Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life Times by Nadine Gordimer

Again and again she seems to effortlessly cross the imaginative line between a patronizing liberal sympathy and a truly creative and understanding empathy with the victims of apartheid in South Africa.
"The Soft Voice of the Serpent," the only non-racially-centered story so far, a gentle, tragic portrayal of a young man in a wheelchair feeling his limits.
"The Amateurs," about a white theatre troupe going into the camps to perform Oscar Wilde, not realizing until too late just how vast the imaginative distance is between themselves and their audience.
"Six Feet of the Country" about the struggle of a black family to get back the dead body of their child, an illegal immigrant, in order that they can bury him appropriately.
"Face from Atlantis"
"Which New Era Would That Be?" about a
"The Smell of Death and Flowers." That was one of the things she held against the missionaries: how they stressed Christ's submission to humiliation by the white man.
"Not for Publication"
"Through time and Distance"
"A Chip of Glass Ruby," about a widowed Hindu mother of five and adoptive mother of four more, who has married a Hindu widower, and she gets arrested for her work organizing and participating in anti-apartheid activies for the black population.
"Some Monday For Sure." It reads like a Frank O'Connor story about the IRA. A young man becomes involved with the anti-apartheid forces through his sister's husband, who drives a "dynamite truck" for a construction. He participates in an armed robbery of the truck, and escapes with his sister and brother in law to Rhodesia, where they are forced to live for years. Odd long second half, after the robbery, where the husband has returned to South Africa, and the sister and her younger brother remain in exile, the boy hopeful and optimistic that he will return to freedom-fighting, but his sister despondent about the loss of her previous life.

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