Friday, December 25, 2009
Finished Coetzee's Disgrace on the place. Spare, gut-wrenching prose. Like Waiting for the Barbarians - although maybe a little less so - he really drags you through the dust. There are no (false) silver linings. Sometimes I wonder if there is something about the continuing privilege of the white South African in there. Those who can leave have the privilege of not finding any redeeming feature in the new configuration of things. But of course he is mostly writing about the predicament of the white South African in Disgrace. The most enduring image for me in the whole book is David Lurie helping Bev Shaw treat a goat with an infected scrotum infested with white grubs. It reminded me of the horse head in Gunter Grass's Tin Drum, being eaten away by maggots. Post-apartheid South Africa, post-Nazi Germany. Something about the body having been sapped of its vitality by the rot within.