J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace is a post-secular novel that envisions new terms for ethics in post-apartheid South Africa by both engaging and resisting religious language and practice. These new terms for ethics are intimated through the confessional practice of the main character, David Lurie, and the dialogical narrative structure of the novel. Exploring further themes that he introduced in a 1985 essay on confession, Coetzee complicates willing, ethical agency and self-initiated transformation, in and through Lurie's resistance to vulnerability undone in slight and important ways through the urgent address of others, both animal and human.

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