By Fred Chappell
This mild, wryly comedian examine in the future within the lifetime of a rural North Carolina schoolteacher, Joe Robert Kirkman, is narrated by means of his son Jess (seen in Chappell's past novel, i'm certainly one of You ceaselessly ). The 12 months is 1946, and Joe Robert isn't any traditional schoolteacher. he's a farmer, a hunter, a dreamer and a thinker whose cutting edge educating equipment and evenhanded method of the idea of evolution have irked the neighborhood tuition board--they have summoned him to a past due afternoon assembly. His beliefs and livelihood imperiled, Robert feels--understandably--apprehensive, and to make concerns worse, that day's strange sequence of occasions (an unlucky come across with a treed bobcat, a brave rescue of a drowning baby, and several other unsettling metaphysical discussions) have left him battered in brain and physique. The assembly is hilarious, if inconclusive. A finely drawn sequence of teenybopper characters, together with stoic farmers and better halves, tale-spinning coon hunters and a sensible neighborhood reporter, enriches this modest but deeply enjoyable chronicle.
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Additional info for Brighten the Corner Where You Are: A Novel
It addresses the poet’s relationship to language, and the similes provide images, which function straightforwardly to reinforce the frustrations and pleasures of that relationship. What is interesting about this section is that in the simile lines, in which words are in the process of making and/or relaying meaning, the poet appears only as a body part: a throat, a tongue, lips. 68). When words appear to express meaning easily, the speaking self enters the poem only as a conglomeration of parts.
Lorde’s biographer, Alexis De Veaux, describes 1976 as a year in which Lorde “wrestled with several paradoxes,”59 among them maintaining a sense of herself as an outsider while being published by the mainstream press W. W. ” “Coal” begins with an imagistic stanza about speaking 42 Reconstituting Americans blackness and the multiple ways that something can be open. 61 This “I,” which is the first line, word, and letter of this poem, functions to split its own signification and to introduce multiple meaning-making possibilities.
Moreover, for Lorde and for the black girl in this poem, there is the element of sexual identity—simultaneously learning to become a black woman and negotiating desire for women, which may be seen as a betrayal of her identity as a socially responsible black woman (and related to Broadside Press’s reasons for omitting “Love Poem”). “Generation II” ends with an image of the girl walking and references a fear of the “angers” of herself and her mother. Again the idea of separateness is evoked by the image of walking alone, but the apo koinou at work in the earlier lines of the poem makes the reader read the enjambed “alone” and “and” together, suggesting a connection between the two words, perhaps that “alone” always requires an “and” to register as alone.
Brighten the Corner Where You Are: A Novel by Fred Chappell