Disgraceland: history and the humanities in frontier country

Cornwell, D.G.N. (2003) Disgraceland: history and the humanities in frontier country. English in Africa, 30 (2). pp. 43-68. ISSN 0376-8902




This paper explores the significance of Coetzee's choice of Salem in the Eastern Cape as the (part) setting for his novel Disgrace. A determinedly local and historical reading of the text suggests that Lucy's conduct represents an "ideal" solution to the historical issues of wrong and reparation raised in the novel. This finding is scrutinized through a reading of "The Humanities in Africa" from Elizabeth Costello, and it is concluded that whatever hope for rehabilitation or redemption the novel holds out for white South Africans necessarily exists beyond the discourse of the humanities, indeed, outside of history itself.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Gareth Cornwell is a Professor and Head of the English Department at Rhodes University
Uncontrolled Keywords:JM Coetzee; Disgrace; symbolism; apartheid; post-apartheid; frontier; settlers; Xhosa; Boers; land; setting; discourse; Elizabeth Costello; Salem; Grahamstown; Lower Albany; Eastern Cape; South Africa
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > English
ID Code:1059
Deposited On:29 Aug 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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