J.M. Coetzee

{EN} Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee

Recenzie Dezonoare

1. “Affection may not be love, but it is at least its cousin.”

2. “Wine, music: a ritual that men and women play out with each other. Nothing wrong with rituals, they were invented to ease the awkward passages.”

3. “A woman’s beauty does not belong to her alone. It is part of the bounty she brings into the world. She has a duty to share it.”

4. “When all else fails, philosophize.”

5. “The truth is, he does not like to think of his daughter in the throes of passion with another woman, and a plain one at that. Yet would he be any happier if the lover were a man? What does he really want for Lucy? Not that she should be forever a child, forever innocent, forever his – certainly not that. But he is a father, that is his fate, and as a father grows older he turns more and more – it cannot be helped – toward his daughter. She becomes his second salvation, the bride of his youth reborn. No wonder, in fairy-stories, queens try to hound their daughters to their death!”

6. “The people next door had a dog, a golden retriever. It was a male. Whenever there was a bitch in the vicinity it would get excited and unmanageable, and with Pavlovian regularity the owners would beat it. This went on until the poor dog didn’t know what to do. At the smell of a bitch it would chase around the garden with its ears flat and its tail between its legs, whining, trying to hide.’ He pauses.
‘I don’t see the point,’ says Lucy. And indeed, what is the point?
‘There was something so ignoble in the spectacle that I despaired. One can punish a dog, it seems to me, for an offence like chewing a slipper. A dog will accept the justice of that: a beating for a chewing. But desire is another story. No animal will accept the justice of being punished for following its instincts.'”

7. “A risk to own anything: a car, a pair of shoes, a packet of cigarettes. Not enough to go around, not enough cars, shoes, cigarettes. Too many people, too few things. What there is must go into circulation, so that everyone can have a chance to be happy for a day.”

8. “Menstruation, childbirth, violation and its aftermath: blood-matters; a woman’s burden, women’s preserve.”

9. “He wonders whether women would not be happier living in communities of women, accepting visits from men only when they choose. Perhaps he is wrong to think of Lucy as homosexual. Perhaps she simply prefers female company. Or perhaps that is all that lesbians are: women who have no need of men.”

10. “The trembling, the weakness are only the first and most superficial signs of that shock.”

11. “Evening falls. They are not hungry, but they eat. Eating is a ritual, and rituals make things easier.”

12. “Country life has always been a matter of neighbours scheming against each other, wishing on each other pests, poor crops, financial ruin, yet in a crisis ready to lend a hand.”

13. “This is not what he came for – to be stuck in the back of beyond, warding off demons, nursing his daughter, attending to a dying enterprise. If he came for anything, it was to gather himself, gather his forces. Here he is losing himself day by day.”

14. “When did a sheep last die of old age? Sheep do not own themselves, do not own their lives. They exist to be used, every last ounce of them, their flesh to be eaten, their bones to be crushed and fed to poultry.”

15. “Hatred… When it comes to men and sex, David, nothing surprises me any more. Maybe, for men, hating the woman makes sex more exciting. You are a man, you ought to know. When you have sex with someone strange – when you trap her, hold her down, get her under you, put all your weight on her – isn’t it a bit like killing? Pushing the knife in; exiting afterwards, leaving the body behind covered in blood – doesn’t it feel like murder, like getting away with murder?”

16. “The question is not, are we sorry? The question is, what lesson have we learned? The question is, what are we going to do now that we are sorry?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *