Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scandal and Disgrace

This is a lazy blog post.
"The present letter blog post is a very long
one, simply because I had no leisure to make it shorter."
Blaise Pascal Lettres Provinciales, XVI
If I save this as a draft, I'll never come back to it, so I'm posting it as "rough notes" and perhaps I'll write more on this later. Keep in mind I haven't finished reading Disgrace yet. Feel free to add your thoughts and free associations in the comments!

From the Oxford Dictionary of Current English (1993):

n 1- cause of public outrage
2- outrage etc. so caused
3- malicious gossip

n 1- shame; ignominy
v 2- dismiss from a position of honour or favour

- a male professor sleeps with a young female student
- male writer: J. M. Coetzee
- Booker Prize Winner (1999)
- Nobel Prize Winner (2003)
- motion picture starring John Malcovich (2008)
- screenplay by Anna Maria Monticelli
- (recommended to me by two different men in their forties - not teachers!)

Notes on a Scandal (2003)
- a female teacher sleeps with a young male student
- female writer: Zoe Heller
- Man Booker Prize shortlist
- motion picture starring Cate Blanchett and Dame Judy Dench (BAFTA, Oscar, Golden Globe nominations for both) (2006)
- screenplay by Patrick Marber
- (picked it up because I was impressed with the film cast and the library book's cover)

Wikipedia on sexual relationships between students and teachers.

My initial thought that led to this blog post was simply, did one deserve the Nobel Prize and not the other? (One might ask, is the Nobel Prize worth winning with this judge's attitude?)

I just cut 133 words re: gender bias, 'cause I had nothing new to say: Men have dominated as short/longlisted authors, jury members, and winners in the past 30 years. I didn't want to wade into gender-bias issues.

But can you discuss sexual relations between a teacher and a student without wading into gender issues? It's a tangled mess of gender-roles, age-differences, power-wielding, and questions of consent.

Have you read both?
How do they compare?
What did you think?
Did you see either movie?
Are they more similar to each other, or to other works? (Oleanna and Pretty Persuasion or others?)

Well? You only get points if you participate.

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