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Tony Grist

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The Color Purple [Jul. 18th, 2004|10:15 am]
Tony Grist
I'm reading it because it's a set book and I wasn't looking forward to it. I was expecting driven, humourless social realism, but it's got me hooked. Walker is a great story-teller (an under-rated gift) and just when I think I've got the direction of the narrative sussed she'll whisk me off in some unexpected direction- to Africa for instance. Her people are fully rounded and even minor characters have the capacity to catch us on the wrong foot. It's an epic- huge cast list, a time span of twenty years or more, action on three continents- but it comes in at a fraction of the length of War and Peace. I love the economy of the writing, the wit. Spielberg's movie, brave as it was, was never brave enough.

[User Picture]From: jourdannex
2004-07-18 01:47 pm (UTC)
She had me hooked as well. I do love her storytelling and characters and the imagery she creates as you read her words.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-07-18 02:26 pm (UTC)
I finally finished it tonight. I love it that Celie, Shug and Mr- are sat on the porch together- good friends after all they've gone through and all they've done to hurt one another. It's a happy ending that's been earned and not just pulled out of the hat.
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[User Picture]From: silveredmane
2004-07-20 08:59 am (UTC)
I loved the book, and was extremely disappointed with Spielberg's translation of it into film. Spielberg lost the central notion of the book, which is that Jesus, as a Mediterranean Jew, would have had dark skin (unless he was medically an albino, which would account for the red haired and blue eyed depictions; an albino person of colour.) For all its epic qualities (about which I agree) I also thought it was an illustration of the tragic irony of mis-justified (unjustifiable, but that's a different conversation) racism. It's not surprising that Spielberg, as a white man who is not a Christian, would miss this thread. To me,the basis of the whole social fabric of the story was the illustration of Christianity as epistemological artillery in the war on people of colour.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-07-21 01:32 am (UTC)
Thanks for pointing this out. I have "issues" with Christianity that run deep- and so when a writer starts going on about Jesus I tend to pull the blankets up over my head. But you're right. It is a central theme of the book.
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