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Benang: From the Heart av Kim Scott
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Benang: From the Heart (urspr publ 1999; utgåvan 1999)

av Kim Scott (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
1103194,403 (3.61)1 / 15
I tell you that this story of my own is part of a much older story... one of a perpetual billowing from the sea, with its rhythm of return, return, remain... I offer these words, especially to those of you I embarrass, and who turn away from the shame of seeing me... We are still here, Benang.
Medlem:aspiereads
Titel:Benang: From the Heart
Författare:Kim Scott (Författare)
Info:Fremantle Press (1999), Edition: Reprint, 502 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Benang: From the Heart av Kim Scott (1999)

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Visar 3 av 3
Kim Scott writes quite beautifully, and that is the most obvious strength of his prose. The political and historical critique he makes here of the treatment of the Indigenous peoples is also a pressing and valid theme. Together, however, these elements are not enough to make a good novel.

Where Scott is particularly weak is his inability to create a coherent plot. I don't mind a disjointed but cleverly-planned story-line, such as you find in, say, Zadie Smith's [b:White Teeth|3711|White Teeth|Zadie Smith|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1374739885s/3711.jpg|7480]. The narrative of Benang, however, meanders here and there without any discernible aim or pattern, and after a while I simply felt lost in the narrative, as if I were walking around in circles. I felt overwhelmed and dizzy by the novel's end.

Scott is also weak at characterization. Yes, from the outside, figures like Jack Chatalong or Harriette had potential, but the problem is that Scott *keeps* us, the readers, on the outside. The only character into whom we get any real insight and depth is Ern, the protagonist's grandfather, and that makes him - despite being the novel's main villain - its most relatable character.

The other problem with this book is that it is so unnecessarily long. Yes, it draws on a complicated history, but a greater sense of narrative direction and tighter editing could have made this a genuine classic about the "first white man born." As it stands, the book is an unstructured, bloated mess.

Benang is so transparently based on Scott's life and history that I wonder why he didn't write a memoir instead of a novel (at one point the narrator says: "Some of these, my people—let us call them ‘characters’..."). As a novel, it falls far short of my standards of both enjoyment and intellectual stimulation, which is truly a pity, for Scott's message is one that certainly needs to be heard in Australian literature and culture. ( )
  vernaye | May 23, 2020 |
James Baldwin once said that there are no white people, only people who think they are white. (James Baldwin, 'On being "white" and other lies' reprinted in David Roediger (ed.), Black on White: Black Writers on What it Means to be White).

So one could say, then, that to think of oneself as white is fantasmatic? If whiteness is a cultural "ideal", it can not be achieved only approached - never arrived at. What then of Aboriginality? Of other shades?.

Harley the central character in Benang stumbles on to the discovery of his bloodline,and his perceptions change paradoxically losing himself while uncovering his history.

Meanwhile I find myself stuck in a similar paradox finding some personal meanings in Scott's Benang whilst becoming further lost in a labyrinth of narratives (and pages of notes I have written for this review) - I thought this might be a quick review to write but it's going to take longer than I thought & deserves more time.

so till then I can only say the effect Benang had for me was profound and most likely life altering. (i am continuing to arrange my thoughts to complete this review).



Library discard. 1 of 12 for $6. Mine has a different cover. ( )
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
a must read book ( )
  banksia13 | Mar 8, 2011 |
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I tell you that this story of my own is part of a much older story... one of a perpetual billowing from the sea, with its rhythm of return, return, remain... I offer these words, especially to those of you I embarrass, and who turn away from the shame of seeing me... We are still here, Benang.

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