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Græsset synger (1950)

af Doris Lessing

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2,184737,155 (3.92)352
Roman fra Sydafrika, der dels skildrer et engelsk farmerpars ægteskabelige forlis, dels giver et afslørende billede af forholdet mellem englænderne og den indfødte befolkning.
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» Se også 352 omtaler

Engelsk (65)  Spansk (2)  Catalansk (1)  Hollandsk (1)  Norsk (1)  Svensk (1)  Alle sprog (71)
Viser 1-5 af 71 (næste | vis alle)
Mary Turner, hija de unos pobres granjeros y nacida en África, se convierte en una joven urbana, trabajadora e independiente, hasta el día en que sorprende los cotilleos de sus amigas y decide que debe casarse para silenciarlos. Tras un periodo de angustiosa espera, conoce a un granjero que se enamora perdidamente de ella. Sin embargo, el matrimonio, la rutina de una granja aislada, las convenciones de la comunidad blanca y la relación con los nativos cambiarán su vida hasta límites insospechados.
  Natt90 | Mar 22, 2023 |
Published in 1950 and set in Southern Rhodesia (today’s Zimbabwe) in the 1940s, the book opens with a news announcement that Mary Turner, wife of struggling local British farmer Richard Turner, has been found murdered on her verandah. The couple’s house attendant, Moses, has been arrested. The neighboring successful farmer, Charlie Slatter, seems anxious to downplay the murder and move on. A young newcomer to the area, Tony Marston, wonders why the authorities do not want to find out what happened and why.

Though at first it appears to be a murder mystery, this story is so much more. It is an exploration of the racial divide in southern Africa between the white landowners and the native workers. It also portrays the role of women in society of the time and the expectation that they would marry. Mary is independent at the time but overhears gossip that causes her to make an unfortunate decision, which will drastically impact her life. Mary is a rather unlikeable character, but reasons behind her unpleasantness are gradually revealed.

I felt the underlying current of discord as I was reading. We know something bad will happen and the author does a great job of conveying the tensions to the reader, slowly building to the climax. I cannot say too much without spoiling, so suffice it to say that it is a complex multi-layered social commentary that induces a feeling of impending doom. Lessing spent her youth in this region of the world, so she was relying on first-hand experience. I can see why this book is considered a classic.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
What is marriage? More than half the time it becomes a misery, at least for the woman.
It did for me.
Nobody prepares you for what's coming, what they've already learned. Why not? Why not tell young women what marriage is really about: it's a man that wants to have sex anytime he feels like it, and he has a woman who makes a home for him, has children for him, let's her whole identity be swallowed up by him, and for what? What does she get out of it?
She may love her children, and develop a close relationship with them; that will be the best of it.
In this book, two people get married who never should have. It absolutely ruins their lives.
This is so beautifully written, the author's understanding of human emotions is something to Marvel at. The Descriptions of the South African setting is transporting. ( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
“Loneliness, she thought, was craving for other people's company. But she did not know that loneliness can be an unnoticed cramping of the spirit for lack of companionship.”
― Doris Lessing, The Grass is Singing

Amazing..rating and review to follow.

Sometimes a piece of literature comes along that just leaves you speechless. The Grass is singing is one such book.

So I believe I read this as a kid. It has been on my TBR list for several years and I wish I had read it sooner. After reading it I did need to go back and read some parts again. I also looked at dozens and dozens of reviews. I really wanted to know what others thought.

I am not doing a plot review but will talk about the characters and their motivations.

If I had to use one word to describe this book it would be "enigmatic". I feel there is so much left unsaid and so much that is up for debate and discussion. It's hard to put in to words.

When I read Historical Fiction, I need the atmosphere to transport me there and man does this book do that. One feels right there in the midst of it all. And beyond that, the imagery is just..bewitchingly beautiful. Yes, it depicts poverty and apartheid and depicts them in the darkest of ways but the Stars, The Night Sky, the thatched Huts, the trees and open wilderness were so beautifully painted. As one reads this fascinating book, you can almost see the darkness of the sky with the stars illuminating the open farm. It is one of the most atmospheric books I have ever read.

And then there are the characters. Mary Turner. My feelings were so mixed. It was sort of a slow agony to see who she was and what she turns into. It is painful to see it all unfold.

The book almost lost me at first with its sparse, "telling not showing" prose but I adjusted and surprisingly came to like it.

Dick was Mary's husband and impossible to hate. He is a dreamer and who can hate a dreamer? All he wants is to belong to the farm. I do not believe, as others do, that he really cared about success. He had become one with the farm and were it n ot for the fact he had a wife to feed and someday perhaps children I really do not think he'd have cared. Except for perhaps the expectations of "Farm society". But Dick could have been just a happy dreamer content to toil away, barely noticing the poverty.

Moses. Here is where it gets tough. I still have no idea why: SPOILER ALERT:

Moses chooses to kill Mary. I have tried to understand it. I have googled "why did Moses kill Mary Turner?" I have come up with my own theories, most of which I have thrown aside.

I still do not know and would welcome discussion. One thing I do not believe is that the act of undressing Mary drove him to rage. Moses appeared to want to be Mary's protector. I believe he welcomed the chance to undress her, the chance to take command over virtually her whole self. He came to regard her as "his". I do not mean sexually. It was way more primitive then that.

I believe that Tony Marsten was the trigger for Moses. There are many reasons I think that. I have examined many reviews and many theories and this is the one that seems to make the most sense. Also, there is a line that I did not pick up the first time I read it but did pick it up upon reading again where, as Mary, clearly knowing she was about to come to her end, reflects that she "betrayed Moses" with Tony. I did not understand that at first. But it makes sense.

Moses sees her with Tony. And she is crying. That is exactly how she came to know Moses. She broke down crying and he took charge giving her drink and sleep. That was the first time he reached out to her and the whole relationship shifted.

I believe in the mind of Moses, Mary came to belong to him in a way. Then he was humiliated by Tony and thrown out. He knows Mary is leaving and wrongly suspects she is leaving with Tony. And the crying..that would have figured in. Mary had "replaced" him. I believe that is why he regards Tony..not Dick Turner..as his ultimate rival. Remember, directly after killing Mary he goes to watch Tony sleep and bask in the glow of his final triumph over his enemy. And he says to himself that Richard Turner is unimportant because he was defeated so long ago.

In spite of this, I do not think their relationship was sexual although it certainly had sexual aspects and may have become sexual in time. I admit to being hopelessly frustrated that we were not allowed into the mind of Moses until at the very end and I almost took off a star for that but decided not to.

The only thing that puts my theory into question is the comment Moses makes about the oranges being missing when they so clearly are not. That makes me think well..maybe he always intended harm to her. But then again, he could easily have killed Mary at any time. His actions were protective until she decides to leave the farm.

Then again I could be way off..there are so many theories surrounding the motivations of Moses, of Mary etc that it is impossible to know for sure.

I will say ..I liked Moses BEFORE, NOT AFTER he killed Mary. I kept hoping the murderer somehow was someone else. And I thought it just might be someone else. There are theories, even on GR, that Moses was not the killer. (which I do not agree with). There is also speculation that Mary as good as ASKED him to kill her (but I do not agree with that either).

I am also interested as to why Moses so readily waits to turn himself in. And poor Richard Turner! At the end, everyone is either dead, about to be dead or emotionally gone. It was deeply moving.

I would also like to know how Mary knew she was going to die. This is also not explained. I believe she knew Moses had it in him to kill. She had seen glimpses of his rage and knew it was possible.

And the whole book seemed to me sort of Shakespearean in nature. I have to say this book deeply affected me and I loved it. ( )
  Thebeautifulsea | Aug 4, 2022 |
I believe this is Doris Lessing's first novel. She has a great sense of place and the characters are worth looking into. Has an unsettling undertone. ( )
  gbelik | Jul 11, 2022 |
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Borbás, MáriaOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Hökby, BertilOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Sander, ErnstOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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It is by the failures and misfits of a
civilization that one can best judge its
weaknesses.
-- Author unknown
In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the rooftree
Co co rico, co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
Bringing rain

Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder

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Mary Turner, wife of Richard Turner, a farmer at Ngesi, was found murdered on the front verandah of their homestead yesterday morning.
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She tenderly submitted herself to this miraculous three months of the winter, when the country was freed from its menace. Even the veld looked different, flaming for a few brief weeks into red and gold and russet, before the trees became solid masses of heavy green. It was as if this winter had been sent especially for her, to send a tingle of vitality into her, to save her from her helpless dullness.
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Roman fra Sydafrika, der dels skildrer et engelsk farmerpars ægteskabelige forlis, dels giver et afslørende billede af forholdet mellem englænderne og den indfødte befolkning.

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