Coatzee, Disgrace

Set in post-apartheid South Africa, J.M. Coetzee's novel Disgrace tells the story of David Lurie, a 52-year-old South African university lecturer at Cape Town University. David is a academician with a somewhat routinely and insignificant living. He has a strong interest in romantic writers (Byron, Wordsworth and others) but is forced to dedicate most of his time to teach an unimportant course on "Communications" which he despises. In the beginning of the novel the narrator claims that: "For a man of his age, fifty-two, divorced, he has, to his mind, solved the problem of sex rather well." In reality, sex has turned out to be a big setback for him, and is about to get a lot bigger.

David is an old Casanova, but as age has taken its toll, he satisfies his baser longings once a week with a prostitute named Soraya. However, David's life takes an unexpected turn when he begins an affair with one of his students, a story he justifies with his romantic ideals. Letting her know that “a woman’s beauty does not belong to her alone … she has a duty to share it”. His affair is revealed and the old Casanova is subjected to a "battue". Being accused of sexual impropriety, David is forced to leave the university in disgrace, and moves to live his daughter Lucy, a collective farmer and animal caregiver in Salem. Lucy lives alone, helped only by a man named Petrus.

If you turn to the novel's first page you will realize that sex is a actual theme of Disgrace. David is confident about sex but lack the right to feel satisfied whatsoever. David's way to satisfaction, briefly, is paid sex with Soraya. This arrangement finally comes to an end and David's solution to the problem of sex is eventually what gets him in deep problems with Melanie. David’s disgrace is, to a degree, self-inflicted; he decides to visit prostitutes and pursue students. He is criticized because of this and he is more or less pushed away from society. It's about realization. David ought to successfully cure...