Saturday, June 6, 2009

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

Well, I'm quite blown away by this book, so much so that I think I might have to stray away from my list for a while to read more Coetzee, and maybe reread Disgrace itself.

At times it feels like a story of utter devestation and bereavement. Other times there are glimpses of enlightenment and redemption. The last scene made me weep, but I still don't know exactly what kind of tears they were -- despairing or cathartic or sentimental or...?? Coetzee does something masterful with point of view; I think I will have to reread it, if only to try to understand how he does it -- the mechanics of it.

Too many swirling thoughts to review it properly yet! But an astonishing book.

5 comments:

Emily Cross said...

That novel sounds excellent! i may check it out

moonrat said...

an old favorite of mine... have you read other coetzee? i also like THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MICHAEL K--like DISGRACE, a bit of a heartache to read, but a beautiful book about ugly things.

Trixie said...

This one is on my list! I have some others by him on my list too. Now I'm really looking forward to them. Thanks for the teaser.

Nom de Gare said...

A belated thanks to you guys. I have been on a Coetzee binge since reading 'Disgrace'. I've read 'Waiting for the Barbarians', which was disturbing, strange and incredible, and have just got my hands on a copy of 'The Life and Times of Michael K'. At risk of being hyperbolic, properly discovering Coetzee through 'Disgrace' will justify this whole fill-in-the-gaps project for me; even if (improbably) I read nothing else that moves me, this encounter is enough. Moonrat's phrase -- 'a beautiful book about ugly things' -- sums it up exactly.

In related news, I'm hoping to meet (OK: be in the same room as) JM Coetzee this week. I've just RSVPd to a book launch in Adelaide, South Australia, where Coetzee now lives; he's launching an excellent novel called 'Figurehead' by Patrick Allington. OK, I admit it: I'm un-coolly excited about the prospect of seeing/shaking the hand of such an amazing author. Forgive the name-dropping, and please wish me hand-shaking luck!

moonrat said...

Yay, Nom!! That's exactly how I felt when I read DISGRACE--I'm still grateful to the person who told me to give it a shot (looks like you and I read all Coetzee's books in the same order, too...!). I'm so jealous you get to meet him!! If you can, sneakily, post us pictures! Or at least an update.

And that's EXACTLY the spirit of the Gaps! My work here is done. (Um, just kidding. But I'm very happy to read your post.)