Library Checkout Reviews {19}

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I actually got this book separately from the rest of the books on here but I forgot about it so here it is.  I never felt that it was that cute. I felt like it should’ve had less dialogue. Some of the best moments in this book were when there wasn’t any dialogue and you inferred what was happening by the pictures. I did actually finish this but eh.

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Based on a true story, Ourika relates the experiences of a Senegalese girl who is rescued from slavery and raised by an aristocratic French family during the French Revolution. Brought up in a household of learning and privilege, she is unaware of her difference until she overhears a conversation that makes her suddenly conscious of her race – and of the prejudice it arouses. From this point on, Ourika lives her life not as a French woman but as a black woman “cut off from the entire human race.” As the Reign of Terror threatens her and her adoptive family, Ourika struggles with her unusual position as an educated African woman in eighteenth-century Europe. A best-seller in the 1820s, Ourika captured the attention of Duras’s peers, including Stendhal, and became the subject of four contemporary plays. The work represents a number of firsts: the first novel set in Europe to have a black heroine, the first French literary work narrated by a black female protagonist, and, as John Fowles points out in the foreword to his translation, “the first serious attempt by a white novelist to enter a black mind.” An inspiration for Fowles’s acclaimed novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Ourika will astonish and haunt modern readers.

One of my wants (dreams) is to read a classic novel that has diversity in it. I wanted something like Charles Dickens but with different race characters. I’ve also been wanting for a long time to find a good classic novel with a girl/woman main character.  I got both of these and more with this novel. It honestly was not what I exactly was looking or expecting. I was told that this is like the movie

.  The first thing that caught me by surprise is how short it is, 47 pages.

Pros

Claire de Duras managed to portray all these emotions that other novels that are bigger are not able to do. I feel that if this novels was longer it would be so awesome. I feel at the same time that it managed to do what it needed to do in 47 pages. It made me think a lot about the things that black women in the past and present have to go through. It sucks (understatement) to realize that many of the things that she goes through are still a present issue for black women/girls. I also did a comparison of Clotel and Ourika. I liked that Ourika did not go jump from five or around like clotel did.

+It made me think a lot about issues in society, woman/girl and racial diversity in a classic novels, complexly deals with the main characters emotions and struggles

Comments: I also thought about the gatekeeping that has been going on in literature for a long time. I find myself  in a world that this novels existence is not talked about that much. Now that I’m actively pushing to read diversely I’m realizing the existence and lack of pushing of many diverse novels. After finding Schomburg Library of Nineteenth-Century Black Women Writers Series  was at my library on the online catalogue I went and walked around my college library looking for these books. I found at least 5 A Song of Ice and Fire size books filled with slave narratives categorized  by state. I want to get into slave narratives at some point but right now I’m trying to read books with black people that doesn’t deal with slavery. A lot of African Americans history is reduced to  slavery and the civil rights movement. Eventhough, this novel still deals with race ( something that I question now if can be escaped in classic literature or contemporary literature for that matter) it still goes beyond the sphere of slave narratives (or at least the slave narratives I’ve read). The foreword and the novels itself goes into French history which was very interesting. I want to find more novels in English with poc characters.

[http://www.yesterdaysgallery.com/pages/books/7172/emma-dunham-emma-dunham-kelley/megda-by-forget-me-not]

Megda, a novel so popular in 1891 that it was reprinted the following year, tells the story of the conversion experiences of a group of young, middle-class Baptist women and their subsequent–or even consequent–marriages. A prime example of what has been called “girl’s fiction,” as distinct from the “women’s fiction” that preceded it, Megda embodies the shift from a limit-breaking genre to limit-enforcing one. In it, racial issues are only indirectly addressed, gentility is a concern ranking only second to salvation, and humility and obedience are prerequisites to a woman’s acceptance by the Christian community. In essence, this is a novel of socialization rather than of social protest. But, in expressing the values of its culture, Megda illuminates the limitations faced by doubly stigmatized people: people both black and female.

I actually meant to pick up The Four Girls At Cottage City but accidently got this one because I was rushing to not miss my class.  No my edition from the library does not look like this. Another book that surprised me by how small it was. It’s smaller than a  mass market paperback. It’s 300+ pages though. It’s a cute little thing. It did not catch my interest so DNF

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In more than a century since its appearance, José Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere has become widely known as the great novel of the Philippines. A passionate love story set against the ugly political backdrop of repression, torture, and murder, “The Noli,” as it is called in the Philippines, was the first major artistic manifestation of Asian resistance to European colonialism, and Rizal became a guiding conscience—and martyr—for the revolution that would subsequently rise up in the Spanish province.

I was in one of those I don’t know what to read moods so I decided to do what I usually do when I get in one of these funks, just pick a bunch of books. I did not pick as much as I usually do which is a good thing. I think I need to start reading more like when I was in high school just picking up a small amount (1 to 3 books at a time). It works because I can go to the library twice a week so I don’t need to pick up 10 books in one sitting.

I have not read that many books about the Philippines especially a classic book. The only book about the Philippines that I have read (but not finished yet, at this point I’m going to have to start over) is When The Elephants Dance. When The Elephants Dance is setting during the Japanese occupation. I was surprised by how far the Japanese occupation reached because you only hear about select places. Anyway, I read this book and *sigh* was not into it. DNF?

Black Panther

I also read Black Panther which I almost forgot about which says a lot about my reading it. I couldn’t get into it. It started off like it was going to be interesting but got into all this boring stuff.  DNF

[all images are from goodreads unless stated otherwise]

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Author: themollyweather

I like to read, a lot.

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