The Bridge of Beyond (New York Review Books Classics)

The Bridge of Beyond (New York Review Books Classics)

Simone Schwarz-Bart

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1590176804

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Bridge of Beyond (New York Review Books Classics)

Simone Schwarz-Bart

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1590176804

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This is an intoxicating tale of love and wonder, mothers and daughters, spiritual values and the grim legacy of slavery on the French Antillean island of Guadeloupe. Here long-suffering Telumee tells her life story and tells us about the proud line of Lougandor women she continues to draw strength from. Time flows unevenly during the long hot blue days as the madness of the island swirls around the villages, and Telumee, raised in the shelter of wide skirts, must learn how to navigate the adversities of a peasant community, the ecstasies of love, and domestic realities while arriving at her own precious happiness. In the words of Toussine, the wise, tender grandmother who raises her, “Behind one pain there is another. Sorrow is a wave without end. But the horse mustn’t ride you, you must ride it.”

A masterpiece of Caribbean literature, The Bridge of Beyond relates the triumph of a generous and hopeful spirit, while offering a gorgeously lush, imaginative depiction of the flora, landscape, and customs of Gua­deloupe. Simone Schwarz-Bart’s incantatory prose, interwoven with Creole proverbs and lore, appears here in a remarkable translation by Barbara Bray.

The Translation Begins

The Sphinx That Traveled to Philadelphia: The Story of the Colossal Sphinx in the Penn Museum

Media, Myth, and Society

Myth and Reality

Mystical Britain and Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sky, gently, carefully, like a kite one releases, tries, flies for the first time. She gave me her blessing for all the sunshine I’d brought into her little cabin. Then, rubbing me with a mixture of wormwood, citronella, and patchouli, she said: “It happens, even to the flame tree, to tear the guts out of its belly and fill them with straw.” So I in my turn set out for Belle-Feuille, my linen tied up in a big handkerchief, my sorrow folded double inside me. It was early morning, the dew still

traitors ready to play into the enemy’s hands?” His easy and provocative way of talking, that inward glow, were irrefutable signs of a Negro who was happy. They all looked at him incredulously now, their faces brimming over with affection, and the air held a silence that seemed to herald something momentous. It was as if everyone were weighing life up, balancing the black man’s folly and inborn sadness against the mysterious contentment that comes over you sometimes looking at nature, the sea,

of no use to him—the whole world might love him and to him it would be of no use. Alas, if only men could love not with half their heart but with the whole heart God has given us, then no one would deserve to die. But as you see, no one is immortal, and that is how the world goes around.” I grew extremely weary. I had had enough of living. I was drunk and swollen with sorrow. Elie beat me now without a word, without a look. One evening I sank into the void. I heard and didn’t hear, saw and

all through the night, all through that strange wake. But when the dawn rose on Angel Medard’s coffin, the dancing over, the violins put away, the people came to me and said, their faces full of serenity: “Telumee, dear, Angel Medard lived like a dog and you made him die like a man. Ever since you came to La Folie we have tried in vain to find a suitable name for you. Now you are very old to be given a name, but until the sun has set, anything may happen. So as for us, henceforth we shall call

finished and forgotten. I try, I try every night, and I never succeed in understanding how it could all have started, how it can have continued, how it can still survive, in our tortured souls, uncertain, torn, which will be our last prison. Sometimes my heart is rent and I ask myself if we are men at all, because if we were, perhaps we would not have been treated like that. Then I get up, and by my moonlight lamp I look through the shadows of the past at the market, the market where my people

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