All posts tagged: Grief

Sarah Thornhill – Kate Granville

The colonization of Australia has many aspects and has caused casaulties, strife, and devastation that still marks Australia today. In “Sarah Thornhill” some of these aspects come to the fore. Sarah is the daughter of a man, who was “sent off” – a convict who has worked hard and established a small, well-run farm in what is still the outback. She grows up loving a man, whose mother was an aboriginal, which is accepted until thoughts of marriage douse the air and an awful secret is confided to Sarah’s first love. Sarah marries another and learns the secret that is much worse than being the daugther of a “sent off”. The picture of the rough life with undercurrents of secrets in Australia is the aspect of “Sarah Thornhill” that I enjoyed the most. The story line in itself felt weak to me, especially the ending, where Sarah travels to New Zealand to tell a devestating story. I saw it as an attempt to finish the novel with a neat bow, but the result was more …

Antigone – Sophocles

I read the Greek tragedy in high school as part of the curriculum for ancient civilizations and remember feeling enriched by it. I have often thought of rereading the play, and alas 15 years later I finally have. “Antigone” still strikes the right note with me and I assume that I am now able to understand the nuances better. Antigone is a woman caught between a rock and a hard place – no pun intended. She has to decide between following the King’s law and risking the wrath of the Gods or following the Gods’ law and being condemned to death by the King. It is a question of ethics and jurisprudence. Which law is higher? The conclusion to the tragedy is no surprise. Antigone follows the law of the Gods and dies. There are people who get positively cross-eyed at the word Greek classic, but I find many aspects downright funny. Almost every character is a part of a disfunctional family and as if that was not enough, the characters also have the Gods …

March – Geraldine Brooks

”March” begins with the premise of what happens to Mr. March, when he leaves his little women and goes off to do his part in the Civil War? Mr. March is of course the absent father in Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” but “March” is a very different story than its point of inspiration. “March” is about a man of war, fighting not only the enemy, but his own past and principles. Mr. March serves as a chaplain and later he is appointed to a plantation where he serves as a teacher for the newly freed slaves. Equality. Pacifism. Vegetarianism. The right to education. These are some of the principles that Mr. March tries to bring forth. It is however, the more private Mr. March, I find interesting. He is the self-made man, who loses his fortune. He feels guilty about not being able to provide for his wife and girls the way he wants to. He struggles with his past and an encounter with a slave woman, and he berates himself for not being …

The Body Artist – Don DeLillo

This is my first DeLillo encounter and I was unsure what to expect. After the first sequence of a married couple eating breakfast, I was skeptical, but as I finished the novella, my thoughts were: Yes! This is grief, the passivity that is without being, just sustaining – until it takes on another form and leads inexplicably to living. In other reviews of “The Body Artist” there is a summary and strangely enough sometimes only a summary, but I find the storyline secondary to the state(s) of mind that ebb and flow in the main character. Others argue whether a certain character is retarded or a ghost; I find this irrelevant. I find that the atmosphere of grief, passivity, and time are the main objectives together with the language of free association and second-guessing. If “The Body Artist” was a 400-page novel, it would be too long and too chaotic, but in the novella form, free association and finding existential truths in banalities corresponds with reality. That said I do love the way everything is …