finishing tar baby

It looks like my readership has fallen off. This makes sense. I’m  only writing about my vacation, can’t seem to put up links, and am having difficulty embedding images. The latter two are due to my lack of skill working with my tablet.

I am pages away from finishing reading Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby. It’s an odd, unevenly written book. There are flashes of brilliance both in the plotting and the amazing prose.

Here’s an example:

 At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don’t need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens—that letting go—you let go because you can. The world will always be there—while you sleep—when you wake it will be there as well. So you can sleep and there  is reason to wake. Toni Morrison, TAR BABY , p. 242

There are passages, however, I think needed to be cut or rewritten. Occasionally she weirdly anthropomorphizes plants and insects, suddenly ascribing to them feelings and thoughts. These passages might work better if there were more of them. Instead the reader has to change gears with the switch in prose style from narrative to wispy fantasy maybe five or six times.

Morrison herself was an editor before she began her career as a writer. Maybe her publisher was cowed into bad editting. Who knows?

Despite this small weakness, it’s a helluva tour de force of thick meaning and story that pulled me in and continues to resonate in my thoughts. I’m planning on trying to finish it today despite plans to make a beach trip.


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