Saturday, March 20, 2021

"Only in the head of a musician": The rejection of the novel in Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye"

"The pieces of Cholly’s life could become coherent only in the head of a musician": this sentence from Toni Morrison's novel "The Bluest Eye" is not apophasis (saying something by saying you won't say it). Nor does it use the words "there are no words" to say something. It's like an orator saying that "only poetry could capture this", in that it rejects its own genre in favor of a different genre that could do better. This passage in a novel rejects literature in favor of music, even as this chapter of the novel – and even the paragraph that begins with this sentence – does make "the pieces of Cholly's life" cohere. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 20 March 2021)

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