Darcy Mullen, University of Rochester
Darcy Mullen is a Master's student in English at the University of Rochester. Having completed her undergraduate work at Syracuse University, her academic interests include postcolonial studies, utopian theory and fractals—all in application to contemporary literature of the Americas (all of them) and South Africa.
Era, Area and Error: Spaces Far From Caution in J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace
J.M. Coetzee's novel Disgrace charges post-Apartheid South Africa with a dangerous and ignominious reconceptualization of history that conflates time and space in demanding a tabula rasa body politic (1999). Disgrace names the process of reimagining history as "a ban on intimacy across the generations," and the examination of this "ban" is where the text makes its critical cultural critique (52). In his article, "Starting From Scratch," Adam Sitze describes how (at least to American ears) the 'era' of Apartheid threatens to take the place of the 'area' in which Apartheid occurred (1999). Disgrace textually deals with politics through absences of meaning; by implying something integral to the epistemology of the narrative without ever stating the referent for what is implied. Sites of omitted language and verb forms are the location of Coetzee's critique of post-Apartheid South African attitudes; but these sites are literally filled with empty meaning.