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The Temple of My Familiar av Alice Walker
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The Temple of My Familiar (urspr publ 1989; utgåvan 1989)

av Alice Walker (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,210215,304 (3.83)49
Returning frequently to Suwelo's visits to Mr. Hal and his stories about Fanny, this tale transcends time and examines such contradictions as black vs. white, man vs. woman, sexual freedom vs. sexual slavery, past vs. present, etc.
Medlem:SMHCuratorialLibrary
Titel:The Temple of My Familiar
Författare:Alice Walker (Författare)
Info:Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1989), Edition: 1st, 416 pages
Samlingar:Radical Reading Room
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Temple of My Familiar av Alice Walker (1989)

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Alice Walker is reputedly one of the most well-known, yet most difficult post-modern authors to read, and The Temple of My Familiar makes both of these reputations known. Why is it difficult? In an effort to present life, and I mean life as in the history of man (and other creatures) in this world throughout time, there's no doubt that the result of this feat would be a difficult read. Walker's novel travels in a non-linear way through time, covering South America, North America, Africa, and England, among others. With such an all-encompassing focus on "human" history, Walker can focus neither on one time period or one character.

Walker achieves this by use of a different ordering principle than we normally use to recognize time, i.e., past lives. She takes fantastic liberties with the presentation of the past and human origins, telling a matriarchal creation story where the men attempt the emulate the perfect art form of female childbirth and pregnancy. Walker also presents an arboreal past that is possibly an evolutionary history, and the most utopic of all the worlds in the novel.

With these stories and multi-faceted characters, Walker communicates that in every other person, there is a piece of ourselves and our histories, that from within one person, our entire past exists. She communicates the Jungian philosophy of the collective unconscious being connected back through time and culture in significant ways. It is with this that one of the characters, Mary Jane, claims that "we all touch each other's lives in ways we can't begin to imagine."

Such off-the-wall stories and complicated concepts add to the difficulty of the read while at the same time encouraging the readers to swallow a world that is so unlike their "normal" ones. This world of magic realism, an art form perfected by Walker and fellow writer, [b:Toni Morrison|6149|Beloved|Toni Morrison|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1165555299s/6149.jpg|736076], is one that makes for a refreshing and engrossing read. The characters are unforgettable, the historical and visual backdrops breathtaking. Names like Carlotta, Fanny, Hal, Lulu, Suwelo, and Lissie will forever remain portraits of amazing people that live in my mind beyond Walker's intricate telling.

Suwelo himself speaks of the "rare people...[who are:] connected directly with life and not with its reflection." It is this ultimate person that I believe Walker wants to present, create and/or reach with the readers of this story. With this, Walker's confusing journey becomes almost a dramatization of how she feels the universe itself works. ( )
  irrelephant | Feb 21, 2021 |
If ever there was a book I would have loved reading in a group or book club-type setting, this would be it. I felt like taking notes throughout the whole thing. I wanted to express my thoughts after certain chapters, and listen to other reactions, too. It has the depth to warrant this. I have come across several references to it as "a sequel to The Color Purple," but find that misleading. Some of the characters are the children or other family members of the main characters in TCP, but there is no pick up of that story at all. If you're looking for that, you'll be disappointed.

These people are living their own lives, finding their own way through their own adventures and circumstances. Beautiful prose, as I would expect from Ms. Walker, some of it magical and even surreal. It's dense, to be sure. Some of the characters grow long-winded, and in certain instances I agree with the comments that the monologue style of the book can be challenging - but in other instances, it's perfect.

I regret I had to read it alone, with no discussion or feedback. This is a fine novel, and Alice Walker is a genius. I'd give it 5 stars but for the certain long-winded sections. I wish I had placed sticky-flags while reading it, because parts I'd like to re-visit are hard to find. ( )
  terriks | Oct 17, 2020 |
between 1 and 1.5 because i really want to like this and because i like (so much!) her point and what she's doing, i just really don't like the way she executed it. 97% of this book is written in monologue - the chapter starts with someone talking, the indicator ("_____ said") so you know which story we're hearing, and then the rest of the chapter is them monologuing, usually without even a sentence of interruption for exposition or dialogue exchange. then the next chapter is someone else talking but doing the same thing. this is one of my very least favorite ways for books to be written. i find it tedious and a hard slog, no matter if the story they're telling is a good one or not. i absolutely hate this kind of writing.

her book the color purple is one of my all-time favorite books but i also wonder if we shouldn't leave those characters to that book. she keeps coming back to them, and while i smile to hear more about their stories, i think i'd prefer to keep their lives contained in that masterpiece. (what she has to say in these books can be said without those characters, and might be better stated with new ones that don't have the history they do. or maybe not. maybe i missed so much of this book because this kind of writing is so hard for me to give focus to.)

"One night she said: 'If it is true that we commit adultery by thinking it, then is it also the same with committing murder? What about the way it is so easy, when you watch a plane take off, to imagine it blown to bits? Does this count? Are we collectively responsible for disasters because we image them and therefore shape them into consciousness? Do all human beings nowadays automatically have murder in their eyes?'" ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Apr 10, 2020 |
Wonderful but confusing. Tracks various lives interweaving past and present --in Africa, Central America, US--some in touch with Spirit, some struggling and learning to come to terms with their family, but not in a didactic way.
[read 2001-18 yr ago]
  juniperSun | Jan 18, 2019 |
Part love story, part fable, part feminist manifesto, part political statement, Walker's novel follows a cast of interrelated characters, most of them black. and each It is a sequel to "The Color Purple"
  brendanus | Oct 19, 2018 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (8 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Walker, Aliceprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Hewitson, JenniferIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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To Robert, in whom the Goddess shines
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In the old country in South America, Carlotta's grandmother, Zede, had been a seamstress, but really more of a sewing magician.
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Returning frequently to Suwelo's visits to Mr. Hal and his stories about Fanny, this tale transcends time and examines such contradictions as black vs. white, man vs. woman, sexual freedom vs. sexual slavery, past vs. present, etc.

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