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Old 10-26-2011, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,495 posts, read 24,483,211 times
Reputation: 8849

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the author won a book award...I saw the film and wanted to start a discussion on it...so very odd and interesting.

In the film John Malkovich portrays the main character who is a disgraced professor in a South African University. (he is in mid-life crisis). He loses tenure and decides to visit his daughter who lives in a more rural, divided area.

The relationship with his daughter is strained and she is involved with villagers who live on her land, she is Afrikaan, they are natives and own part of the land her house is on. She seems to enjoy maintaining a sanctuary for dogs and is on (it seems) good terms with the villagers.

I found the film abstruse at some points, need to get the book. The themes were intriguing. People in a community who normally would be hostile, and how they maintain an even keel....also the animal part of it and there is some violence....

Does anyone have feedback on the book? The author is highly esteemed. Thank you


Disgrace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:25 PM
 
13,510 posts, read 15,285,089 times
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No feedback on this one, but he is a great writer, indeed. I very much enjoyed his autobiography of his years as a youngster in S.A. Believe it is called "Boy."
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,495 posts, read 24,483,211 times
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He uses the imagery of animals quite a bit, as a symbol..

I had seen the film recently it was interesting yet disturbing. Of course the character in the book being attached to a shelter dog, and then choosing to bring the dog to the vet to be euthanized is heart breaking. The Malkovich character (he is perfect for the role) as detached, trying to change his ways .....
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:34 PM
 
1,810 posts, read 3,218,614 times
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I liked this book very much.

It can't be said that Coetzee has many nice things to say about post-Apartheid South Africa but, at the same time, he's not missing the old days. At all. He sees no merit in any system of government anywhere (including the university or the patriarchal family life in a farm). His character is only an outcast like any other, if a "privileged" one at that. Or at least he's privileged in an urban, white (and predominantly male) academic environment.

South Africa looks hopeless and desolate, as always, despite all the unapproachable beauty coming from mixed-race young women (also a post-Apartheid symbol?), etc.

JM Coetzee is a vegetarian who's written some articles about animal rights and welfare, so although there's indeed powerful symbolism involving the (also outcast) dogs, the character's -and the author's- concern for the seemingly unavoidable fate of animals is genuine.

The movie was good but I'd definitely recommend to read the book first and foremost.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,495 posts, read 24,483,211 times
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yes, I saw movie first, Malkovic/Professor Lurie seemed so cold a caricature, but I am only 1/3 into book. Its incredibly sensory and foreboding.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Texas
15,894 posts, read 15,968,086 times
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I was not aware of this book. Thanks for starting the discussion.

I have not read a book about South Africa since reading Michener's The Covenent and that was many years ago. I just ordered Disgrace and I'm looking forward to reading it.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,336 posts, read 28,537,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketabcha View Post
I was not aware of this book. Thanks for starting the discussion.

I just ordered Disgrace and I'm looking forward to reading it.
I just ordered it, too.

ETA: I also just ordered Age of Iron by the same author. This forum is harsh on my wallet!

Last edited by DawnMTL; 11-15-2011 at 11:31 AM..
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Texas
15,894 posts, read 15,968,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DandJ View Post
I just ordered it, too.

ETA: I also just ordered Age of Iron by the same author. This forum is harsh on my wallet!
I sure can relate. LOL. I've ordered 5 books in the last two days.
We are very fortunate, aren't we?

I found one yesterday that I really wanted. I went looking for it and found it for between $179-$200. The book was written in 1945. I emailed a pal in Albuquerque to help me find it. He and his wife stalk used book stores. He found it for only $114. And that was just to rent it. OMG! Needless to say, I did not order it. Yet!

Nonfiction: I Was A Doctor In Auchwitz by Gisela Perl.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,336 posts, read 28,537,363 times
Reputation: 28713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketabcha View Post
I sure can relate. LOL. I've ordered 5 books in the last two days.
We are very fortunate, aren't we?

I found one yesterday that I really wanted. I went looking for it and found it for between $179-$200. The book was written in 1945. I emailed a pal in Albuquerque to help me find it. He and his wife stalk used book stores. He found it for only $114. And that was just to rent it. OMG! Needless to say, I did not order it. Yet!

Nonfiction: I Was A Doctor In Auchwitz by Gisela Perl.
LOL! You're more fortunate than I am -- you actually have the TIME to read all of these books. I can't wait to retire!

That's the expensive book? I Was a Doctor...? I'm on the lookout for it for you.

ETA: Ketabcha, check your email.

Last edited by DawnMTL; 11-15-2011 at 01:12 PM..
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,495 posts, read 24,483,211 times
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wow...I got mine at a lovely rare book place in VT...it was used for 4.00....I so miss old college bookstores w. real literature

Anyone if u see movie, dont assume Malkovic caricature is same as Prof. in book...its a lot more dept to it. I 've not been so fascinated by a book since Madame Bovary
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