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le 6 mars 2005
This is an incredibly insightful story. With its deep and fascinating exploration of the relationship between a father and a daughter, Coetzee successfully brought out a story that is difficult to forget. The characters are rich and portray deep, though extreme emotions, rationale and impulse. Though quite understated and subtle, the writing is nevertheless rich in meaning. There is everything to learn from this book. Coetzee's writing style is superb, the setting is ingenious and the pace of the novel is fast and absorbing.
In this novel, J.M Coetzee's brilliantly tells the story of the 52 year-old David Lurie, a professor of communications at a Cape Town University, who is twice divorced and went around with the notion that having a woman is no problem. But when he realized that he is no longer alluring, he sought the convenient service of a prostitute, an arrangement that eventually came to an end, leaving him with no outlet for his virility. David Lurie finally convinced himself that an affair with a young female student was not bad after all and went for it. But then the complaint of sexual harassment turned his academic life upside down as he is fired. The unwritten rules of the society ensured that he longer found a place amongst them.
With that realization, David Lurie travels to the countryside, to a dangerous and isolated farm to write and spend some time with his daughter who ran an animal refuge and sold produce and flowers. Lucy as she is called is violated by thugs and with that, David's disgrace became complete. David suddenly finds himself re-evaluating his life, his ties to people, his relationship with his only daughter, as well as his relationships with women. In all of those, he learnt that love is two-sided, a matter of give and take. In this novel as well as Disciples of Fortune, the reader finally makes sense of the universally acknowledged fact that a man can understand who he is only when he comes to terms with his past.