Barbara Kingsolver’s novel ‘PIGS IN HEAVEN’ (1993) is intriguing.
Initially there is something ‘Updike-like’ about Kingsolver’s prose – sharp ironic writing laced with humour. Early on – “Alice wonders if other women in the middle of the night have begun to resent their Formica.” Later – “You might see things better on television, but you’ll never know if you were alive or dead while you watched.” But, unlike Updike there is a sort of inevitability, a preordainedness, here that is quite different from the tension of the Rabbit books. It’s not a tragedy but rather a celebration of love over adversity.
The portrayal of the Cherokee Nation as a haven of familial support, love and joy makes no substantial reference to the impact of significant poverty and racism instead representing an ideal state of oneness in ‘Heaven’ that it would be a joy to be part of (some of the time).
The plot – no spoilers – resolves itself as if by magic – which is what it is – a ‘romance’ in which the best of all possible worlds comes about through (apparent) serendipity aligned with the scheming of Ms Annawake Fourkiller and the finger of god suggesting the inevitability of the victory of good over evil.
This novel feels good and there’s little harm in that right now in the midst of Brexit and the idiocy of Trump. Nothing wrong at all with love winning the day, but … the pain that has been suffered, the legacy of sadness, to get to that ideal ending is but chaff blown away, and almost forgotten, in a gentle breeze from the idyllic world of the Cherokee Nation in Heaven. But rock on – we could do with more of it! I enjoyed it.
You know what? I miss Lou Reed. God, I miss him. I miss the songs he would have written about Trump. Just listen to his album ‘New York’ (1989): it’s all there, just change the names, and the malevolent spectre of Trump lurks behind every wonderful lyric.
Olga Tokarczuk’s novel is magnificent.
The title comes from William Blake.
The blurb on the back cover is good but doesn’t do it full justice.
I couldn’t put it down.
There is so much to take from this work e.g. what Fieldfares can do to an attacking hawk; “Newspapers rely on keeping us in a constant state of anxiety, on diverting our emotions away from the things that really matter to us.” And insight and argument into the human condition in the this century and the dilemmas we all face and not just in Poland.
Please read this book
My feature film screenplay –
‘Her Own Woman’ © Phil Cosker (2018) has been optioned.
Watch this space.
Last night I watched Peter Jackson’s film ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’. Never has the first World War been as vivid, moving and enlightening than in this amazing work. For the first time at 24fps and in colour, the men, the soldiers, were real and their bravery and humanity one to another shone through the restored frames and the recordings made by veterans.
If you haven’t seen this film of genius then do please try and find a way to see it.
Photograph published on the front page of The Guardian 01.12.2018 with my question. Take it any way you like but no disrespect to Cuba. Who needs what? Who has what?
Oscar Wile said, “the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible.”
May is the unspeakable is in pursuit of the unacceptable.
Corbyn is the ‘acceptable’ in pursuit of what ????
Come on Labour get your act together or are you going to create an alliance with the extreme right believing that catastrophe will bring about a socialist revolution. If you are – shame on you.
I am a member of the Labour Party
Those in the UK who vehemently oppose a further vote on whether the UK should leave the European Union have forgotten, perhaps wilfully, that democracy is a process not a tourniquet. One vote does not preclude another.
I’ve just put up some new snaps in Gallery 4 – please take a look and tell me what you think. Work in progress and not sorted into groups but just evolving ideas.