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Black Narcissus de Rumer Godden
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Black Narcissus (1939 original; edició 1994)

de Rumer Godden (Autor)

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5741641,853 (3.9)101
Classic Literature. Fiction. Literature. HTML:

Five nuns confront nature??physical and human??in a remote Himalayan convent in the bestselling novel that inspired the new FX miniseries.

Under the guidance of Sister Clodagh, the youngest Mother Superior in the history of their order, five European Sisters of the Servants of Mary leave their monastery in Darjeeling, India, and make their way to remote Mopu in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. There, in the opulent, abandoned palace where an Indian general housed his harem, the holy sisters hope to establish a school and a health clinic. Their aim is to help combat superstition, ignorance, and disease among the mistrusting natives in the village below, and to silence the doubts of their royal benefactor's agent, the hard-drinking and somewhat disreputable Mr. Dean.

But all too soon, the isolation, the ghosts and lurid history, and the literally breathtaking beauty of this high, lonely place in the Asian mountains begin to take a serious toll on Sister Clodagh and her fellow nuns. And their burdens may prove too heavy to bear, exposing a vulnerable humanity that threatens to undermine the best intentions of the purest hearts.

The basis for the Golden Globe and Academy Award??winning motion picture starring Deborah Kerr, as well as the new miniseries on FX starring Gemma Arterton, Black Narcissus has been universally praised for its poignancy, passion, and rich evocation of a time and place. An intensely human story of devotion, faith, and madness, this beloved novel by the New York Times??bestselling author of In This House of Brede stands among the finest fiction written in the twentieth century.

"Bears comparison with A Passage to India." ??Arthur Koestler


This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary E
… (més)

Membre:graysongirl
Títol:Black Narcissus
Autors:Rumer Godden (Autor)
Informació:Pan MacMillan (1994), Edition: Unabridged, 224 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:*****
Etiquetes:India, read in 2024

Informació de l'obra

Black Narcissus de Rumer Godden (1939)

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Written by Rumer Godden, first published in 1939. It is a psychological drama that delves into the lives and struggles of a group of nuns attempting to establish a convent in the remote Himalayan mountains of India.

Weather religious or secular, a group of women living together in basic isolation is bound to bring clashes of personality, loneliness and repressed desire.

One man on the scene, a fox in a henhouse, temps religious values, sexuality and emotional and psychological turmoil. Base instincts take hold leading to disaster and consequences. ( )
  delta61 | Jul 22, 2023 |
Re-read October 2020 - 4.5* ( )
  LisaBergin | Apr 12, 2023 |
A través de la brisa fresca de las montañas del Himalaya cerca de Darjeeling, el viejo palacio brilla como una joya antigua. Cuando era la sede oficial del harén del General, las damas podían ser vistas pasear por las terrazas envueltas en sus ricas vestiduras disfrutando del viento de la noche. Por la noche la música llegaba flotando a través de las aldeas y continuaba hasta altas horas de la madrugada. Ahora, sin embargo, el hijo del General ha cedido el palacio a las Hermanas de María. Ellas han comenzado a trabajar en el huerto y han abierto una escuela y un dispensario para la gente de las montañas. Sin embargo, las monjitas no pueden hacer salir adelante su proyecto sin la ayuda del señor Dean, un descreído, arrogante y particular inglés que conoce a todo el mundo en la región. «Todos los tópicos eran aplicables a él: ojos azules, rostro encantador; la piel tersa y bronceada y los labios rojos como los de los niños irladeses» nos dice Godden de este pesonaje que hará de catalizador de los más oscuros secretos de cada una de las hermanas. Clodagh, la superiora y su desamor cubierto de amargura; Ruth, desequilibrada e inquietante; Miel, que ama a los niños con la fuerza de una madre yerma... Unos deseos ocultos y potenciados por la imponente montaña que ejerce una fuerza que las reprimidas inglesas no consiguen comprender y contra la que tendrán que luchar.
  Natt90 | Mar 29, 2023 |
‘’Look at the eagles,’ he said.
In the gulf eagles were flying, circling round one small spot in the air. Higher and higher they flew, but still they could not reach the head of cloud that hid the mountain in the north; they could not reach its foot. Circling, they flew a fraction higher; it seemed that they would reach it, but always they were beaten down to be lost in the colours of the valley and they always came up to circle dizzily again.
Mr Dean sent his hat spinning round in his finger. ‘I told you it was no place to put a nunnery.’’

Sister Clodagh searches for her sanctuary, a place to build her Heaven on Earth to serve God and escape her demons. Sister Briony wants to offer kindness. Sister Honey endures hardships with a bright smile on her face. Sister Philippa is afraid of losing herself. Sister Adela is one point short of resorting to self-flagellation. Sister Ruth lives in an absurd world of her own, populated with imaginary shadows and enemies. The Palace in the Clouds can hardly contain the tension and suppressed instincts of the newcomers who ignore Dean’s warnings and believe they can tame spirits beyond their understanding…

‘’You have to be very strong to live close to God or a mountain, or you’ll turn a little mad.’’

A masterpiece that withstands the test of time, a haunting lament of lost innocence and thwarted aspirations, a fable of being vain enough to presume that you can mould a different world according to your principles no matter whether your intentions are pure as an infant’s heart. In a landscape that shelters and threatens, upon a mountain which gives you the impression that you can touch God’s feet, a company of women bravely defies the odds. But you cannot win unless there is unity and honesty and help from the ones who claim to ‘’be there for you’’. When a member of the odd fellowship loses all connection to reality, when the distrust of the locals grows stronger and stronger, when you deny your own self, what else remains?

“Sometimes it seemed to him that the house had a bad wild life of its own; the impression of its evil lingered, in its name, in its atmosphere...”

I watched the excellent 1947 film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger when I was about 13. It has haunted my mind ever since. The shadows dancing in the lurid halls the nuns attempt to turn into something ‘sacred’, the sound of the bells, the treachery of red lips and stormy skies. The novel and the film (don’t get me started on the abominable TV series…) remain iconic,, symbols of dishonesty, betrayal, sexual repression, madness and a severe lack of communication between the locals and the newcomers. Both parties are lost. Both parties refuse to understand the other, imprisoned in a cell of superstitions and pre-conceived notions about ‘’two contrasting views of the world.’’ Foundations are impossible. The building is bound to collapse…

“I don't expect you to understand me any more than I can understand you; but I respect you and that's the difference between us.”

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.com/ ( )
1 vota AmaliaGavea | Jun 26, 2022 |
The palace in Mopu had always been used by women - it was built as a harem palace and everyone remembers it as such. Tucked in the Indian Hymalayas, near Darjeeling, in a valley under Kangchenjunga, it belongs to the ruler, the General, of one of the princely states that still exist alongside the Indian Raj in the 1930s. After the death of the last princess to live there, the ruler decides to find a better use for the remote palace so offers it to the religious orders. The first tenants, an order of monks, open a school and then give up within a few months. When this novel opens, a different order, one of Anglican nuns, is about to build their new life there - opening a school and clinic for the women and children of the valley.

Sister Clodagh, the Irish Anglican nun, is the youngest Sister Superior of the order and is sent to the remote mountain with 4 more nuns - some of them a lot more experienced than she is, some of them really young. It takes them days to even reach the palace - and when they arrive, the buildings still need repairs and new buildings need to be built. The fact that the General tries to help by paying the villagers to come to the clinic and the school does not help much either.

But that is not the main story of the novel - even if that is the center of it. It is a novel of survival - physical but mostly mental. Nothing happens as anyone expects; the nuns who believe that they are prepared for it slowly realize that the mountain has its own rules and no amount of determination can change some of the realities. Alone in the mountain, alongside the superstitious villagers, with the mountain looming over them, everyone needs to reexamine their beliefs - even nuns. Clodagh, who is the main character and whose thoughts we get to see, is so strongly reminded of her native Ireland that she seems to return back in time at times. The other nuns face their own demons and change - while the mountain remains there, unchanged, unreachable. In a way, the novel really asks the question if belief in God is enough to allow you to deal with anything life throws at you - or if there is something bigger, even when you had promised your life to God - and that is explored not just with the nuns but also with the uncle of the current General - who is as unmovable as the mountain itself.

The mountain is really the main character of the novel - despite all the people (and there are a few more colorful characters in addition to the nuns), the mountain overshadows everything they do. Godden's descriptions of it highlight that - they make you feel as if you were there and saw it.

It is a slow novel - while there is quite a lot of action in it, it happens almost without you realizing it - you are too busy watching the birds which keep circling and still cannot reach the top, too busy just looking at the mountains around you. But at the same time the people we meet and their stories are important - because they are changed by the mountain. And as surprising as it can be in a novel like that, sex plays a major role in it - in multiple ways (none of them being vulgar or pornographic in any way). It is a novel about people's thoughts and feelings and a novel about Nature. ( )
3 vota AnnieMod | Apr 28, 2022 |
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Classic Literature. Fiction. Literature. HTML:

Five nuns confront nature??physical and human??in a remote Himalayan convent in the bestselling novel that inspired the new FX miniseries.

Under the guidance of Sister Clodagh, the youngest Mother Superior in the history of their order, five European Sisters of the Servants of Mary leave their monastery in Darjeeling, India, and make their way to remote Mopu in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. There, in the opulent, abandoned palace where an Indian general housed his harem, the holy sisters hope to establish a school and a health clinic. Their aim is to help combat superstition, ignorance, and disease among the mistrusting natives in the village below, and to silence the doubts of their royal benefactor's agent, the hard-drinking and somewhat disreputable Mr. Dean.

But all too soon, the isolation, the ghosts and lurid history, and the literally breathtaking beauty of this high, lonely place in the Asian mountains begin to take a serious toll on Sister Clodagh and her fellow nuns. And their burdens may prove too heavy to bear, exposing a vulnerable humanity that threatens to undermine the best intentions of the purest hearts.

The basis for the Golden Globe and Academy Award??winning motion picture starring Deborah Kerr, as well as the new miniseries on FX starring Gemma Arterton, Black Narcissus has been universally praised for its poignancy, passion, and rich evocation of a time and place. An intensely human story of devotion, faith, and madness, this beloved novel by the New York Times??bestselling author of In This House of Brede stands among the finest fiction written in the twentieth century.

"Bears comparison with A Passage to India." ??Arthur Koestler


This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary E

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