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The ANC on “Disgrace” 3rd October 2003 The scholarly journal Interventions published a series of articles on JM Coetzee’;s Disgrace last autumn, which challenge RW Johnson’;s rather crude reading (June). A number of contributors to the series, including myself, point out that the ANC’;s “reading” of the novel, to which Johnson refers, was not exactly a “vitriolic denunciation” and that the general response to the novel in South Africa was a lot more interesting and complicated than he makes out. There is no doubt that Johnson’;s status as a “witness in the field” gives him privileged access to local happenings,…

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