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Disgrace (1999)

de J. M. Coetzee

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9,855256564 (3.85)685
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.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 254 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Set in post-apartheid South Africa, J. M. Coetzee’s searing novel tells the story of David Lurie, a twice divorced, 52-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.
  Daniel464 | Oct 12, 2021 |
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 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 254 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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.
adicionado por Widsith | editarThe New York Times, Michael Gorra (Nov 28, 1999)
 
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.
adicionado por Widsith | editarThe Guardian, Adam Mars-Jones (Jul 18, 1999)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (58 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
J. M. Coetzeeautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Preis, ThomasTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Vosková, MonikaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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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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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.

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