn t decide how to rate a book, much less write a review about it So here I am still mulling it over, reading through my notes and trying to type some sort of articulate thoughts into my laptop I don t really think I liked Disgrace I respected the writing it made me think a lot I had trouble finding any beauty in it and I think that is where the problem lies with this book for me If a book touches me emotionally, or if I learn something by reading it, then I can truly say I loved it However, the only real emotion I felt was anger if anything else I didn t really learn much except that unfortunately maybe I am correct in that life can be really crummy at times and people sometimes unpleasant or in some cases downright despicable How does one get into a state of disgrace and is it possible to move back into a state of grace afterwards Perhaps.Professor David Lurie is a man I disliked right from the starta woman s beauty does not belong to her alone It is part of the bounty she brings into the world She has a duty to share itOkay, there s that And then there is the fact that he has an affair with one of his students, a young woman that could be his own daughter, who is in fact younger than his daughter, Lucy This is where I had some trouble raising my own daughter that is still school age and under the influence of her own teachers and others that have positions of power over her this perhaps makes me a poor audience for this book When David is faced with harassment charges, he will fall into a state of disgrace But what exactly does disgrace mean to David He has no regrets for what he has done He says to Lucy,One can punish a dog, it seems to me, for an offence like chewing a slipper A dog will accept the justice of that a beating for a chewing But desire is another story No animal will accept the justice of being punished for following its instinctsDisgrace to him is not loss of his job, loss of respect, or loss of face Rather for him it is the process of aging, losing that magnetism that attracts others, even perhaps not leaving behind a legacy for which he can be proud When David leaves Cape Town to stay with Lucy in Salem in the Eastern Cape of post apartheid South Africa, he will have time to ponder the state of disgrace and all of its inherent meanings Lucy and David do not see eye to eye, but I have to give David some credit for trying to understand his daughter and the life she has made for herself on her farm and with the animals under her care When violence erupts and becomes personal, David is placed in a position that prompts even further self reflection Much of this book is uncomfortable and harsh There may be triggers for those that are distressed by cruelty to both animals and people, so I want to note that warning here Coetzee did manage to make me side with David and pull for him partway through the book I couldn t really understand Lucy I felt sympathy for her but her actions troubled me and left me feeling a bit hopeless I m not thoroughly convinced that David will transform, but I can envision the opportunity I will continue to hope for that state of grace As far as a rating, well I ve finally settled on 3.5 The book is extremely well written no doubt about that However, based on my own personal reaction to the book, I have to rate accordingly I wouldn t turn anyone away from this book with the exception of the possible triggers noted above , but note that negative emotions got the best or should I say worst of me this time around. ummmno I m afraid for me, this book suffers from what I call the Booker disease I ve read very few books that won the Man Booker prize that I ve enjoyed SPOILERS AHOY AHOY I looked through the GoodReads comments concerning this book and saw a lot of positive feedback But not one of those comments talked about Coetzee s horrible dialogue All of his characters speak like a phlebotomy textbook, and they are all just an obvious soundboard for the author s opinions What s the point of making an idea a piece of fiction if the author just uses all of the characters to spout off his views on rape, class, prostitution There were no distinctions in tone or vocabulary between the characters I think his points would have been better taken if he had just let the characters work out the issues themselves and not filled them with political rants I felt nothing for David, or Lucy, or Bev the only emotive element that haunted me was the killing of the dogs every week The author sets his narrator on fire and the dogs are the only thing that got me.For a better book about South Africa, try The Power of One For a better discussion of the effects of rape try Bastard Out of Carolina or The Color Purple For a less heavy handed discussion of class and morality, try The Human Stain or On Beauty.