I started reading J.M. Coetzee’s (Wikipedia tells me it’s a common Afrikaans name pronounced “kut’se”) book ‘Disgrace’. Coetzee is the recipient of the Nobel prize for Literature in 2003 and the Booker Prize in 1999.
The book ‘Disgrace’ is about a 52-year old professor at a Cape Town university who has an affair with a student that goes sour. It’s a beautifully written book with a humanistic approach, a multilayered masterpiece, so I’ll give you an excerpt that really hit me last evening.
Intro: The Professor used to teach Classics and Modern Languages at the university, but that faculty has been closed down and so he stays on as a redundant Communications professor; a job for which he has no love, and so fails to inspire any in his students. Soraya is a prostitute, a moralistic prostitute, he visits every Thursday afternoon:-
He continues to teach because it provides him with a livelihood; also because it teaches him humility, brings it home to him who he is in the world. The irony does not escape him: that the one who comes to teach learns the keenest of lessons, while those who come to learn learn nothing. It is a feature of his profession on which he does not remark to Soraya. He doubts there is an irony to match it in hers.