Monday, 25 September 2017

Beloved by Toni Morrison

"All the time, I'm afraid the thing that happened that made it all right for my mother to kill my sister could happen again."

The week when work dramas and social chaos are pushing you towards some pretty silly behaviour is really not the week to appreciate a novel about slavery and killing kids and rape and other unsavoury things. I say this, by way of explanation, as I felt a little overwhelmed this week and reading this novel did nothing to help. In fact its style was so creepy and frustrating that even when horrific events happened in the novel I had some kind of delayed onset reaction to them. I was drowning in words and every now and then my head would hit the surface and think, crumbs, why am I reading this?

The answer would be, perhaps, that it is included on almost every must read list there is. How could I resist the siren call of a novel that is on almost every must read list? I couldn't. I succumbed and yet I didn't really enjoy or appreciate the experience. Upon reflection, I can appreciate its brilliance and originality. The tone and phrasing are something new to me and  only really reveal themselves as being memorable when revisiting the novel, days and dramas later. There's something wafting and dream like about it, the kind of dream that swings continually into nightmare territory. When is the perfect time to read an unsettling piece of literature? I wonder?

4 out of 5, sometimes you just have to take the unpleasant path.

No comments:

Post a Comment