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Sitt Marie-Rose

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  238 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Sitt Marie Rose, a Christian Lebanese woman, is the beloved teacher of deaf-mute children during the civil war. Her only mistake? She has a deep sympathy and connection to the Palestinian refugees inside of Lebanon. Seen as a traitor to the Christian cause, she is kidnapped and brutally executed in front of her own students. Sitt Marie Rose is an experimental novel about t ...more
Paperback, 124 pages
Published 1988 by Suhrkamp Verlag (first published 1977)
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(showing 1-30 of 515)
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This is a beautifully written take on the senseless, chaotic and incredibly violent war in Lebanon. What surprised me was the author's ability to to make such a complex piece of history read so simply. The similarities between this story and Syria's current conflict are a terrible reminder of why this book matters.
I really enjoyed this book -- once I figured out the structure. Adnan divides each chapter up into a different voice in Part II of this book. Although this was easy to figure out, some voices I could not figure out until I looked them up. Once I did know, however, this book became hauntingly beautiful. It is not a happy ending book -- it is groundingly realistic and instills a feeling in you that lasts long after the last page.

I would recommend this book to anyone for a quick read. Although cle
Amira Hanafi
Shifting, multiple points of view give different perspectives on war in lebanon, late 1970s, all distinctly colored by adnan's fierce anger at religious justifications for brutal violence.
Jean Grant
I read this novel about five years ago and still remember how visceral the experience was. Etel Adnan is a brilliant writer.
Sitt Marie Rose talks about a Christian woman named Marie Rose who gets kidnapped by Christian militia based on her political beliefs in the 1970’s during the Lebanese civil war. The novel pinpoints the violent outcomes that any war could bring where women’s opinion and involvement in war, society and politics are forbidden practices. In addition, Adnan illustrates how killing while using the name of God or on behalf of any religion or a leader is a dangerous thing that hypnotizes the masses and ...more
Lebanese Civil War.

This is a really hard book to review without falling into one or other camp of the war.
Personally I have heard a lot about the Israeli / Palestinian conflict, but the part played by Lebanon, who hosted great influxes of refugees, has been less widely publicised. While many issues had been burning below the surface, this sudden onslaught, no doubt had its part to play in the subsequent civil war of Lebanon.

This little book, only 105 pages, is written by a woman, now 87 yrs old,
Martin Luther infamously said that he wished the Book of Esther be tossed into the murkiest depths of the Elbe and hoped that light should never shine upon it, a sentiment that, if applied to this book, I would agree wholeheartedly. This novel, if it can be called that, is, without doubt, one of the most vile piece of writing to ever be wrought by any hands, and no amount of fire, not even the eternal furnance of hell, would suffice to rid the world of the evils of this book. I can hardly read a ...more
Gabriella Anton
"My eyes are like plants that open during the day and close at night. I begin to wish that two rockets would pass through my head leaving me intact... that's what it means. Everything becomes primitive."

"But me, I say to them, I am absolute order. I am absolute power. I am absolute efficiency. I've reduced all truths to a formula of life and death."

"And how not to get as a whiplash the memory of that one day, when shaking hands to say goodbye, our hands stuck together, sending a current of hot b
Vienna X
Sep 13, 2007 Vienna X rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People that like experimental, didactic fiction involving war
Shelves: fiction
This book started off so nonchalant--well, maybe that's not the word, but it was definitely more of a straight-forward narrative but then it started getting really intense. And I don't mean the depictions of the war, after that part, when we get a lot of Sitt Marie-Rose's POV, or her dialog or thoughts. Beyond the actual people and their principles, deep at the heart of the matter. I like the line on p100 "The patient should be obliged to spit out, not the mucous, but the original illness, not t ...more
Possibly one of the most powerful, passionate works of fiction I have ever read. Adnan's Sitt Marie Rose is both an attack and an interrogation of her own history, her own identity, just as much as it is an attack on the tribal and religious justifications for the violence and terror of the civil war in Lebanon. She rails against an Islam that forgets "the divine mercy affirmed by the first verse of the Koran... human mercy" and a Christianity in Lebanon that's "not in communion with any force o ...more
This is a stunning anti-war, prose poem written about the civil war in Lebanon. All of the truths still ring today. Etel Adnan, I discovered, is a creative force; visual as well as written. Currently she has a show at Galerie Lelong in Paris and New York City. I am so glad to have discovered this artist. Although not an easy read, take your time, enjoy the language, and grieve for the victims both past and present.
Christopher Cormier
This books description of tribalism and war not only made these subjects almost synonymous with human in my mind, the accounts of its effects on individuals is pregnant with emotional detail.

It is the perfect companion piece to other war classics like Clausewitz for me as it completes the uncontrollable essence of wars and conflicts.
"A.N bana Arapların,maalesef düşmana karşı nefreti tanımadığını anlatıyor.Onlar sadece birbirlerinden nefret ediyor.Onlar hala aile çekişmeleriyle,yani iç çatışmalarla,kardeş kavgalarıyla ilgilendikleri ilkel bir aşamada.Sadece kendilerine dönükler.Savaş bile olamamış bu iç katliamı böyle açıklıyor."
The author deconstructs the psychology of violence of the Lebanese in the civil war in this story.
I found it to be most true and realistic. The deaf-mutes handicapped children are the people of Lebanon who are doing nothing to the stop the cycle of madness...the "shabab" are victims and executioners in the sheep-herd mentality that cannot salvage anyone except those who choose to follow their conscious and cut the biblical cord to their tribes and have a connection with the stranger "Marie-Rose"
Reading this book was akin to that lurching moment you grip a hot pan on the stove and when the pain reaches your brain causing you to cry out and snatch your hand away. Its language is naked and sharp, nauseatingly visceral. Its message unashamed and clear: humanity is ugly, ravenous in its cannibalism, foul in its "love" and "mercy". Adnan wrote a work that pains and purifies, yet leaves one as hopeless as a blade of grass before a bulldozer.
J.M. Hushour
Overwhelminlgy crappy. The very short text, which centers on a Christian teacher of the deaf being captured and then killed by Christian militiamen during the first period of the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970s, has lots of potential, unfortunately it reads as if written by a 7th-8th grader in a creative writing class. This may be due to the translation, or it may be the result of this simply being a not-very-good book.
This is a powerful book about a woman who is executed by the Christian militia during the Lebanese Civil War. It is written in a jumpy manner, part one prewar and about a woman who is attempting to write a script for a movie. Part two is a bit confusing because it is written from the perspectives of three characters. I was very emotional reading this book; I think it is very well written.
Beirut 1975. The sad truth of Lebanon civil war. Sitt Marie Rose supports Palestinian refugees, is beeing arrested and shall be sentenced by Mounir, her early love. Etel Adnan shows us the inhumanity of civil war, the conflict between Libanese & Palestinians. Frightening, stirring and very very sad.
Comment parler d'un livre qui révèle l'horreur dont est capable l'homme, l'erreur qu'il fait en croyant assouvir les désirs imaginaires d'un Dieu, le racisme dont il est capable à cause d'une prétendue différence ? Bien entendu, personne ne connait ce livre, et personne n'en ressortira grandit.
Adventuous and refreshing in structure and symbolism, Sitt Marie Rose feels confusing through the first read, but in the end, it justifies all its elements. Beautiful, elegant, well-though out, and it made me cry.
Strange and disturbing novella about the Lebanese civil war and its psychology of violence. Very French (was originally written in French, I believe) in being idea-driven.
Three and 1/2 stars, in fact. Loved the first part. Some amazing passages throughout. Felt a bit too forced in some places, though.
Excellent story and profound, important writing. Essential to the understanding of racial or religious wars and human suffering.
Interesting added perspectives on the Lebanese Civil War and excellent anti-war book.
Terribly depressing. I imagine the style would be better in the original French...
Cisco Jae
Great but creepy. Great because it deals with real story in Lebanon.
the novel is one of the novels that i enjoyed the most <3
منى كريم
I love reading novels written by poets!
Pretty good but a little confusing.
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[A] Lebanese-American poet, essayist, and visual artist.

In 2003 MELUS, the journal of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, called Adnan "arguably the most celebrated and accomplished Arab American author writing today."

She has said, "As for any serious writer, the audience of an Arab–American cannot be confined to his or her fellow Arabs. Books have a life
More about Etel Adnan...
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“Morality is violence. An invisible violence at first. Love is a supreme violence, hidden deep in the darkness of our atoms. When a stream flows into a river, it’s love and it’s violence. When a cloud loses itself in the sky, it’s a marriage. When the roots of a tree split open a rock it’s the movement of life. When the sea rises and falls back only to rise again it’s the process of History. When a man and a woman find each other in the silence of the night, it’s the beginning of the end of the tribe’s power, and death itself becomes a challenge to the ascendancy of the group.” 1 likes
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