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It's 6 o'clock in the morning and I have finished with one of the best books I have ever read in the course of my short life.
I am sleepless and I need a moment to organize my thoughts, sort out my feelings. Come back to real life. But I can't.
A part of me is still with Sethe and her daughters, Denver and Beloved at 124. A part of me ...more
That being said, I really hated this book.
I like fantasy and magical realism. I find the dreams and allegories that live just underneath the skin of the world we can more readily see and touch endlessly fascinating. I like my stories intense and emotional, and I ...more
The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label
Book #23: Beloved, by Toni Morrison (1987)
The story in a nutshell:
To understand the importance of 1987's Beloved, you need to understand that before this first ...more
the sadness was at her center, the desolated center where the self that was no self made its home. Sad as it was that she did not know where her children were buried or what they looked like if alive, fact was she knew more about them than she knew about herself, having never had the map to discover what she was like.I’m accustomed to hear different stories. I’m accustomed to live around different lives. I’m more used to beauty than ugliness. I’m more used to songs than silence. I’m more used ...more
In the beginning there were no words. In the beginning was the sound, and they all knew what that sound sounded like.I could leave it like that.
I should, really, I should. Leave it, in her words, in her meaning, in her context and effort and heritage and everything that is not mine. Never will be mine, these things that should rightfully flay me alive every time I happen to dwell upon them, whether in flight of fanciful musings or serious consideration as they so rightfully deserve. The only t ...more
I didn't like any of the character -at all-or the plot. I know the book is supposed to give you a view on the cruel treatment of slaves but after I finished I actually ...more
“Beloved” is a beautiful, haunting story that is set around the time following the slavery emancipation declaration. It’s mysterious and supernatural, as well as being a love story, a tale of horror, forgiveness, loss and confusion. It’s very poetic and lyrical, full of metaphors and powerful imagery.
The book tells the story of Sethe, a runaway slave who has left her home in the South but is still living in the past ...more
First Edition, Beloved, Alfred Knopf, New York, New York, September, 1987, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 1988
The task of the Underground Railway has been made more difficult. It is 1850. As a part of the Compromise of 1850, our Nation, in yet another effort to stall a War Between the States, has passed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. A Federal Officer is subject to a fine of $1,000.00 if he fails to aid a slave owner in returning ...more
I got a tree on my back and a haint in my house, and nothing in between but the daughter I am holding in my arms. No more running - from nothing. I will never run from another thing on this earth. I took one journey and I paid for the ticket, but let me tell you something: it cost too much! Do you hear me? It cost too much.
What's the difference between tragedy and melodrama? To me Sethe is one of the most tragic heroines in literature, but not everybody feels the same. The most peculiar critic ...more
Something about the dense, poetic prose and the elliptical nature of the storytelling made it impenetrable. After a chapter or two, I’d give up, perplexed. And I’ve read William Faulkner and Virginia Woolf! This made Oprah’s Book Club?
I’m so glad I persevered.
About a third of the way in, I ...more
Here is another book that stormed my psyche and dosed me with emotions and impressions that shifted parts of me with tectonic force. From page one, Morrison throws you into the lives of black women and men who grew up as slaves and suffered unimaginable acts of cruelty ...more
But reasons don't make an unassailable right; their value depends on what you can know in your bones, and what you can know depends... depends on the heart, the bones, what happens to you, on the shape of your days. So this is a story that ...more
For me this sentence pretty much characterized the book as Sethe, Paul D, Denver and Beloved all try to establish the boundaries and create definitions for themselves and their place following their enslavement. When you have effectively been robbed of your humanity and treated with less dignity than an animal; forbidden to love or develop attachment for people or things, finding a place in the world which fits is no easy task. Beloved co ...more
This is also my 124th book included in the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die 2010 edition and I say that there is absolutely nothing like this. The theme is multi-layered: pointblank, it looks like a plain ghost story. But if you dig deeper, it is an anti-racial novel in ...more
Eventually I'll be able to write about it and feel I'm doing it justice.
In the meantime, here are a few thoughts, beginning with a favorite scene, one that is at the heart of Beloved--Baby Suggs' sermon in the Clearing:
"She did not tell them to clean up their lives or to go and sin no more. She di dnot tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure.
"She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace ...more
I ask because I get the sense that Beloved's status as a/(the?) Great (American) Novel tends to garner a range of support less unequivocal than that of, say, Moby Dick, or works b ...more
This is one horror of an emotional story. If you think you've heard or read the worst about the brutality and vile acts of slavery, Beloved just may change your mind as you visit the haunted world of 124 Bluestone Road.
I do so love a novel with a good ole active (view spoiler)[(and revengeful) (hide spoiler)] spirit and slow build-up to a shocking secret (view spoiler)[(OMG infanticide) (hide spoiler)] but the narration switches (sometimes even mid-paragraph) were confusing and a bit ir...more
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Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best k ...more