Added: October 25, 2008 – Last updated: November 5, 2016


Author: Mary Eagleton

Title: Ethical reading

Subtitle: The problem of Alice Walker's 'Advancing Lund – and Ida B. Wells' and J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace

Journal: Feminist Theory

Volume: 2

Issue: 2

Year: August 2001

Pages: 189-203

ISSN: 1464-7001 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1741-2773 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | African History: South African History; American History: U.S. History | Representations: Literary Texts / J.M. Coetzee, Alice Walker | Victims: Silence


Link: SAGE Publications (Restricted Access)


Abstract: »The focus of this article is two texts, 'Advancing Luna – and Ida B. Wells' (1982) by Alice Walker and Disgrace (1999) by J.M. Coetzee, both of which present ethical problems for the reader. The texts share a common event, an incident of black-on-white, male-on-female rape. In each case the white woman keeps silent about the rape and the narrative is troubled by that silence. I read the dilemma of these texts as at once ethical, political and aesthetic and I explore that multi-faceted problem through three perspectives – the issue of silence, the narrative structures of the texts and the impossibility of resolution. The texts repeatedly question my reading position, not least in that they both suggest that the silence of the white woman might, in certain circumstances, be a condition for political progress.« (Source: Feminist Theory)


  Abstract (p. 189)
  Silence (p. 192)
  Narrative strategies (p. 195)
  Resolution but not resolution (p. 198)
  Acknowledgements (p. 201)
  Notes (p. 201)
  References (p. 201)

Wikipedia: History of Africa: History of South Africa | History of the Americas: History of the United States | Literature: American literature, South African literature | 20th-century American writers: Alice Walker | South African writers: J. M. Coetzee / Disgrace (novel)