Boehmer 2002 Pain

Title Information


Author: Elleke Boehmer

Title: Not Saying Sorry, Not Speaking Pain

Subtitle: Gender Implications in Disgrace

Journal: Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies

Volume: 4

Issue: 3

Year: November 2002

Pages: 342-351

ISSN: 1369-801X – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1469-929X – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | South African History | Representations: Literature / J.M. Coetzee



Full Text


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Additional Information


Author: Elleke Boehmer, Faculty of English, University of OxfordWikipedia

Abstract: »This essay considers the personal political ramifications of the refusal to make a confession, twice enacted in J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace. Professor David Lurie refuses officially to apologize for sexually abusing a student; and, later, his daughter Lucy, the victim of a gang rape, refuses to lay charges or speak of what has happened. In a context informed by the recent experience of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, the novel thus raises the question of what it is to come to terms with a history of terror and subjection, both for the perpetrator and for the victim. It proposes, as an alternative to a Christianized confession, a secular atonement - in effect, a physical abjection, a dogged acceptance of humiliation - the forms of which are conventionally feminine, or at least emasculating. The essay examines the gender significations of this abjective alternative, especially in a situation where an ethic of unstinting love requires the elision and/or subjection of the body of the woman.« (Source: Interventions)

Wikipedia: J. M. Coetzee: Disgrace (novel)


Added: August 15, 2009 – Last updated: December 20, 2014