Read Corregidora (Bluestreak) by Gayl Jones Free Online
Book Title: Corregidora (Bluestreak)|
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Loaded: 1936 times
Reader ratings: 3.5
The author of the book: Gayl Jones
Edition: Beacon Press
Date of issue: February 15th 1987
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 23.68 MB
Read full description of the books:
"You asked me how did I get so beautiful. It wasn't him. No, not Corregidora. And my spirit, you said, like knives dancing. My veins are centuries meeting."
There are some books that are just so merciless you wonder how on earth the characters even manage to survive all that brutality. But they do and then you wonder how they deal with all that accumulated pain and whether they can live a “normal” life. This book deals with some difficult topics such as slavery, domestic violence, and rape. It also focuses on ancestral memory and orality as a way of passing on stories. Of course with oral culture we pick which stories we want passed on so it might be surprising to learn that the story that the protagonist’s grandmother chooses to tell her is one of rape: the rape of both her grandmother and mother by the same man, the Portuguese slavedriver, Corregidora. You can’t help but squirm when you read that Ursa has been listening to these stories while on her grandmother’s knee since she was 5 years old:
" Her hands had lines all over them. It was as if the words were helping her, as if the words repeated again and again could be a substitute for memory, were somehow more than the memory. As if it were only the words that kept her anger."
This book focuses on Ursa, the daughter and great-grand-daughter. A blues singer at a local club, the book starts off with tragedy for her at the hands of her husband. The blues are prominent in the book and I’m reminded of Angela Davies and her research on black women, feminism and the blue. All Ursa has are the blues and her beautiful voice which changes after her tragedy:
"It sounds like you been through something. Before it was beautiful too, but you sound like you been through more now."
Ursa’s flashbacks are full of anger. Why did the grandmother want to keep that tragic story alive? She doesn’t want the story to die and she wants Ursa to “make generations” to carry on the story:
“I'm leaving evidence. And you got to leave evidence too. And your children got to leave evidence. And when it comes time to hold up the evidence, we got to have evidence to hold up."
It’s interesting about the body being memory that has been touched on in so many books, it's even more interesting that Ursa's memories of her mother and grandmother are perhaps just as strong as her own memories: “It was as if their memory, the memory of all the Corregidora women, was her memory too, as strong with her as her own private memory, or almost as strong."
The story relies mostly on dialogue, both internal and external. The language is often quite graphic and explicit. The language the men in her life use to describe and label Ursa is incredibly misogynistic and objectifying.
The story shows in several ways how our past can affect us. The history of slavery in particular; I can’t even begin to comprehend the pain the slaves experienced, though Gayl Jones did a good job of highlighting some examples.
For some reason I feel this is the sort of book that a lot will dislike but will keep going back to.
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Read information about the authorGayl Jones (born November 23, 1949) is an African-American writer from Lexington, Kentucky. Her most famous works are Corregidora, Eva's Man, and The Healing.
Jones is a 1971 graduate of Connecticut College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English. While attending the college she also earned the Frances Steloff Award for Fiction. She then began a graduate program in creative writing at Brown University, studying under poet Michael Harper and earning a Master of Arts in 1973 and a Doctor of Arts in 1975.
Harper introduced Jones's work to Toni Morrison, who was an editor at the time, and in 1975, Jones published her first novel Corregidora at the age of 26. That same year she was a visiting lecturer at the University of Michigan, which hired her the following year as an assistant professor. She left her faculty position in 1983 and moved to Europe, where she wrote and published Die Vogelfaengerin (The Birdwatcher) in Germany and a poetry collection, Xarque and Other Poems. Jones's 1998 novel The Healing was a finalist for the National Book Award, although the media attention surrounding her novel's release focused more on the controversy in her personal life than on the work itself. Her papers are currently housed at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University. Jones currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky, where she continues to write.
Jones has described herself as an improvisor, and her work bears out that statement: like a jazz or blues musician, Jones plays upon a specific set of themes, varying them and exploring their possible permutations. Though her fiction has been called “Gothic” in its exploration of madness, violence, and sexuality, musical metaphors might make for a more apt categorization.
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