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Wise Blood: A Novel av Flannery O'Connor
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Wise Blood: A Novel (urspr publ 1952; utgåvan 2007)

av Flannery O'Connor

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3,192933,021 (3.85)220
Flannery O'Connor's astonishing and haunting first novel is a classic of twentieth-century literature. It is the story of Hazel Motes, a twenty-two-year-old caught in an unending struggle against his innate, desperate faith. He falls under the spell of a "blind" street preacher named Asa Hawks and his degenerate fifteen-year-old daughter. In an ironic, malicious gesture of his own non-faith, and to prove himself a greater cynic than Hawks, Hazel founds The Church of God Without Christ, but is still thwarted in his efforts to lose God. He meets Enoch Emery, a young man with "wise blood," who leads him to a mummified holy child, and whose crazy maneuvers are a manifestation of Hazel's existential struggles. This tale of redemption, retribution, false prophets, blindness, and wisdom gives us one of the most riveting characters in American fiction.… (mer)
Medlem:midemcrk
Titel:Wise Blood: A Novel
Författare:Flannery O'Connor
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2007), Paperback, 236 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Blodsbunden av Flannery O'Connor (1952)

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If there's no bottom in your eyes, they hold more. ( )
  drbrand | Jan 13, 2021 |
Wise Blood is the perfect book to read with someone knowledgeable of literature, who likely could enlighten your reading. There's significant symbolism throughout, so much, I'd say, that the surface level reading is mostly obscure to a literary neophyte like myself. If you consider yourself a literature buff, this is right up your alley. If you are n00b like me, you should probably pass on it

The story centers on Hazel Mote, a man tormented by "Gee-zus" - I listened to the audio version, and the name Jesus was repeated a million times in a strong, I repeat, strong southern accent. After reading through a few other reviews... his name, usually shortened to "Haze," is a direct allusion to eyesight. "Mote" also references the KJV translation of Matt 7:5 - "remove the mote (or log) from your eye before you try and remove your brother's." Haze is dead set throughout the story to start a church without Christ, preaching from the roof of his car. The story ends with Hazel Mote first running over an "untrue prophet" and killing him with his car, a random cop pushing the car off a ledge, and then Hazel Mote burning his eyes out with lye, becoming blind. And then dying after senselessly being hit on the head by a different cop after being picked up in a gutter. This had no surface connection with the murder. One of the other main characters stabs someone to steal his gorilla suit. He then wears said gorilla suit and tries to get a handshake from a couple who run off in fear. This is of course after he delivers a mummified dwarf to Hazel, which he threw across the room. For me the story was mostly just odd.

Some say it's a story about redemption; in fact the author is quoted to claim as much. I didn't find much redemption in it. Many a story will make your heart swell in turns of redemption; this had none for me.


Throughout the novel are the themes of religiosity/morality, sexuality, and racism. The questions she urges surrounding these ideas are worth discussing. Nevertheless, when I finished the book, I felt mostly confused, and filled with questions. ( )
  nrt43 | Dec 29, 2020 |
I found this to be a disturbing novel. The narrative leaps unpredictably around and the unexpected happens. Hazel Motes returns from the army to an evangelical city. He declares himself a preacher for The Church Without Christ and stands on the bonnet of a dilapidated car he has purchased outside cinemas preaching. There are a number of other characters in the novel, none of them likeable but some of them people who are damaged in some way. Enoch works at the zoo and seems keen to be friends with Hazel. There is a preacher who claims to be blind, Asa Hawkes, and his daughter and Mrs Flood, his landlady, who feels sure she is being cheated by Hazel if only she could pinpoint how. This comes together as a disturbing and sad world and it is hard to say this was an enjoyable novel. ( )
  CarolKub | Sep 9, 2020 |
The title that I would suggest for this book is "The Denial". Not that Wise Blood is not appropriate, as it refers to the "wise blood" of Enoch Emery, one of the group of prominent characters in the book. It is rather because I believe that "The Denial" better represents the character of Hazel Motes who is the protagonist of the novel. The moment that Enoch Emery is overcome by his "wise blood" is surely powerful: "He had come to the city and--with a knowing in his blood--he had established himself at the heart of it."(p 76) On the other hand Hazel, by the end of the novel, is engulfed by his denial of his own body in his attempt to achieve a spiritual epiphany.

To reach that point of denial you have to go back to the beginning of the story where we meet Hazel Motes:
"Hazel Motes sat at a forward angle on the green plush train seat, looking one minute at the window as if he might want to jump out of it, and the next down the aisle at the other end of the car."(p 3)
Thus we meet a young man on the beginning of a journey. It is a journey fleeing from his past as much as it is one going forward toward a future filled with new people and changes in his own character.
Hazel, it turns out, is a man on a mission to preach of new and perverse sort of gospel to anyone who will listen whether they respond or not. This hearkens back to his grandfather who was a preacher "with Jesus hidden in his head like a stinger."(p 14) Hazel had lost his brothers and father to death, and had seen more death and indifference toward life while in the Army, but he was determined to follow in his grandfather's footsteps.

The story is a picaresque tale filled with unusual characters including a whore; a blind preacher named Asa with his daughter, Sabbath Lily; and Enoch Emery, a slow boy who is also on a mission moved by his inner blood that is wiser than any one else's as he proclaims to Hazel:
"'You act like you got wiser blood than anybody else,' he said, 'but you ain't! I'm the one has it. Not you, Me!'"(p 55) What they both share is a mission although they are on different paths with different missions and seemingly do not even speak the same language, or at least cannot understand each other.

As with all of Flannery O'Connor's fiction, there is an underlying message of the importance of faith and belief. The need for redemption from the sin of this world is demonstrated with a prose style that is fixated on the realities of life. However, in demonstrating this reality the author distorts it with the result often being grotesque characters and situations. She does not shy away from portraying the violence that people do to each other both physical and psychological. Ultimately, it is up to the reader to decide what the outcome of the story is -- whether any particular character is doomed to hell or redeemed by grace. All told, she presents a riveting story with unpredictable events and decisions that retain an aura of the believable while engendering puzzlement and a sort of quandary as to the meaning of it all. This reader found it both engaging and challenging in a good way, that is the questions that remain are valuable because they pertain to the most fundamental aspects of your life. ( )
  jwhenderson | Aug 7, 2020 |
Wise Blood is a delightful foray into the gospel and preachings of Hazel Motes, a man obsessed with Jesus even though he doesn't believe in him. What I really enjoyed about this novel is O'Connor's through line with Motes, centering the narrative around his exploits and basically sending him spinning like a top into urban life, that continues until the end of the book. The absurdities in the novel are hilarious but more poignant are the still, small instances drawing on the theme of sight and of the truth within lies. ( )
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
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Hazel Motes sat at a forward angle on the green plush train seat, looking one minute at the window as if he might want to jump out of it, and the next down the aisle at the other end of the car.
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Flannery O'Connor's astonishing and haunting first novel is a classic of twentieth-century literature. It is the story of Hazel Motes, a twenty-two-year-old caught in an unending struggle against his innate, desperate faith. He falls under the spell of a "blind" street preacher named Asa Hawks and his degenerate fifteen-year-old daughter. In an ironic, malicious gesture of his own non-faith, and to prove himself a greater cynic than Hawks, Hazel founds The Church of God Without Christ, but is still thwarted in his efforts to lose God. He meets Enoch Emery, a young man with "wise blood," who leads him to a mummified holy child, and whose crazy maneuvers are a manifestation of Hazel's existential struggles. This tale of redemption, retribution, false prophets, blindness, and wisdom gives us one of the most riveting characters in American fiction.

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