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I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem (1992)

av Maryse Condé

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
648926,381 (3.89)18
This wild and entertaining novel expands on the true story of the West Indian slave Tituba, who was accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, arrested in 1692, and forgotten in jail until the general amnesty for witches two years later. Maryse Condé brings Tituba out of historical silence and creates for her a fictional childhood, adolescence, and old age. She turns her into what she calls "a sort of female hero, an epic heroine, like the legendary 'Nanny of the maroons,'" who, schooled in the sorcery and magical ritual of obeah, is arrested for healing members of the family that owns her. CARAF Books:Caribbean and African Literature Translated from French This book has been supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agencY.… (mer)
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This is an attempt to create a life story behind Tituba, the black slave who was the first person accused of being a witch in the Salem witch hunt.

Conde is at her best in her well-researched depictions of Barbados, where Tituba was born, of early Boston, and of the Puritans of Salem.

However, I did not particularly appreciate the way Conde turns Hester Prynne into a lesbian feminist.

Also, I was not thrilled with the translation. Much of it was quite stilted. ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
I really really really wish I had liked this more. Instead I found myself bored throughout the book. If the author, Maryse Conde had actually I think been able to make me feel like she had a good sense of who Tituba was I would have enjoyed this more.

Conde decides to have Tituba tell her mother's story and her stepfather's story and how she came to be a free slave until she went to live with John Indian.

I didn't really like the set-up to Tituba's life since it really didn't make much sense that a black woman was somehow free and then voluntarily went to live and become a slave to her husband's owner because she was so in love with him. I don't know much about voodoo practices in Barbados so I imagine Conde did some research. I didn't really get the importance of Mama Yaya while reading. In fact a lot of things that Tituba mentions learning about I didn't really get since I don't know much about voodoo practices. I wish that had been explained more.

We spend a lot of time with Tituba in Barbados before she and her husband are sold to Samuel Parrish and settle in Salem. And we know that eventually Tituba will be accused of witchcraft along with other women in Salem.

What I thought was weird was that the Salem passages went quickly. Conde did have the real life transcripts from what Tituba confessed to inserted into the book as dialogue. And she did the same thing to the character of John Indian. However, everything after that appears to be fictional. She instead has Tituba sold to someone else, returning to Barbados only to meet a tragic end. She includes a fictional Hester Prynne in this book (which really threw me) who is also imprisoned along with the other accused who is being brought to court for her adultery. I don't get why Conde included a fictional literary character in this book.

I have done my best to find out what became of Tituba, but unfortunately not much seems to be out there. And there are some disputes about whether she was a black woman or a Native American woman.

I didn't really care for the writing in this book. It seems everyone called everyone the "N" word and I hated reading it. Also a lot of the dialogue just didn't appear to be written for the times (1690s) and instead there seemed to be too much modern speech in this book.

The flow was not that great. I can't believe how short the Salem passages are, to me that should have been the main focus of the book. I don't know why Conde moved the action away from there and back to Barbados. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Tra le categorie di persone che hanno subito di più nella Storia, ci sono le donne. La religione le ha sempre considerate un elemento di secondo piano, pur attribuendo loro il miracolo della nascita, e quindi l’importanza della maternità, la considerazione che si ha di loro in tante religioni è sempre la stessa. Non solo quelle abramitiche, come verrebbe da pensare, ma anche nei culti religiosi meno organizzati, come ci raccontano gli antropologi. E per la differenza di forza fisica, e perché considerate impure e tentatrici o vicine al demonio, etc.
Maryse Condé ci racconta la storia di Tituba, una donna di origine africana delle Barbados, che oltre a subire le problematiche derivanti dalla cieca fede calvinista, subisce anche il razzismo schiavista. Quindi nera, donna e per di più strega.
Il romanzo prende spunto da quei pochi documenti che raccontano del processo subito da alcune donne in quel di Salem intorno al 16xx. Condannate per stregoneria dagli abitanti puritani del villaggio. La parti migliori del romanzo mi sembrano quelle riguardanti il periodo a Salem. La ingenua cattiveria delle bambine, indotta da una educazione estremista, a volte fa più male delle sevizie subite da Tituba, che sono raccontate in modo giustamente crudo, senza edulcorare.
Pur conoscendo la situazione storica di queste vicende, è sempre sconcertante leggere fino a che punto si sia potuti arrivare.
La scrittrice ci avvisa che ha voluto scrivere un finale di suo gradimento per la storia di Tituba, vista la mancanza di documentazione che ne attesti le sorti. Si prende anche qualche licenza che forse stona un po'. L’inserimento del mercante ebreo che acquista Tituba (uno dei pochi storicamente non confermati) sembra messo lì per caricare il dramma di una ulteriore voce, ma irrilevante nel contesto in cui ci ha introdotti. Una scrittura che spesso scivola sul rosa rovina, a mio parere, una storia bella e triste che andava raccontata. ( )
  Atticus06 | Jun 9, 2020 |
I LOVE reimaginings of tales or seeing well-known stories from a new viewpoint. That is what draws me to Gregory Maguire's fiction, and to historical fiction in general. This novel drew me for these reasons, but also because of my interest in antiracism and becoming more culturally literate as a white person.

The novel is interesting because Tituba at times breaks the 'fourth wall' by referencing the fact that the histories of the Salem Witch Trials only mention her as a footnote, commenting on the habit of white historians to treat the lives of all people of color this way. It was Conde's mission to rescue Tituba from the ambiguity and immateriality imparted on her by the white gaze, and she was magnificently successful in this. ( )
  Samberry | Aug 3, 2019 |
Human rights then and now...

I read this years ago and found it frustrating for the levels of unjust suffering and blame heaped upon Tituba and believed because it was convenient. No, the world is not a fair place even now, perhaps especially now, but I cried so much that I had to forget about this book immediatelly, it was so saddening.

Shira
1 January, 12004 HE
(Holocene/Human Era on The Holocene Calendar...à ( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
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Tituba and I lived for a year on the closest of terms. During our endless conversations, she told me things she had confided to nobody else.

--Maryse Conde

Death is a porte whereby we pass to joye;
Lyfe is a lake that drowneth all in payne.
--John Harrington
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Abena, my mother, was raped by an English sailor on the deck of Christ the King one day in the year 16** while the ship was sailing for Barbados. I was born from this act of aggression. From this act of hatred and contempt.
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This wild and entertaining novel expands on the true story of the West Indian slave Tituba, who was accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, arrested in 1692, and forgotten in jail until the general amnesty for witches two years later. Maryse Condé brings Tituba out of historical silence and creates for her a fictional childhood, adolescence, and old age. She turns her into what she calls "a sort of female hero, an epic heroine, like the legendary 'Nanny of the maroons,'" who, schooled in the sorcery and magical ritual of obeah, is arrested for healing members of the family that owns her. CARAF Books:Caribbean and African Literature Translated from French This book has been supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agencY.

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