- Taschenbuch: 356 Seiten
- Verlag: Harpercollins Publishers (6. Mai 2008)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0007270763
- ISBN-13: 978-0007270767
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13 x 19,7 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 16.937 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Plague of Doves (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. Mai 2008
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'Louise Erdrich's imaginative freedom has reached its zenith - 'The Plague of Doves' is her dazzling masterpiece.' Philip Roth 'A masterly new novel ... Writing in prose that combines the magical sleight of hand of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with the earthy, American rhythms of Faulkner, Ms. Erdrich ... has written what is arguably her most ambitious - and in many ways, her most deeply affecting - work yet.' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times 'Confirms her reputation as a writer able to combine the apocalyptic with the mundane world whose inhabitants are set loose to roam the heavens in spirit but are ballasted always by their defiantly human bodies.' Observer 'You could read Louise Erdrich's latest book for its wisdom ... Or you could read 'The Plague of Doves' for its poetry ... in the end, you'll read this book for its stories ... The stories told by her characters offer pleasures of language, of humor, of sheer narrative momentum, that shine even in the darkest moments of the book.' Boston Globe 'Wholly felt and exquisitely rendered tales of memory and magic ... By the novel's end, and in classic Erdrich fashion, every luminous fragment has been assembled into an intricate tapestry that deeply satisfies the mind, the heart, and the spirit.' O magazine
A beautiful, compelling, utterly original new novel from one of the most important American writers of our time. Pluto, North Dakota, is a town on the verge of extinction. Its unsavory origins -- which lie in white greed -- contain the seeds of its demise. Here, everybody is connected -- by love or friendship, by blood, and, most importantly, by the burden of a shared history. Evelina Harp, a witty, ambitious young girl, part Ojibwe, part white, is growing up on the reservation. She is prone to falling hopelessly in love, most notably with her cousin, Corwin Peace, a misfit with a late-discovered talent for music, and then with her teacher, Sister Maria Anita Buckendorf, a godzilla-like nun whose frank acceptance of herself is irresistible. Mooshum, Evelina's grandfather, is a seductive storyteller, a repository of family and tribal history; listening enraptured to his tales Evelina learns of a horrific crime that has marked both Ojibwe and whites, whose fates have been inextricably bound ever since.Nobody understands the weight of that crime better than Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, a half breed from Pluto, who also suffers from pains in the love department; as a judge on the reservation, he keeps watch over its inhabitants and recounts their lives with compassion and rare insight.In distinct and winning voices, Evelina and Judge Coutts unravel the intertwining stories of their families, their friends, and their lovers, the descendents of both the perpetrators and victims of the historic crime. Louise Erdrich's characteristically graceful prose and sense of the comic and the tragic sweep readers along to the surprising conclusion of this stunning novel, a portrait of the complex allegiances, passions, and drama of a haunting land and its all-too-human people. Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Native American author Louise Erdrich's latest novel opens with a shocking prologue:
"The baby fell asleep. The man repaired the gun so the bullet slid nicely into its chamber. He tried it several times, then rose and stood over the crib. The violin reached a crescendo of strange sweetness. He raised the gun. The odor of raw blood was all around him in the closed room."
This cruel crime of a whole family being murdered, with only the baby surviving, and the ensuing lynching of three innocent Natives becomes the engine of narrative in the novel. Set in the fictional town of Pluto in North Dakota, the novel, however, deals with the town's history and the shadow cast by the crime more than with truly solving it. In 1911, a group of three Indian men and a boy are hanged in a racist act of rough justice - only one of them, Mooshum, a trickster-like figure, miraculously survives - while the real murderer goes unpunished. More important than who committed the crime is the effect it has on the subsequent generations: In a typical Erdrich fashion - told from multiple points of view and spanning several generations - The Plague of Doves focuses on the tangled web of victimhood and guilt that connects and divides the people of Pluto. "Here," the author emphasizes, "everybody is connected - by love or friendhip, by blood, and most importantly, by the burden of a shared history."
As in her previous novels, it is not only hard to determine who is Native and who is white or both, but with the passing of time and with inter-marriage it becomes increasingly difficult to keep apart victims and offenders of the initial crime. Erdrich deliberately blurs boundaries and involves her readers in making sense of the story.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
Pluto, North Dakota forms the center of interactions among Native Americans and the eager dreamers who want to build a better life on the plains. The book moves back to the first expedition where the theme of "we need each other is established." You'll find out that early cooperation soon turned to hatred and violence, after the white settlers decide that a family was murdered by the Native Americans who found the victims. Alliances and attractions rapidly splinter as intermarriage follows the violence.
While many might think that small-town North Dakota has to be pretty boring, Ms. Erdrich chooses to endow her characters with extreme quirks and strong appetites that lead them to places where you've probably never thought about going. Before you are down, you'll find your jaw dropping at least a few times when secrets are revealed and conflicts resolved in unexpected ways.
Ultimately, the book has another broad theme: Can we really know what happened in the past? Ms. Erdrich displays a world in which perspectives are extremely fragmented, people don't tell the truth, stories are embellished, and secrets are jealously guarded.
Look, too, for the theme of whether physical things matter in the long run.
I felt that Ms. Erdrich went too far in being sure that our jaws drop. To me, she wrote a story that seems beyond implausible so that I was often watching her write rather than feeling immersed in the story.
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Louise Erdrich brings together the great silent expanses of the northern plains, the uneasy truce between White and Native Americans, and a touch of pantheistic, tribal mysticism to tell the story of three generations' residents in the unlikely town of Pluto, North Dakota. Ostensibly named before the planet Pluto was discovered, this Pluto nevertheless contains elements of both the mythological Greek underworld and the end of the solar system. If the end of the world (North Dakota) can have its own, slowly dying end of the world, Pluto is it.
The 1911 tragedy that left behind the surviving infant involved a brutal family slaying of a farm family - parents, a teenage girl, and her two younger brothers. In a racially-charged act of vigilante justice, three Indian men and a young boy who happened upon the murder scene several days later are hanged by a gang of white men. Miraculously, the boy survives the hanging. These twin acts of violence, set against the arbitrariness of Pluto's founding and the harshness of prairie life at a reservation's edge, create the stage upon which the town's Twentieth Century lives are played out in a context surpassingly unaffected by the rest of Twentieth Century history.
The balance of Erdrich's story chronicles the circuitous and complex interplay of white and Indian lives in the generations since those early days. Even as the vitality of their town fades away, the residents of Pluto live out their lives beneath the unsettling racist overhang of those unresolved murders and the subsequent "rough justice" meted out by whites to an innocent group of Ojibwes. Despite these faint currents of unease, family lines cross, races intermarry, and the descendants of victims intermingle with the descendants of victimizers.
Erdrich tells her story through multiple voices, predominantly those of the modern-day adolescent Evelina Harp and her uncle by marriage, Judge Antone Bazil Coutts. Their stories are interrupted by that of Marn Wolde, whose bizarre marriage to the cult-like Billy Peace forms one of the novel's strangest and most disassociated interludes, As each voice is heard and then heard again, the lives of Pluto's residents, past and present, slowly take form and cohere into relationships, patterns, and even repetitions. Judge Coutts, for example, reluctantly sells his house to the developer husband of his long-term paramour only to have the developer experience an echo of the dove plague when he sets out to demolish the structure. In the book's final pages a new, fourth voice appears, that of Doctor Cordelia Lochren, and it is through her workmanlike testimonial that many of Pluto's most enduring mysteries are finally resolved.
THE PLAGUE OF DOVES is a story of ancestral legacies passed down through and between families and races, tracing the manner in which those legacies affect the lives of descendants. Some are mystical and some are explicitly acknowledged, while others are ever present but never mentioned. Through it all, however, we are in Ms. Erdrich's view products both of our own making as well as all that came before us.
The murder and lynching reverberate through the relationships within both the Indian and white communities over almost one hundred years. Erdrich is at her best here, telling overlapping family stories--horrifying, loving, hilarious, mystical, passionate, lyrical, and thoughtful--as she reveals life in the Native American and white communities from multiple points of view, across time. As the characters evolve, Erdrich reveals her major theme--the diminishing hold the distant past has on successive generations as each generation creates and feeds on its own past. The influx of white residents to Pluto, numerous intermarriages, and the influence of Christian priests, among other effects, all reduce the emphasis on shared Native American values.
Filling her novel with vibrant characters who reveal their lives and stories--and often cast new light on old stories--Erdrich creates a kaleidoscope of swirling images and moods, filled with irony. The drama of the murder and hangings shares time and space with hilarious scenes in which Mooshum and his unregenerate friends taunt the local priest. Ironically, other members of his family consider becoming priests. Evelina, the third generation, looks for answers, not in religion, but in psychology and love. Another young man Evelina's age becomes an evangelical preacher with a large commune and a snake-handling wife. Though the past and tradition exert their influence, they become less important to subsequent generations, who look toward the future, and by the end of the novel, "the dead of Pluto now outnumber the living."
Though some of Erdrich's character sketches and stories end rather abruptly, perhaps that, too, is part of the thematic structure--in real life such stories also end abruptly, as times and people change. With a far greater emphasis on characters and their stories than we have seen in Erdrich's most recent, more plot-based novels, and with a grand canopy of theme overarching all, this novel is a triumph--big, broad, thoughtful, and ultimately, important. n Mary Whipple
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The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse: A Novel
The Beet Queen: A Novel (P.S.)
The Porcupine Year
The novel feels a little more like a collection of stories than like a novel, though the characters are all related to one another in some way. Some of these stories are wonderful. The most living sections of the book are those that possess a folkloric quality and have to do with the older members of the novel's community, Mooshun and Shamengwa. Mooshun, now a grandfather, is sort of a trickster figure at moments (his pranks on the Catholic priest are the funniest and most entertaining parts of the book), and his storytelling is the key thread to tie the novel together. Years ago, he was the only survivor among a party of Obijwe hung for the murder of a white family (they were, of course, innocent). That story, and the mysteries that surround it, is gradually told throughout the novel, with information added by multiple characters, and most of the characters are shaped in some way by the tragedy. Shamengwa, Mooshun's brother, provides a sort of spiritual center to the novel, as he plays music from his violin that gives voice to sorrows that truths that transcend words.
Other stories within the book, however, do not seem to fit with these. Particularly, the middle section tells the story of Billy Peace and his family as he founds a cult and as his family tries to survive his increasing sadism. That middle section is much more violent and grotesque than the rest of the book and seems, in terms of plot, tone, and theme, to be very disconnected from the other stories. Some stories, such as Evelina's, are fine in and of themselves but seem to stifle the development of the other trains of thought in the book.
I guess that's my main issue with the book, which may not be an issue for others. Once I finished the book, I found myself thinking that it was like a puzzle with many pieces which don't fit together. No thought or impression or image is brought to completion. It was difficult for me not to contrast The Plague of Doves with the last book I read, Jhumpa Lahiri's story collection Unaccustomed Earth, in which many separate stories do seem to work in harmony with one another. The Plague of Doves contains many great moments. It's certainly a readable and often enjoyable book. But its disparate parts fail to work together to create something entirely memorable.
"When we are young, the words are scattered all around us. As they are assembled by experience, so also are we, sentence by sentence, until the story takes shape." (p. 268) The story must have a shape, and this one falls short. It reads like the short stories that it was. I would argue that it is individual stories of individual characters - albeit well-written stories - with no real plot.
A family tree on the inside cover would have helped too. Ms. Erdrich may have lived with her characters for years, but I hadn't, and as another reviewer wrote, it was easy to forget who was related to whom.
Nevertheless, I give it 3 stars for the some of the more interesting short stories and characters.
Many of the same characters move in and out of the various stories. The Milk family is the most compelling. Seraph Milk or "Mooshum," and his brother Shamengwa were alive at the time of the lynchings. Mooshum's granddaughter, Evelina is a modern-era voice. Mooshum was almost hanged along with the other three Ojibways. He has turned into a loveable old man who offers comic relief in his dealings with the local Catholic priest. At one point, when his brother Shamengwa dies, the Catholic priest gets them mixed up and delivers a eulogy for Mooshum who is sitting in a pew grinning at the clergyman.
Evelina appeals more to our heartstrings. She's a college student and parttime waitress at one of the few remaining businesses in Pluto. She has a boyfriend, Corwin Peace, who is related to Cuthbert Peace, one of the three Indians lynched after the farm family was murdered. He turns to taking and selling drugs, but is saved by Shamengwa's violin, which has mystical properties. One of her teachers, Sister Mary Anita Buckendorf, is a descendant of one of the German farmers who hanged Cuthbert and the other two Indians. Evelina nicknames her "Godzilla" because of her unfortunate protruding chin, but regrets it when Corwin begins to antagonize the nun as well. Evelina eventually goes to work at an insane asylum where she falls in love with one of the female patients, complicating her relationship with Corwin. Evelina's plot line is never fully resolved. Perhaps it will be in a future edition of the NEW YORKER.
Erdrich works hard at establishing connections between the tormenters and the abused over three generations. One of the tormenters' progeny even marries a descendant of one of the hanged Indians. Erdrich manages to tack on an ending during which we find out who really killed the farm family. The town doctor's identity also furnishes a surprising twist.