Dusty's Reviews > Sab

Sab by Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda
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's review
Feb 08, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: graduate-school, read-in-2012
Read from January 29 to February 08, 2012

Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda and her famous, not-quite-abolitionist novel Sab are, for twenty-first century readers accustomed to fiction more "realistic" and anti-slavery sentiments more firm, two very easy punching bags. While it's true that for her the idea of completely abolishing slavery is, as Bourdieu would call it, "unthinkable," it's also true that la Avellaneda was writing without a precedent -- without an extensive pre-existing tradition of anti-slavery or anti-patriarchy literature in which she could ground herself. So I think it's fair, when reading Sab, to permit the author and book a bit of leeway. A dated and at times cheesy read, but a rewarding and important one, nevertheless.

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01/29/2012 page 136
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