Disgrace

2013/01/03


DisgraceDisgrace by J.M. Coetzee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm struggling with my feelings over this book. In some ways I found it completely thought provoking and meaty. And in other ways the protagonist was just plain awful. But even though there are some ideas and moments in the book that are uncomfortable, I have to recognize that as one of the things I love most about books.

What I loved:
The title plays its way through the book as a theme in many ways. The author made me question a lot of aspects of morality and did it subtly enough that I think I'll need to reread the book at a later point. The story is well written and paced very well.

What I learned:
I'm not sure. The protagonist's attitudes toward morality are not necessarily ones I want to adopt, but at least it offered perspective. The pragmatism/resignation/ease of his daughter is fascinating.

A favorite passage. There were quite a few beautiful passages that were a little too contextual to quote here, but I do love this one:
He continues to teach because it provides him with a livelihood; also because it teaches him humility, brings it home to him who he is the world. The irony does not escape him; that the one who comes to teach learns the keenest of lessons, while those who come to learn learn nothing.



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