- Taschenbuch: 224 Seiten
- Verlag: Vintage; Auflage: New Ed (6. April 2000)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0099284820
- ISBN-13: 978-0099284826
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 11 x 1,4 x 17,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 111 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.584 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Disgrace (Roman) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. April 2000
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"What is remarkable about Coetzee’s vision as a novelist is that it remains intensely human, rooted in common experience and replete with failure, doubt and frustration" (Guardian)
A divorced, middle-aged English professor finds himself increasingly unable to resist affairs with his female students. When discovered by the college authorities, he is expected to apologise and repent in an effort to save his job, but he refuses to become a scapegoat in what he see as as a show trial designed to reinforce a stringent political correctness. He preempts the authorities and leaves his job, and the city, to spend time with his grown-up lesbian daughter on her remote farm. Things between them are strained - there is much from the past they need to reconcile - and the situation becomes critical when they are the victims of a brutal and horrifying attack. In spectacularly powerful and lucid prose, Coetzee uses all his formidable skills to engage with a post-apartheid culture in unexpected and revealing ways. This examination into the sexual and poliitcal lawlines of modern South Africa as it tries desperately to start a fresh page in its history is chilling, uncompromising and unforgettable.
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"Disgrace" is heavy with symbolism, drawing constant parallels between the human and the bestial (Bev Shaw and her dog clinic), making the reader wonder which of the two species is more humane. It is a novel that focuses attention on the sorrows of being human in a world that is essentially inhuman, a world that is unable to understand and reach out to individuals caught up in an existential web of loneliness and pride.
As he narrates the story of the main protagonist, the writer, John Coetzee, interweaves it with the story of a nation coming into its own, throwing off age-old shackles of the apartheid curse. This, in different hands, would probably be an optimistic theme, welcoming the dawn of a new era. But Coetzee is aware of the Savage God that takes birth, replacing one chaos with another. Disgrace, which begins as the story of a professor of English driven by Eros, ultimately turns out to be the tale of the white man in South Africa. What happens when the reigning majority is reduced to a minority, a hounded, unwanted minority? What price does it have to pay then for the sins of the past?
To put it differently, what happens to the master when he is overthrown? What is the retribution? How do the erstwhile slaves take revenge? The history of the country thus becomes metaphorically entwined with that of individual characters. Racial hatred is laid bare and the harsh, ugly realities of post-apartheid South Africa, horrifying and frightening, are foregrounded.
So the novel is about the aftermath of decolonization as much as it is about the aftermath of Desire. In electing an anti-hero as the main protagonist, Coetzee draws our attention to what human beings really are. Like Lurie, they go wrong and fall from their pedestals - simply because they are human, fallible, flawed creatures: "...how are the mighty fallen!" says a character in Disgrace. But, through sacrifice, love and compassion there is the hope of redemption, at least partial. This is the underlying Christian theme, the saving grace that lifts ordinary mortals to a higher plane, enabling them to have intimations of immortality in a world that is undeniably mortal.
Narrated in a bare minimalist style, spare and precise almost to a fault, the narrative does not falter or linger over superfluous words or emotions. There is no moralizing, no sentimentality or gimmickry. The author believes in understatement: his symbols are loaded, the power of suggestion is strong and unignorable. Indeed, Coetzee knows how to hold his readers' attention, how to write an award winning book, how to produce a masterpiece. We love it, even if the masterpiece is one that niggles at our conscience and makes us uncomfortable!
"Disgrace" wurde 1999 mit dem renommierten Booker Prize ausgezeichnet. Vier Jahre später erhielt Coetzee den Nobelpreis für Literatur zugesprochen. Coetzee ist ein hervorragender Geschichtenerzähler, der es schafft, die Gefühlswelt seiner Charaktere für die Leser nachfühlbar zu gestalten. Das trifft vor allem auf David Lurie zu, den wir zuerst bei seiner Affäre und dann in der Wildnis begleiten und uns mit ihm die Frage nach Schande, Sühne und Vergebung stellen. Ob dies alles die vielen Preise rechtfertigt, möge der Leser selbst entscheiden.
In its most superficial, obvious dictionary meaning of grace, the main characters' lives lack "beauty and charm," as they try to deal with the fates they've been dealt in the aftermath of apartheid (Lucy on her farm, Lourie in his changed college faculty position), their fates as the result of individual actions by other characters (Lourie and Melanie, Lucy and Pollux, et.al.), and their fates as the result of their own actions. The characters are also unsure, often, of what constitutes "right" or "proper" actions and often unable to make themselves do what they believe to be right. Their definitions of rightness itself have been called into question, and Coetzee's view of them and their fates is dark and uncompromising.
The characters lack "thoughtfulness" to others and show little "mercy" or "clemency" as they go about their lives. They often act spontaneously and selfishly. Lourie's behavior towards the dogs is more merciful than his behavior toward his fellow humans, and Coetzee may be offering this as a ray of hope for the future--one has to start somewhere to deal with the changing issues of power vs. compassion. Whites collectively abused power and Lourie individually abused the power of his faculty position; they cannot expect compassion from the people whose lives they affected, now that they are no longer in power.
Now that apartheid is officially over and a new black society is growing and, at times, exacting tribute for past abuses, one can say that the "grace" period has expired, something all too obvious to Lucy in her efforts to farm her land. Her decision to raise a child in this environment brings another sense of resolution, and possibly another a ray of hope. Unfortunately, one cannot help but wonder whether the grace of God will shine equally on all the characters, making them equally strong and pure of heart. One wonders how much an "eye for an eye..." will be the preferred judgment, both politically and in the personal lives of the characters.
Coetzee's prose is unadorned, plain, lacking in "grace notes" which give life and brilliance to music but which sometimes mask the message when applied to prose. It is probably not coincidental that Lourie's planned Byronic opera changes in the end from a broad, orchestral accompaniment to that of the honest and uncompromising plink-plink of a banjo. Somehow it seems not only appropriate but a "graceful" denouement to this complex book.
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"White rapist find redemption through the corrective rape of his daughter by black men, the novel"
Well-written garbage, but still...Lesen Sie weiter
Brauchte es für die Uni und war glücklich es pünktlich erhalten zu haben, über den Inhalt lässt...Lesen Sie weiter