Saturday, February 19, 2005

A purple-ish, blue-state read

Writing off topic this weekend, kinda. I finished reading the Color Purple by Alice Walker. I'm twenty years late, the movie and book with all it's hype originally debuted in the early 80s. But I'm just getting past my phase of reading books by black male authors. So I spread my wings. But Alice is sending me back to the brothas.

I didn't like this book. Felt like I needed a good shower after reading it.

There were no heroes in The Color Purple. I remember this fact from the movie. No one to feel good about. No one to be proud of. Everybody was screwed up. I guess we were meant to feel good about Celie. Afterall, she somehow overcame all the oppresive black men in her life. The men who rapped her. Stole her babies. Men who beat her. Frogs as she so-called them, however I think the term referred to men in general. The men were all portrayed as weak cowards except for maybe Samuel the missionary and Adam, her son.

Lesbians, adultry, rape and domestic violence. A bit too blue-state for my taste. Nothing against lesbians, I've got some in my family, too. But Walker presented Celie and Shug's relationship as though nobody noticed they were two girls. I don't know about your family, but if my sister (if I had one) were sleeping with her husbands girlfriend, we'd all be gossipin.' But in this family it was matter-and-a-fact, so what. Everybody slept with everybody, so I guess it was no big deal that Celie and Shug were pushing each others buttons, as Walker put it. More attention was given to the fact that Ceilie was ugly.

In addition Ms. Walker signed off the book with, "I thank everybody in this book for coming. - A.W. author and medium." What is she, some kind of witch?

What I can say positive. I liked the writing style. This epistolary, first-person, novel was easy to follow and written in such that I could get through a few chapters each night. I found her accounts of Africa and African people very interesting. It surly won the Pulitzer on it's narritive qualities and not on the story itself.


But, I think I'll follow up this book with some red-state reading. Possibly that man of faith, George Bush book we heard so much about before the elections. But, that may be a bit too red for my taste.

Other recent reads:

The Road South: A Memoir
by Nathan Hale Turner, Shelley Stewart
I love a rags-to-riches read.

The Harris Men
by RM Johnson
Very enjoyable!

The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother
by James McBride
Interesting. His mother half Jewish(white) and black, so it was intersesting reading how McBride grew in his two cultures

Next read:
The Search For Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God's Eyes
by Robert S. McGee

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Unrelated thought for the day: Think I'll pass on the meatballs.

1 comment:

The Archivist said...

'Pushing each other's buttons'? That phrase has just turned me off this book. Whilst the book does not have to be explicit, it could at least be straight-forward rather than trying to occlude the point.