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July's People

de Nadine Gordimer

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1,619358,861 (3.5)183
For years, it has been what is called a 'deteriorating situation'. Now all over South Africa the cities are battlegrounds. The members of the Smales family - liberal whites - are rescued from the terror by their servant, July, who leads them to refuge in his native village. What happens to the Smaleses and to July - the shifts in character and relationships - gives us an unforgettable look into the terrifying, tacit understandings and misunderstandings between blacks and whites.… (més)
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» Mira també 183 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 35 (següent | mostra-les totes)
8422625067
  archivomorero | Jun 25, 2022 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12851279

Quite a remarkable tale.

Gordimer has an unusual style of writing. It took me a few pages to get into it. I think it's worth working through.

In the 1970s, when South Africa was in turmoil, with black South Africans violently uprising, the white, liberal Smales family leaves their home in a rush. They follow their long-time servant, July, to his native home in the wild. As a rule, July only returned to his home every couple of years. Meantime, he sent money to his wife. Ever the faithful servant, he takes it upon himself to rescue his former employers.

The family is established in a hut built for another family member, which causes some resentment among July's family. Maureen and Bam Smales and their three children do not want to be waited upon, and try to pull their weight. The children, it turns out, adjust most easily to their new surroundings and companions, and are soon as happy running and jumping into the nearby muddy water as they ever were with their more sophisticated toys back home.

The story is told primarily from Maureen's point of view, although we get glimpses from the others. How she interprets what July says, how she tries to emulate the village women in what they do, how she worries about what will happen next. Any day they know they may be discovered. They know that villagers may give them away. And then what?

As the story progresses we gain insight into how July sees them and how his behavior and thinking changes. Does the Smales family have any idea at all about what others feel and think about them? Do they know how to behave?

The story shook me up. It put me right there with them, and when I think about it now, several weeks after finishing it, those feelings come right back. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Everything in this book is difference and togetherness, borders and ideas of borders, the united and divided semblances of the human species, distilled into its true futility. Beautiful. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
I could tell from the first couple of pages, I would not like the book. I did not understand it at all.
  booklover3258 | Nov 20, 2018 |
This book was almost too painful even to read, so raw and poignant, but I continued with it: there was that pull of a compelling story... The writing style itself is a bit scattered and jumpy, not flowing easily, sometimes making me re-read a sentence to fully comprehend it or to see who is actually talking in a dialogue. So I didn't care much for that part. But what impressed me was an intense try for objectivity - a white anti-apartheid writer trying to equally present the emotions of blacks and whites, the mindset of a white couple who genuinely consider themselves very fair towards their longtime black servant, until the roles sort of reverse - and then the conflicting emotions and unexpected thoughts arise in everybody involved. I wish there was a more clear denouement at the end. But the author decided to let us figure it out. ( )
1 vota Clara53 | Jun 9, 2018 |
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» Afegeix-hi altres autors (7 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Nadine Gordimerautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Carroux, MargaretTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Loponen, SeppoTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Oort, Dorinde vanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Si et cal més ajuda, mira la pàgina d'ajuda del coneixement compartit.
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Das Alte stirbt,
und das Neue kann nicht geboren werden;
in diesem Interregnum treten morbide Symptome
von großer Mannigfaltigkeit auf.

Antonio Gramsci
Gefängnishefte
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Het oude sterft af en het nieuwe kan niet geboren worden; in dit interregnum ontstaat een grote verscheidenheid aan morbide symptomen. (Antonio Gramsci, gevangenisdagboeken)
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

For years, it has been what is called a 'deteriorating situation'. Now all over South Africa the cities are battlegrounds. The members of the Smales family - liberal whites - are rescued from the terror by their servant, July, who leads them to refuge in his native village. What happens to the Smaleses and to July - the shifts in character and relationships - gives us an unforgettable look into the terrifying, tacit understandings and misunderstandings between blacks and whites.

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Mitjana: (3.5)
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