Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Verse novels III: Fred D'Aguiar

I have been meaning to make more comments about verse novels since March, when I bought quite a few new ones while traveling in the US.

One was Fred D'Aguiar's Bloodlines. As I commented in Verse novels part two, I was not that impressed by his Bill of Rights, but Bloodlines makes me want to reread that one anyway. Bloodlines tells the story of a doomed interracial love affair around the time of the American Civil War. Its tour de force is a chapter called "War," and its most memorable effect is that it treats the topic without the slightest sentimentality: no happy end here.

My only problem with the book as a whole might have been a result of how I read it: I had to take a break in the middle of it to reread another verse novel (Glyn Maxwell's The Sugar Mile, which I taught in late June), and as a result, the book seemed somewhat disjointed to me.

But it is full of wonderful moments, such as this one:

.... Their attitude
to everything is, if it is so urgent
it will happen without their attention.

They are right and they are wrong. The world
carries on as it must, but it is diminished
without their involvement.

Verse novels part two
Verse novels

No comments: