A few years ago, during my freshman year in the African American literature course, Beth was showing a video and before she showed the video implored us as people not to take what was shown in the video and use them to harm someone else. I think her exact words were “ People show remarkable ingenuity in finding ways to hurt one another.” Those words struck me right in the gut, because they rang true. The scale of human destruction & ability to cause others pain always seems to be expanding. It seems inevitable. Continue reading “Not Everyone Can Be Martin Luther King Jr”
I’ve been told many times that the Bible is the greatest book ever written, from a purely literary standpoint, I might even be inclined to believe this. The correlations to biblical figures or stories to modern day literature is a prevalent subject of discussion that I have with myself. In class when we discussed the Holy Trinity, I realized there are many biblical aspects of Beloved, that I may have previously overlooked. Though I must admit, some of the distinctions drawn and conversations roused in class escape me in meaning, and I often feel as if I am only getting a general idea of what is being said. And to that point I might be diverging from the path of discussion traveled in class. Consider yourself forewarned. Continue reading “The Holy Damned”
One of the questions posed on the first day of class was whether or not reading one Toni Morrison book was akin to reading them all. I am very intrigued by this because, while most authors have definitive and clear themes and styles that they write in, would the fact that Toni Morrison is a more prolific author mean that she in fact has overcome that obstacle? I’ve only ever read Morrison’s Beloved and a small portion of Sula one lazy afternoon, and forgive me, but I’ve no intention of reading all of her works to find the validity of that question. However, my curiosity was fueled even more so after reading (slowly) A Mercy. To put it plainly, Morrison has an incredible command of the English language, her writing is at times poetic, and her characters embodies numerous styles of writing. I was so awed by her language that I reread the first few pages of Beloved in order to see what I had missed out on, because I didn’t have the skill to recognize it in high school. I saw a common theme of strong women, but not so much the poetry. So doing further research I learned that Beloved was published in 1987 while A Mercy was published in 2008. A twenty-one year difference is to a writer, I believe, a lifetime, which explains what I would loathe to call growth, but rather difference in the works. I was also able to find this article which is a book review of Beloved, by Mervyn Rothstein in the New York Times, from 1987, and contains a quote by Morrison that has stuck with me ever since hearing it last year in another class taught by Dr. McCoy ”It was absolutely the right thing to do, but she had no right to do it.” If you’ve not read Beloved, I won’t ruin it for you, but that is a profound statement even without the context.The article also explains Morrison’s inspiration for A Mercy and how she went about researching to write it. Finally, I think that I will be coming back to the question of whether or not to read one of Morrison’s books is to read them all, I haven’t found a suitable answer and hope you all keep it in your minds as well throughout the semester.