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John Maxwell Coetzee  1940 - South Africa  Afrikaner: he speaks English and Afrikaans  Mathematics and English degrees at the Cape Town University 

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Presentation on theme: "John Maxwell Coetzee  1940 - South Africa  Afrikaner: he speaks English and Afrikaans  Mathematics and English degrees at the Cape Town University "— Presentation transcript:

1 John Maxwell Coetzee  South Africa  Afrikaner: he speaks English and Afrikaans  Mathematics and English degrees at the Cape Town University  : English Literature teacher (Buffalo, Cape Town)  2002: he retires and moves to Adelaide  Booker prize in 1983 (Life and Times of Michael K) and in 1999 (Disgrace)  Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 Pablo Berjano

2 Disgrace “It loses none of its fidelity to the social and political complexities of South Africa, even while it explores the troubling tensions between generations, sexes, and races. This is a novel of almost frightening perception from a writer of brutally clear prose.“ - Ron Charles, Christian Science Monitor - Ron Charles, Christian Science Monitor Pablo Berjano

3 David Lurie: professor of Communication at Cape Town University He sleeps with Soraya (prostitute) once a week He goes with Melanie Isaacs (a student of his course) He is charged with sexual harassment He doesn’t express his shame He leaves the city he goes to his daughter Lucy (East) 3 men attack them: she is raped and he is set fire to Petrus (Lucy’s servant) gives a party for his new house David returns to Cape Town: his house has been raided When he visits Lucy he discovers her pregnancy The Plot

4 Relationship Relationship Lucy-David Lucy sees David’s relationship with Melanie from a particular perpsective because She has (had) love experiences with women Her story can be compared to Melanie’s She’s a countrywoman David’s refined highbrow manners VS Till the rape they get on well and seem to be getting closer The film directed by Steve Jacobs, with John Malkovich Pablo Berjano

5 Relationship Lucy-Petrus Pablo Berjano - The power is shifting from Lucy to Petrus. - He might have arranged the attack on her in order to gain control of her property PETRUS:  He’s the black dog-man  He helps Lucy with her land  He is asserting his independence

6 After being attacked She refuses to explain to him what has happened to her She chooses to stay with Petrus (she needs protection) instead of her father Lucy doesn’t denounce the fact to the police (“not in South Africa”) Pablo Berjano

7 HOW DO LUCY AND DAVID REACT TO THEIR GENERAL ISOLATION? He wants to keep his spiritual freedom/dignity He refuses to apologise about Melanie DAVIDLUCY He tries to start from the beginning somewhere else She loves the place she lives in She consciously accepts being a “slave” Pablo Berjano

8 “It is humiliating. But perhaps that is a good point to start from again. Perhaps this what I must learn to accept. To start at ground level. With nothing. […]No cards, no weapons, no property, no rights, no dignity. Like a dog. Yes, like a dog.”

9 MAIN THEMES PetrusPollux Tension between blacks and whites David Pablo Berjano Displacement/alienation & Exile (social, racial, political, territorial and familiar) Lucy and David Change of black opportunities after apartheid (Petrus) “The big family of the blacks” Petrus protects Pollux as a member of his (racial) family

10 Socio-political allegories University's sexual harassment investigation Post-apartheid South Africa's ‘Truth and Reconciliation Committee’ In South Africa a woman is expected to be raped twice in her life South Africa’s police don’t exist at all Pablo Berjano David uses his status and gender to get Melanie as the whites did against the blacks during apartheid


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