Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black and Other Stories

  • Title: Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black and Other Stories
  • Author: Nadine Gordimer
  • ISBN: 9780374109820
  • Page: 253
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Beethoven Was One Sixteenth Black and Other Stories You re not responsible for your ancestry are you But if that s so why have marched under banned slogans got yourself beaten up by the police arrested a couple of times plastered walls with subvers
    You re not responsible for your ancestry, are you But if that s so, why have marched under banned slogans, got yourself beaten up by the police, arrested a couple of times plastered walls with subversive posters The past is valid only in relation to whether the present recognizes it In this collection of new stories, Beethoven Was One Sixteenth Black, Nadine You re not responsible for your ancestry, are you But if that s so, why have marched under banned slogans, got yourself beaten up by the police, arrested a couple of times plastered walls with subversive posters The past is valid only in relation to whether the present recognizes it In this collection of new stories, Beethoven Was One Sixteenth Black, Nadine Gordimer crosses the frontiers of politics, memory, sexuality, and love with the fearless insight that is the hallmark of her writing In the title story a middle aged academic who had been an anti apartheid activist embarks on an unadmitted pursuit of the possibilities for his own racial identity in his great grandfather s fortune hunting interlude of living rough on diamond diggings in South Africa, his young wife far away in London Dreaming of the Dead conjures up a lunch in a New York Chinese restaurant where Susan Sontag and Edward Said return in surprising new avatars as guests in the dream of a loving friend The historian in History is a parrot who confronts people with the scandalizing voice reproduction of quarrels and clandestine love talk on which it has eavesdropped Alternative Endings considers the way writers make arbitrary choices in how to end stories and offers three, each relating the same situation, but with a different resolution, arrived at by the three senses sight, sound, and smell.

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      Published :2019-05-15T00:50:59+00:00

    About Nadine Gordimer


    1. Nadine Gordimer was a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature She was recognized as a woman who through her magnificent epic writing has in the words of Alfred Nobel been of very great benefit to humanity.Gordimer s writing dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa Under that regime, works such as Burger s Daughter and July s People were banned She was active in the anti apartheid movement, joining the African National Congress during the days when the organization was banned She was also active in HIV AIDS causes.


    701 Comments


    1. An interesting, small collection of short stories assembled around the general themes of loss, mortality and acceptance.The stories include: a South African university professor contemplating his roots; the “autobiographical” reflections of a tape worm; an imagined lunch the author has at a Chinese restaurant with three intellectual friends who have passed away: Edward Said, Anthony Sampson and Susan Sontag; a grandson’s recollection of his recently departed grandmother who came to South A [...]

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    2. This is the problem with short story collection. Some stories are amazing while others are so terrible you can’t even finish it. In this novel too, “A Beneficiary “and “History” were two interesting stories. Others were just meh.

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    3. First off, Nadine Gordimer is an incredible writer. One of the most amazing linguistic architects I have read in some time. Her sentences, if you can call them that, traipse, meander, drive, flit, curve, circle, dead-end and serpentine in so many different directions in only a line or two. An amazing talent. However, this read was in some ways not an easy one for me. I found myself struggling to keep up with her and her style of prose in some places. I know I am reading greatness, I just may not [...]

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    4. Non facile questo mio primo approccio con la Godimer, premio Nobel per la letteratura nel 1991. Soprattutto la prima parte l'ho trovata più ostica e ho fatto decisamente fatica a raccapezzarmi a causa dello stile della scrittrice, molto evocativo, con frasi corti, quasi a suggerire, in questo caso, un monologo interiore.Sono 13 racconti che hanno tanti interessanti spunti di riflessione sul Sudafrica e sul rovesciamento di ruoli e discriminazioni post-apartheid nella parte iniziale. Il secondo [...]

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    5. Σαν κάπως άνιση εδώ. Αλλά σταθερά δικός μου άνθρωπος. Ίσως και γι' αυτό.

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    6. En esta colección de cuentos la sudafricana, ganadora del Premio Nobel 1991, Nadine Gordimer, nos regala un conjunto de historias con un espectro amplísimo que abarcan temas tan diversos como la política, la memoria, la sexualidad, el amor, la existencia y la finalidad de la vida, con esa tremenda capacidad que tiene esta escritora de percibir lo más profundo del yo.Los cuentos que, en mi opinión, más destacan son:- Beethoven tenía algo de negro: El nieto de un colonizador inglés se lanz [...]

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    7. 2007. Slim volume of mostly quite short pieces.Challenging for me. 'Experimental', I would call many of them.Gordimer makes some punctuation choices that require getting used to -- mostly, doing away with question marks, esp. for rhetorical sentences."Allesverloren" is interesting - a woman [from E Europe] who married a South African [white] man, and now he has died and she wants to find out more about his life before she met him. Subtle."Dreaming of the dead" relates a dream about recently dece [...]

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    8. Surprisingly, I had difficulty connecting with the stories in this collection. Except for a couple of the stories I was unmoved, unable to warm to the characters or their situations. In fact, for the most part they seemed to inhabit no fixed physical place--though I know they were primarily in South Africa--and I think the lack of character roots in the soil of the story resulted in my caring less. This was unexpected, too, because I'm normally reader enough to not need such a firm foundation. P [...]

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    9. Una prosa semplice senza fronzoli, anche se a tratti non facile, ma con una grande potenza evocatrice di atmosfere, momenti di vita quotidiana e, soprattutto, di stati d’animo in cui la Gordimer entra come un bisturi nel narrare tredici storie di vita semplici, eppure mai banali.

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    10. Loved the eponymous first story. The rest are not as good except the one about a cockroach trapped in the narrator's computer.

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    11. I came in expecting to like this set of short stories much more easily. I grew impatient with her wavering voice, but the stories stuck with me, whether I liked the way they were told or not.

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    12. I really loved the story called Allesverloren.

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    13. Superb writing.Scratch a white man, Frederick Morris, and find trace of the serum of induced superiority; history never over.He’s his own usher, shining a torch of distinctive intellectual light and sensibility to guide him. Edward. He stands a moment, before the embrace of greeting. His familiar way of marking the event of a meeting brought about by the coordination of friends’ commitments and luck happenstance.We don’t bother with how-are-yous, there’s no point in that sort of banality [...]

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    14. The short stories exercised my brain. I had to read, re-read before I came to an understanding of most of the stories. Particularly true for the lead story "Beethoven was One-Sixteenth Black". At first I was mystified, so I read from other websites where people discussed the story. They were clueless as I was. Then on the 3rd read, I got it. I"m not spoiling it for anyone, just leaving a hint. only one story I did not get at all: "A Beneficiary". If anyone can give me a clue, I would appreciate [...]

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    15. No se puede negar la calidad de la escritura de Gordimer. Curiosamente llegué a este libro por casualidad y lo compré porque estaba super económico, y vaya que ha sido una grata sorpresa. Pero es que la autora ha sido ganadora del Nobel y todo.Sin embargo la puntuación de 3/5 en realidad es dada porque es una antología de cuentos, unos mas largos, otros increíblemente cortos. Unos buenísimos, otros no tanto. Y la verdad es super difícil encontrar una forma coherente de calificarlo, así [...]

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    16. A mixed bag, but the good ones are really really good. And there is a thematic continuity to the collection that works for stories that aren't up there by lifting them up a bit. My first Gordimer book, and something tells me, it won't be the last. Love the way she lays down the context, no detail seems superfluous, no commentary seems out of place, no observation seems forced. Well worth my time.

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    17. A relatively delightful book of short stories. Her writing is condensed, pithy, concise, with perfectly elegant syntax, and not one extra word. My favorite shorts were "Tape Measure" and "Safety Procedures".

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    18. Nadine Gordimer is a painterly writer. The entire collection was beautiful, with some being touching and others confronting. I certainly identified with some more strongly than others, which seems apt for a collection about identity.

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    19. I am surprised by the mixed reviews here. Overall I found the compilation to be an enjoyable light afternoon read. Her descriptions are delicious, and in a few quick words you can feel her characters. Yes there were some stories that I understood, and liked less than others, but the outstanding far outweighed the average. "Dreaming of the dead" was a notable highlight. I fell in love with her description of Edward Said.

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    20. At 84, Nadine Gordimer writes on. The stories in this collection are of varying quality, which oddly enough, gives the collection a pleasing texture. The best stories are the title story, in which the white central character goes in search of nonwhite relatives; a sometimes playful, sometimes serious homage to Gordimer's recently departed friends Susan Sontag and Edward Said; and the three stories at the end, which are variations on a theme. When I spoke to Gordimer for an interview which will a [...]

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    21. ბეთჰოვენს 1/16 ზანგის სისხლი ჰქონდა რასობრივ დავას, კერძოდ კი იმას ეხება თუ რამდენად შესაძლებელია ბზარის ამოვსება და ერთიანობის მიღწევა შავკანიან და თეთრკანიანთა შორის, თუნდაც ორივე მხარი [...]

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    22. Acknowledged as one of the finest writers of the 20th century, Nadine Gordimer has received dozens of her culture's highest honors, including the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 and, most recently, France's Legion of Honor in 2007. Her latest collection departs from her traditional themes of politics and race and explores the individual's sense of self and relationship to history, as well as the art of story writing itself. While critics praised some stories, such as the title story and "Alle [...]

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    23. I've been a huge fan of Nadine Gordimer ever since a friend in Houston recommended "Once Upon a Time" from her Jump collection for my composition class. This collection of short fiction was equally rewarding. As a warning, I found the beginning to be a bit slower. I did not think the title story was the strongest in the collection. These stories all deal with cultural diaspora and the reflections characters have on what constitutes their identities and positions in life. My favorite story in thi [...]

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    24. The first time I encountered Nadine Gordimer was in a collection of African writers. The piece I read was reprinted in this collection, "A Beneficiary." I really enjoyed it, so when I saw this collection available for a dollar, I picked it up.Gordimer's an intense writer. She can pack in a whole series of images in a few pages -- each story is like a novel in itself. The two that stuck with me the most besides "A Beneficiary" were "Tape Measure," which has a surprising sort of narration and kept [...]

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    25. I picked this up because it was short stories and the mention of Beethoven; however, it was not what I anticipated. I thought I was being "smart" to read something by Nobel Prize Winner for Literature but I guess I'm not as smart as I thought I was because this book just didn't work for me. I couldnt connect to the charaacters nor could I even make out who was talking or what was happening sometimes. I'm sure there's some sort of deeper metaphorical levels that I just wasnt getting but I guess w [...]

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    26. The short story collection suffers from what almost all short story collections suffer from -- some stories seem stronger than others. The irony is that the strong stories for one person might be different than the strong stories for another. For me the domestic struggle stories were the most compelling. Someone really may enjoy the story of a tapeworm more than I did. The writing, pacing and story telling are impeccable and Gordimer has a unique and clear voice that captures some of the unique [...]

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    27. Difficult to rate a collection of short stories; some are exceptional, some do not leave a lasting impression. Also difficult to rate a Nobel winner's work, you know you are reading a great author, but that does not mean you have to enjoy it.It was hard getting used to Gordimer's style and use of punctuation, which sometimes just felt confusing. But again, who am I to critizise greatness?Out of the stories I liked the last three (about the senses) most, together with Allesverloren and A Benefici [...]

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    28. I'm listening to this book on CD and I'm not really sure what's going on. The title story was fine. Then there was a story about a tapeworm, that was gross. Then one about Susan Sontag and some other people at a Chinese restaurant. Now I'm on another one that's fine. But even in those ones I'm not really sure what's happening.I think I read somewhere that Nadine Gordimer got a lot of inspiration from Hemingway, though, so my inability to follow is probably somewhat rooted in my strong dislike fo [...]

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    29. This is my first Nadine Gordimer. I struggled a little in the beginning with her style of writing. But soon I figured out her approach. The stories got better and sadder. My favorite is "Alternative Endings: The Second sense" (the second last story in this collection). Her metaphors are fresh, original, and unlike other writers I have read. She covers a lot of ground in each sentence, paragraph, and story. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection.

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    30. Nutrivo parecchie speranze su questo libro, invece questi tredici racconti mi hanno lasciato un po' l'amaro in bocca. La Gordimer è abilissima nell'uso delle parole e la sua scrittura è impeccabile, ma il contenuto non mi ha completamente conquistato. Mi aspettavo qualcosa di meglio da un Nobel per la letteratura.

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