Lavinia's Reviews > Disgrace

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
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Mar 19, 09

bookshelves: 2009, fiction
Read in March, 2009

Everything has a price. If you're a university professor getting involved with a student who later reports you, you pay the price: you're dismissed and your life is turned upside down.
If you're a young white woman and choose not to leave the ground you were born on (i.e. South Africa), you pay the price: you get robbed, raped and learn how to cope with the situation.

Definitely a fast and captivating read.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Stella (new)

Stella If you're a young white woman and choose not to leave the ground you were born on (i.e. South Africa), you pay the price: you get robbed, raped and learn how to cope with the situation???????


message 2: by Lavinia (last edited Oct 20, 2009 01:43PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lavinia I'd really appreciate it if you used words instead of question marks. Thank you.


message 3: by Stella (new)

Stella What does this comment mean? If you are born here [South Africa:] and for whatever reason choose to live here, it is okay to be robbed or raped and learn how to cope? This is the price to pay to live in your country?


Lavinia Dear Stella, take that phrase (or the entire review) as a blurb, and that "you" as an impersonal pronoun. I don't know if you read the book, but if you did, you probably remember that all those horrible things happened to Lucy (and her father, for that matter, minus the rape) because she chose to live there by herself - in the countryside, where most of the people were black. (I don't have a copy at hand, but I remember she refused to live in Europe. Anyway, she definitely chose not to live in Cape Town, where her family was.) Did she genuinely believe in the kindness of people? Probably yes, hence her staying there. Did those people fail her? Absolutely. The same thing could have happened to her in any other part of the world, but for some reason Coetzee chooses this village in South Africa.

So no, it's not ok to be raped and robbed in your own country or elsewhere, but somehow I think she knew what was coming, she'd been warned and everything. Was it her choice to stay? Yes.


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