Bleak And Trending Darker

If you’re the type of reader who takes solace from a relatively unsympathetic protagonist whose life is far worse than yours, you just might be attracted to J. M. Coetzee’s 1999 Booker Prize winner, Disgrace. On the surface, it tells the story of a fifty-something college professor who has an affair with one of his young students. This ill-conceived misadventure starts a series of events that go predictably (as the title obviously gives away) down hill. But the plot of Coetzee’s searingly brilliant novel is merely the skeleton that holds the blood, bone, marrow, muscle and flesh of a look into the darker recesses of aging, loneliness, withdrawal and alienation. You’ll notice I didn’t add “fat” to my metaphor. That’s because there isn’t an ounce of it in Disgrace.

Coetzee’s unsparing chronicle of David Lurie’s downward spiral takes him from Cape Town’s spectacularly beautiful coast to the hauntingly sterile vastness of South Africa’s interior. And in so doing, it also delineates Lurie’s wholly inadequate ability to make any real connection to his young lover, his lesbian daughter, or the potential friends and real enemies he meets along the way. What is it that isolates an individual even when he’s surrounded by those who wish him well? What is it that keeps him from
appreciating happenstance? Or makes him recoil from those who might help him even though they have precious little reason to do so. Coetzee wastes no adjectives exploring these questions as psychology. He is more than content to simply select his verbs with such precision that behavior alone achieves what mere moralizing never could.

A South African native, Coetzee lived in England prior to moving to the United States. After graduating with a PhD in English from the University of Texas in Austin, he taught English in Buffalo, New York before returning to his homeland. He left for the states again in the early eighties and held positions at Johns Hopkins University, Stanford, Harvard and the University of Chicago. In 2002 he emigrated to Australia. And in 2003 he won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Disgrace was actually one of the books that influenced the Fiction Fortune Hunter’s novel The Blunder. J. M. Coetzee’s work has been an inspiration to many an author and a joy (realizing joy can often be found in the deepest, darkest places) to readers around the world.

If stark landscapes, sparse prose, incisive wit and an abundance of intelligence whets your fiction appetite, bite into Disgrace. The initial shock might be bitter, but the aftertaste will be sweet.


33 Responses to “Bleak And Trending Darker”

  1. I somehow dont agree with a few things, but its great anyways.

  2. The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.

    Thanks

  3. Great sharing this.

  4. Very good journey and experience!

  5. Thanks for great information. It’s wonderful.

  6. Thanks. Very good for report. I follow your blog

  7. What an idea! What a concept! Pleasant.

  8. I do think this is a most incredible website for proclaiming great wonders of Our God!

  9. on-line for articles that can guide me. Thank you

  10. Man… Great… I will bookmark this blog and take the feeds also! Thanks. 😀

  11. Hi,

    You know what, I have been searching for some more information on this topic, and wonder if anyone can help me out? I found this website on Google and would appreciate it if someone sends me some more links on this topic by email.

    Thanks much in advance.

  12. Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to etit articles something like that. Can I take part of your post to my personal blog? Thanks.

  13. As long as you attribute where you got it from.

  14. Hi!
    Thank you for giving some creative info on the topic.

    I am saving your website and will definitely check back periodically.

  15. This post is good.

  16. Man… Great… I will bookmark this blog and take the feeds also! Thanks. 😀 Here is my website, Cool New Gadgets

  17. my God, i thought you were going to chip in with some decisive insight at the end there, not leave it with ‘we leave it to you to decide’.

  18. Thanks for this usefull information.

  19. Thanks so much for providing some info on this topic.

    I will definitely be sure to save your website and check back often.

  20. Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to edit articles something like that. Can I take part of your post to my personal blog? Thanks.

  21. As long as you provide attribution.

  22. You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

  23. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points Features also.

  24. Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to edit articles something like that. Can I take part of your post to my personal blog? Thanks.

  25. As a newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you!

  26. Hey very nice blog! I’ll bookmark it for my references! 🙂 Daily Buzz.

  27. Please, can you OM me and tell me few more thinks about this, I am really fan of this blog… 🙂

  28. As a newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you!

  29. I’m agree with you, i love your article for beginners. I used google translator – can you enlighten me please?

  30. You are right, people should listen to what you are saying because are absolutely right.

  31. Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the fantastic work!

  32. tips tandblekning…

    Appreciating the time and energy you put into your site and in depth information.

  33. Wow, such a valuable web-site.


Leave a Reply