The Edinboro Book Discussion Group has decided to read the book, Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee for our March 20 meeting. The group meets in the Baron-Forness Library room 715 at 6:15. All are invited.
Set in post-apartheid South Africa, J. M. Coetzee's searing novel tells the story of David Lurie, a twice divorced, 52-year-old professor of communications and Romantic Poetry at Cape Technical University. Lurie believes he has created a comfortable, if somewhat passionless, life for himself. He lives within his financial and emotional means. Though his position at the university has been reduced, he teaches his classes dutifully; and while age has diminished his attractiveness, weekly visits to a prostitute satisfy his sexual needs. He considers himself happy. But when Lurie seduces one of his students, he sets in motion a chain of events that will shatter his complacency and leave him utterly disgraced.
Lurie pursues his relationship with the young Melanie—whom he describes as having hips "as slim as a twelve-year-old's"—obsessively and narcissistically, ignoring, on one occasion, her wish not to have sex. When Melanie and her father lodge a complaint against him, Lurie is brought before an academic committee where he admits he is guilty of all the charges but refuses to express any repentance for his acts. In the furor of the scandal, jeered at by students, threatened by Melanie's boyfriend, ridiculed by his ex-wife, Lurie is forced to resign and flees Cape Town for his daughter Lucy's smallholding in the country. There he struggles to rekindle his relationship with Lucy and to understand the changing relations of blacks and whites in the new South Africa. But when three black strangers appear at their house asking to make a phone call, a harrowing afternoon of violence follows which leaves both of them badly shaken and further estranged from one another. After a brief return to Cape Town, where Lurie discovers his home has also been vandalized, he decides to stay on with his daughter, who is pregnant with the child of one of her attackers. Now thoroughly humiliated, Lurie devotes himself to volunteering at the animal clinic, where he helps put down diseased and unwanted dogs. It is here, Coetzee seems to suggest, that Lurie gains a redeeming sense of compassion absent from his life up to this point.
Written with the austere clarity that has made J. M. Coetzee the winner of two Booker Prizes, Disgrace explores the downfall of one man and dramatizes, with unforgettable, at times almost unbearable, vividness the plight of a country caught in the chaotic aftermath of centuries of racial oppression.
Major Technology Shutdown Notice to Edinboro Students
Due to the Ross Hall construction project, and to upgrade the data infrastructure for the university, a shutdown of the Technology Operations Center will occur March 16-18th. This will create sustained interruption to video, voice and data services during that timeframe.
If you plan to do all your homework
at the end of SPRING BREAK,
the Edinboro network may not be available!
Expect outages of MyEdinboro protal, cable tv, telephone, network,
On the second floor in the atrium there is the traveling exhibit on "Herblock" the longtime Washington Post cartoonist. From the stock market crash in 1929 through the new millennium beginning in the year 2000, editorial cartoonist Herb Block chronicled the nation's political history, caricaturing thirteen American presidents from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush. He received three Pulitzer Prizes for editorial cartooning (1942, 1954, and 1979) and a fourth with Washington Post colleagues for public service during the Watergate investigation (1973). He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1994 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2000, the Library of Congress named him a "Living Legend" in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the nation. Numerous honorary degrees from institutions nationwide, most recently a 1999 Doctor of Arts from Harvard University, suggest academia has forgiven him for leaving college early to pursue a career as an editorial cartoonist. And well it should, for no cartoonist or commentator in America has done more to educate and inform the public during the past seven decades than Herb Block. Herb Block died on October 7, 2001.
There is also a video that came with the exhibit of other cartoonists and associates of Herblock that will be available at the Circ desk on reserve, in case anyone is interested. It can't leave the building but is watchable on any computer as well as DVD players.