Tar Baby) [Pdf/E–book] á Toni Morrison
Memorii, vol. I-II gThe island exaggerated everything Too much light Too much shadow Too much rain Too much foliage and much too much sleep Toni Morrison Tar BabyI think the tropical Caribbean setting and all the talk of candy and flowers fooled me into thinking that this would be one of Toni Morrison s simpler reads It turns out that like with most Toni Morrison books it s impossible to summarize everything there s just too much to talk aboutIn this novel we meet retired rich American Valerian Street living on the L Isle des Chevaliers with his much younger wife Margaret two African American servants and their niece Jadine who is visiting from France A sailor Son who has abandoned ship enters their lives and that s when thingset interesting I read this book as a story of many tensions tensions between couples tensions about old secrets race responsibilities and dreams For me the most important character in this book is Jadine I always like the rebel women and I think she is exactly that Unlike the other women portrayed in this book she s not portrayed as maternal at all additionally she has uniue dreams and aspirations and doesn t feel the need at all to fall back into the traditional ways of thinking Out of all the women in the book she seems to be the only one not willing to be limited by her Full Steam Ahead, Felix: Adventures of a famous station cat and her kitten apprentice gender and race When she says to herself but if you think you canet away with telling me what a black woman is or ought to be well that really spoke to me on so many levels as I m sure it will speak to a lot of black women Jadine is a light skinned black woman called yalla by the local islanders seen of as prim and proper because she lives in France and is a fashion model Son thinks she s a sell out and Jadine struggles with her thoughts on her identity as a black woman her white boyfriend in France having a white patron and feeling comfortable in white culture as that was where she was raised When she thinks about her boyfriend in France this is what oes through her mind thoughts on potential fetishization and authenticityI wonder if the person he wants to marry is me or a black irl And if it isn t me he wants but any black irl who looks like me talks and acts like me what will happen when he finds out that I hate ear hoops that I don t have to straighten my hair that Mingus puts me to sleep that sometimes I want to et out of my skin and be only the person inside not American not black just me I felt for Jadine thinking that she might be a race traitor for wanting to o back to France instead of moving back to the States I had supportive feelings towards Jadine throughout the book because I ve often been accused of not being black enough and I think that it s important for people to note that as black women our upbringings are diverse as are our temperaments personalities interests and everything else As such Son s treatment of Jadine s perceived lack of blackness really really irked me because I ve been on that receiving end although not as harshly And Son seems to be the opposite very rooted in and connected to his blackness and you wonder whether a relationship between him and Jadine could ever work out so it was a surprise to me that they embarked on a relationship and I wonder what that says about Son Their love story was so very intense Gradually she came to feel unorphaned He cherished and safeguarded her When she woke in the night from an uneasy dream she had only to turn and there was the stability of his shoulder and his limitless eternal chest No part of her was hidden from him She wondered if she should hold back keep something in store from him but he opened the hair on her head with his fingers and drove his tongue through the part There was nothing to forgive nothing to win and the future was five minutes away He unorphaned her completely Gave her a brand new childhood They were the last lovers in New York City the first in the world so their passion was inefficient and kept no savings account They spent it like TexansI was very intrigued about how place plays a part not just in a story but also in a relationship On a tropical island everything seems idyllic but after reading this book it s clear that running off to a tropical island isn t oing to solve our problems and we will end up bringing our baggage with us And this also ot me thinking about how a relationship started in one place and moved elsewhere works When Son oes back to the States the way he describes his home is so different to what we have seen in the Caribbean and it makes you wonder how things will change for him and Jadine on a different backdropSince 1971 Son had been seeing the United States through the international edition of Time by way of shortwave radio and the views of other crewmen It seemed sticky Loud red and sticky Its fields spongy its pavements slick with the blood of all the best peopleI have to mention the wife Margaret who really annoyed me I see her as the non black friend of a black person
AS THOUGH SHE HAS SOMEHOW EARNED THE RIGHT TO though she has somehow earned the right to about black people She can t possibly be racist because after all she has a black friend Some of the comments that came out of Margaret s mouth were so foul I wish Jadine had been stronger and told her off instead of keeping her thoughts to herselfShe was uncomfortable with the way Margaret stirred her into blackening up or universaling out always alluding to or ferreting out what she believed were racial characteristics She ended by resisting both but it kept her alert about things she did not wish to be alert aboutThis was a Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood great reread and I loved it considerably this time around I understood and I alwayset renewed appreciation for how Morrison helps us understand why her characters are the way they are but never expects us to side with them Toni Morrison takes a relaxing Caribbean pace to tell a story which involves sex colonialism and love It is a tantalzing mix and as always so well written I loved how the narration passed fluidly from one character to the other and how several scenes were narrated by butterflies outside the windows observing the crazy humans Also the dialogs in the story are incredibly realisticIn a nutshell Valerian is a 70 year old wealthy American businessman who has purchased an island near Ha ti where he came for an extended stay with his 50 year old wife Margaret They have two servants Ondine and Sydney Valerian has been extremely Imagine That! generous with their orphaned niece Jadine sending her to school and traveling She is in her twenties sensual superficial Into these lives Son arrives as a clandestine having jumped a boat and hidden in their house for a week withoutetting caught In this web of relationships the racism white on black but also black on black comes out as does some sordid family history This results in a climax that sends Valerian into denial and reclusion and Son and Jadine run off to New York to attempt a love centered lifeIn this passage I really like how the plants react to the music played in the Elena's Conquest greenhouse by ValerianHe turned the switch that brought the Goldberg Variations into thereenhouse At first he d experimented with Chopin and some of the Russians but the Magnum Rex peonies overwhelmed by all that passion whined and curled their lips He settled finally on Bach for ermination Haydn and Liszt for strong sprouting After that all of the plants seemed content with Rampal s Rondo in D By the time he sugared his breakfast coffee the peonies the anemones and all their kind had heard forty or fifty minutes of music which nourished them but set Sydney the butler s teeth on edge although he d heard some variety of it every day for forty years p 11Typically poetic Morisson prose with a beautiful metaphorA house of sleeping humans is both closed and wide open Like an ear it resists easy penetration but cannot brace for attack Luckily in the Caribbean there is no fear The unsocketed eye that watches sleepers is not threatening it is merely alert which anyone can tell for it has no lid and cannot wax or wane No one speaks of a uarter or half moon in the Caribbean It is always full p 43and againthey were all reflection like mirrors chamber after chamber corridor after corridor of mirrors each one taking its shape from the other and iving it back as its own until the final effect was color where no color existed at all p 73Toni truly has some incredible analogies Oh I m fine I uess but her voice was flat like a wide river without any undertow at all p 97Margaret is one of the many women that facing abuse in their childhood resolve to never be a victim again even if it means taking out the violence on her own kin All around her it was like that a fast crack on the head if you let the hunger show so she decided then and there at the age of twelve in Balti never to be broken in the hands of any man Whatever it took knife blades or screaming teeth Never p 124Great sense of humor hereThe avocado tree standing by the side of the road heard her and having really seen a horse s shit thought she had probably misused the word p 127And just after I love how the avocado tree interacts silently with JadineJadine dusted off the back of her skirt and turne. The author of Song of Solomon now sets her extraordinary novelistic powers on a striking new course Tar Baby audacious and hypnotic is masterful in its mingling of tones of longing and alarm of urbanity and a primal mythic force in which the landscape itself becomes animate alive with a wild dark complicity in the fates of the people whose drama unfolds It is a novel suffused with a tense and passionate inuiry revealing a whole spectrum of emotions underlying the relationships between black men and women white men and women and black and white peopleThe place is a Caribbean island In their mansion overlooking the sea the cultivated millionaire Valerian Street now retired and his pretty younger wife Margaret o through rituals of living as if in a trance It is the black servant couple who have been with the Streets for years the fastidious butler Sydney and his strong yet remote wife who have arranged every detail of existence to create a surface calm broken only by sudden bur.
Toni Morrison É 4 Read & DownloadCtive but when children are involved I think that risks should be taken There are two adult women who chose to not take action for very different reasons but they were both deal breakers for me Tar Baby is one that I am Rescuing Gus going to need to read several times before I can say that I understand most of what was presented because right now I know that I don t I m sure that I didn t invest the amount of attention to the details that I should have I really regret not participating in the discussion of this one but I didn t feel at the time that my thoughts were coherent enough to even shareWhere you can find me Monlatable Book Reviews Twitter MonlatReaderInstagram readermonicaFacebook Monica Reeds Goodreads Group The Black Bookcase Toni Morrison is amazing She is thereatest of all time in my opinion but really which other author could keep me entertained and awestruck on Every single page for five consecutive books I must preface all reviews of her writings with total praise and veneration because her work demands nothing less I did not expect this since Tar Baby is one of her less popular books but as it turns out this is my favorite of her books so far and not only that it is now one of my favorite books Period My Class of 92: Out of Our League goodness the story was wonderful Jadine and Son insert never ending paragraph on how much I loved them and how drop deadorgeous they both are and how my heart bled at the end and oh my Portrait of a Starter: An Unhidden Story god that chapter when they were in New York and Dear God in heaven do send me my sexy ass man to strut around New York with too I digress I should ve known that Toni Morrison would write a love story like no other unlike the usual corny cliche drivel Welcome Tar Baby welcome to the club of the small number of books that I reread every year for obvious reasons I love them times ten This book This book Absolutely magnificent Toni Morrison I love you Understatement xxxxxxx The opening of this book was a complete surprise to me as a moderately seasoned TM reader it felt just like the start of an action movie some kind of spy thriller only infused with poetic beauty Something of this atmosphere persisted perhaps because of Valerian the white millionaire who somehow wears an arch villain halo even when he s being likeable I also found the dialogue sparky and often humorous the tone freuently lightSo is it a light book Noooooo of course not From the turbulent animisticorgeous description of the island itself suffering under its colonisation the rivers and trees crying out and mourning and re making themselves stormily something deep treacherous elemental is How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly--and the Stark Choices Ahead going on If booksive us help if they do than distract then they have to touch wounds dredge up the hidden speak the silencedThe disarray my soul is in now after reading this is a sublime disarray Thoughts emotions collide with force shove each other further apart making space lowering density so that I float into a state of euphoric agitation an overactive susceptibility to connection My eyes brush others on the commute with an electric jolt I hear my own heart in the hailstormEach person in this story commands love and contempt from me calls out humility and self awareness in turn Awareness of my whiteness cis woman ness ignorance and misuses of knowledge misuses of feeling This statement about beauty that rings so true comes in the context of despair At some point in life the world s beauty becomes enough You don t need to photograph paint or even remember it It is enough No record of it needs to be kept and you don t need someone to share it with or tell it to When that happens that letting o you let o because you can my first thought was that s why I stopped taking photographs Through the cameraWorld s flat Circumnavigateyour experience but then I thought this insight is not meant to be an eternal truth it is a truth of horror and mourning And I had my own secondary insight truths belong to times and states Even dreams are true while they last And do we not live in dreams and they change shape when the light changes at evening or when somebody makes you laughTaking the view of one character then another all of whom are real and alive as if TM had no choice but to write down what they did had to do after she had conjured them so marvellously into being the narration weaves a fabric so exuisite and magical that the arbitrary becomes necessary TM can remake the sacred out of dry dust and its history of painI hated myself for hating the young educated black woman Jadine I liked Son who values his South USian extended family but with deep reservations I cheered him on at times but he has many flaws even in his ood parts When he thinks about the women of his hometown building things being strong and capable and thus impossible to position as inferior to men his ascription of value is ableist His passion makes him cut himself off at the root from self knowledge and the nourishment of loveThe white woman character Margaret was somewhat neglected as a child because her family assumed that having beauty she would not
need character She is stereotypically afraid of Son the young beautiful black man and TMcharacter She is stereotypically afraid of Son the young beautiful black man and TM how the vulnerability of her racial and endered identity is turned into a weapon against him I felt for her even though she is irritating and emotionally disturbedIn Paris Jadine stares at an African woman whose eyelashes we are told have been burned away by the power of her Moonrise gaze The woman buys three eggs and aims spit at Jadine from well out of range aesture of hatred She and her eggs reappear in a nightmare vision Jadine has in which all the other women she knows show
her their breaststheir breasts the scene of the African woman and the nightmare linger for me enigmatic searing I cannot sort "them out But lately I have noticed that I can o back into "out But lately I have noticed that I can o back into experiences and et new things out of them Someday I will figure out these scenes and find my sympathy for JadineThose carrying the frightening weight of beauty Son Jadine and Margaret are compelling characters but the book has others Sydney the dignified butler Ondine the expert cook both a little self righteous and snobby Gideon the yard man and Therese the washerwoman and helper poor folks undereducated ossip hungry Alien Alpha generous and kind Importantly they connect to the land the land seized from the natives the land where slaves were brought the land that sustained those captives who never surrendered I m wondering how many 1 and 2 star ratings came from readers thinking this would be aood Caribbean vacation beach read I also wonder how many of them were clueless to the meaning of the term tar baby Sigh There should be no need to discuss that it s rather obvious that well ALL the characters black white and mulatto were tar babies Inextricably stuck to who they are no matter where they are they cannot escape themselves their pasts their childhoods In fact WE ARE ALL tar babies And just like the characters in the book it is how we deal with what is inside us that determines how we cope with the circumstances of life on the outside I love Morrison s almost overwhelming poetic intensity For example early in the book when introducing Margaret the wealthy white once a trophy wife Morrison describes her husband Valerian s house as bigger than her elementary school and dinners with his friends in which there men talked about music and money and the Marshall Plan As in poetry there is prominent sensory description in this case smell and touch Usually writing about the tropics is full of color colors of the sea the sands the birds flowers fruit but the telling of the book is about race the colors are those of skin along with color obscured by fog blindness and dreaming or sleepI argue that this book is ultimately not about the color of skin or race or stereotypes It is about what is under that skin and that we cannot escape that But that we accept life and ourselves for what it is There is a uote on from Tar Baby on this Goodreads page that begins At some point I d like to continue where it left off The world will always be there while you sleep it will be there when you wake it will be there as well So you can sleep and there is a reason to wake A dead hydrangea is as intricate and lovely as one in bloom Bleak sky is as seductive as sunshine miniature orange trees without blossom or fruit are not defective they are that So the windows of the reenhouse can be opened and the weather let in The latch on the door can be left unhooked the muslin removed for the soldier ants are beautiful too and whatever they do will be part of it Everyone knows that Beloved is Toni Morrison s most famous work but I would argue that Tar Baby is better There are so many relationships in this book and so many layers to each of those relationships Love sex race ender class ethnicity even eographythere isn t much Morrison doesn t take on in this beautiful story And of course there are always those heart stopping passages that Morrison s writing never fails to produce Tar Baby is an absolute must read and if you have the privilege of belonging to a book club that isn t shy of a little sex suggest this for your next book I uarantee you will never want to stop discussing it. Black man she has dreaded since childhood; uneducated violent contemptuous of her privilege As Jadine and Son come together in the loving collision they have both welcomed and feared the novel moves outward to the Florida backwater town Son was raised in fled from yet cherishes; to her sleek New York; then back to the island people and their protective and entangling legends As the lovers strive to hold and understand each other as they experience the awful weight of the separate worlds that have formed them she perceiving his vision of reality and of love as inimical to her freedom he perceiving her as the classic lure the tar baby set out to entrap him all the mysterious elements all the highly charged threads of the story converge Everything that is at risk is made clear how the conflicts and dramas wrought by social and cultural circumstances must ultimately be played out in the realm of the heartOnce again Toni Morrison has iven us a novel of daring fascination and powe. D toward the house The avocado tree watched her o then folded its leaves tightly over its fruit p 127Another powerful metaphorbecause they were simply there all open unprotected and unmanipulable as Yardman s was stretched like a smokehouse cot where hobos could spend the night A back where the pain of every canker every pinched neck nerve every toothache every missed train home empty mailbox closed bus depot do not disturb and this seat taken sign since God made water came to rest p 139I really loved this image And it suits this character so wellBut heavy clouds rouped themselves behind the hills as though for a parade You could almost see the herd assemble but the man swinging in the hammock was not aware of them He was dwelling on his solitude rocking in the wind adrift p 165Again same character and wonderful analysisThe conflict between knowing his power and the world s opinion of it secluded him made him unilateral But he had chosen solitude and the company of other solitary people opted for it when everybody else had long ago surrendered because he never wanted to live in the world their way p 166Toni was an environmentalist as well as a feminist at heartThat was the sole lesson of their world how to make waste how to make machines that made waste how to make wasteful products how to talk waste how to study waste how to design waste how to cure people who were sickened by waste so they could be well enough to endure it how to mobilize waste legalize waste and how to despise the culture that lived in cloth houses and shit on the round far away from where they ate And it would drown them one day they would all sink into their own waste and the waste they had made of the world and then finally they would know true peace and the happiness they had been looking for all along p 203Yet another beautiful passage Imagine yourself in that dark all alone in the sky at night Nobody is around you You are by yourself just shining there You know how a star is supposed to twinkle We say twinkle because that is how it looks but when a star feels itself it s not a twinkle it s like a throb Star throbs Over and over and over Like this Stars just throb and throb and throb and sometimes when they can t throb any when they can t hold it any they fall out of the sky p 214A wonderful way to describe loveFor if he loved and lost this woman whose sleeping face was the limit his eyes could safely behold and whose wakened face threw him into confusion he would surely lose the world p 220Love in New YorkHe unorphaned her completely Gave her a brand new childhood They were the last lovers in New York City the first in the world so their passion was inefficient and kept no savings account p 229 But there is a warning thereinefficient and no savings account will come back to haunt themI think that easily the most unlikable character in the book is former beauty ueen former sadistic mother 50 year old MargaretMargaret awoke very early that morning having had the dream she ought to have had it was unspeakable She rose at once the wonderful relief of public humiliation the solid security of the pillory were upon her p 235Reflections on innocenceWas there anything so loathsome as a willfully innocent man Hardly An innocent man is a sin before God Inhuman and therefore unworthy No man should live without absorbing the sins of his kind the foul air of his innocence even if it did wilt rows of angel trumpets and cause them to fall from their vines p 243I wish I could write dialogs as fluid and realistic as these I Beautiful Ghosts guess I didn t want nobody to read em and know where I was But it was too lame an excuse to continue with Is that why you kept the empty envelopes too Yeah They had your handwritin on em you know You wrote it that part anyway Franklin Green Youot a nice handwritin Pretty Like your mama p 250 There isn t much there but there is a lot thereToni s take on Frank SinatraIf I make it in New York then that s all I do Make it in New York That s not life that s making it I don t want to make it I want to be it p 266 A creed for life Be ItI like this summary of the relationship between Jadine and SonEach knew the world as it was meant or ought to be One had a past the other a future and each one bore the culture to save the race in his hands Mama spoiled black man will you mature with me Culture bearing black woman whose culture are you bearing p 269The fundamental problem between them laid out by SonYou turn little black babies into little white ones you turn your black brothers into white brothers you turn your men into white men and when a black woman treats me like what I am what I really am you say she s spoiling me You think I won t do all that company shit because I don t know how I can do anything Anything But I ll be oddamn if I ll do that p 270Sadly the end of the relationship as Jadine throws him back his dime Pick it up She said it again and didn t even sit up She just lay there stroking her raw silk thighs the color of natural honey *THERE WAS SEALSKIN IN HER EYES AND THE LADIES * was sealskin in her eyes and the ladies the pie table vanished like shadows under a noon old sun p 273Jadine s regretsNo time for dreaming although sometimes late in life somewhere between the thirtieth and fortieth A Year in 120 Recipes generation she mightet wind of a summer storm one day The scent of it will invade her palace and she will recall the rush of wind on her belly the stretch of fresh wings the blinding anticipation and herself there airborne suspended open trusting frightened determined vulnerable
girlish even for an entire second and then another and another She mayeven for an entire second and then another and another She may her head then and point her wands toward the place where the summer storm is entering her palace and in the weariness that ruling ueens alone know she may wonder whether his
DEATH WAS SUDDEN OR DID HE LANGUISH AND IFwas sudden Or did he languish And if if there was a bit of time left did he think how mean the world was or did he fill that space of time thinking of her But soldier ants do not have time for dreaming They are women and have much to do Still it would be hard So very hard to forget the man who fucked like a star p 291Gruesome but so well writtenA F. Scott Fitzgerald gull negotiated the breeze and swooped down on a black starfish Theull pecked it flew away and returned to peck again and again until finally the starfish yielded the magenta string that was its heart The man watched the The Devil Hath Been Raised: A Documentary History of the Salem Village Witchcraft Outbreak of March 1692; Together With a Collection of Newly Located and Gathered Witchcraft Documents gull tear it out with areat deal of interest p 293 Highly symbolic of the broken relationships between nearly all of the characters at this point But particularly in Valerien s deception in the innate character of MargaretThere was always something majestic about SonHaving nothing uiet to do with his huge hands except finger his original dime he opened the envelope and looked at the pictures of all the places and people he had loved Then he could be still Gazing at the photos one by one trying to find in them what it was that used to comfort him so used to reside with him in him like royalty in his veins p 294And unfortunately too late Let her o asked Son and he smiled a crooked smile Let o the woman you had been looking for everywhere just because she was difficult Because she had a temper energy ideas of her own and fought back Let o a woman whose eyebrows were a study whose face was enough to engage your attention all your life Let o a woman who was not only a woman but a sound all the music he had ever wanted to play a world and a way of being in it Let that o I can t he said I can t p 298This was a fantastic novel which I recommend along with The Bluest Eye and Beloved as my two favorite Toni Morisson booksFino s Toni Morrison ReviewsThe Bluest EyeSulaSong Of SolomonTar BabyBelovedJazzParadise It is difficult to explain the force that permeates Toni Morrison s books I felt drunk on words by the end of this bookIn this book s foreword Toni Morrison writes All Re read this for a little litery refreshment and I just feel like Toni can do no wrong Clunky ridiculous ending and all this novel is a mountain of incendiary ideas about identity black identity black womanhood black manhood cultural identity childhood trauma motherhood class sex and on and on But seriously what is the ending of this novel Nonetheless I live Tar Baby was the ReadSoulLit read along selection for this year and I am truly conflicted about how I felt about this story Toni Morrison is not an author that writes stories that you can just blow through It takes true concentration and thoughtfulness to work your way through one of her books She will take her readers to some truly dark places and leave you to figure out a character s true motivation which is a ood thing Tar Baby of course explores themes of race and tensions among people of the same race through how we treat each other Also the acceptance of being treated less than because that is how you see yourself The interactions among the characters are strange and their reasoning sometimes confusing I am still not sure how I feel about Tar Baby overall but the ending is what did me in I do not agree with the lack of action taken to protect a child at the end I understand protecting yourself and wanting to stay out of the cross hairs of people that you know would be vindi. Sts of verbal sparring between Valerian and his wife And there is a visitor among them a beautiful young black woman Jadine who is not only the servant's dazzling niece but the protegé e and friend of the Streets themselves; Jadine who has been educated at the Sorbonne at Valerian's expense and is home now for a respite from her Paris world of fashion film and artThrough a season of untroubled ease the lives of these five move with a ritualized race until one night a ragged starving black American street man breaks into the house And in a single moment with Valerian's perverse decision not to call for help but instead to invite the man to sit with them andeat everything changes Valerian moves toward a larger abdication Margaret's delicate and enduring deception is shattered The butler and his wife are forced into acknowledging their illusions And Jadine who at first is repelled by the intruder finds herself moving inexorably toward him he calls himself Son; he is a kind of.