Disgrace

March 14, 2007

So while this book may not be as cool as Watchmen, anything is a welcome change from readings in the big book, with those words I don’t understand.

On page 2 Coetzee writes, “The skull, followed by the temperament: the two hardest parts of the body.”  I really liked that line, I think it illustrates just how stubborn people can be.  This is why David gets fired from the school.  He knows that his relationship with Melanie is not right, he even acknowledges this fact, but he continues to pursue her.

On pages 3 and 4 it says, “Human society has created language in order that we may communicate our thoughts, feelings and intentions to each other.”  This reminded me of Saussure and his thoughts on language.  Saussure wrote, “Language is a well-defined object in the heterogeneous mass of speech facts.”  He also wrote on language, “it exists only by virtue of a sort of contract signed by the members of a community.”  That quote, I think most closely ties to the one from Disgrace.

On page 66 of Disgrace when David is talking to his daughter about why he left his position at the school,”Re-education.  Reformation of the character.  The code-word was counselling…..It reminds me too much of Mao’s China.”  His feelings of the school reminded me of a Marxist belief of the school being a state apparatus.

Finally, a passage on page 62 “In the old days, cattle and  maize.  Today, dogs and daffodils.  The more things change the more they remain the same.  History repeating itself, though in a more modest vein.  Perhaps history has learned a lesson.”  This makes me think of Jameson and postmodernism.

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