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The Stone Angel (1964)

af Margaret Laurence

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The film adaptation of Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel, starring acclaimed actresses Ellen Burstyn and Ellen Page, and introducing Christine Horne, opens in theatres May 9, 2008. This special fortieth-anniversary edition of Margaret Laurence’s most celebrated novel will introduce readers again to one of the most memorable characters in Canadian fiction. Hagar Shipley is stubborn, querulous, self-reliant, and, at ninety, with her life nearly behind her, she makes a bold last step towards freedom and independence. As her story unfolds, we are drawn into her past. We meet Hagar as a young girl growing up in a black prairie town; as the wife of a virile but unsuccessful farmer with whom her marriage was stormy; as a mother who dominates her younger son; and, finally, as an old woman isolated by an uncompromising pride and by the stern virtues she has inherited from her pioneer ancestors. Vivid, evocative, moving, The Stone Angel celebrates the triumph of the spirit, and reveals Margaret Laurence at the height of her powers as a writer of extraordinary craft and profound insight into the workings of the human heart.… (mere)
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Engelsk (41)  Spansk (2)  Lettisk (1)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (45)
Viser 1-5 af 45 (næste | vis alle)
A sus noventa años, Hagar Shipley, testaruda e inconformista, es todavía una mujer de armas tomar. Vive con su hijo y su nuera, quienes, cansados de cuidarla y a punto de jubilarse, están pensando en trasladarla a una residencia; ella en cambio cree que todavía no ha llegado el momento y mientras espera ese fatídico día, rememora su vida. Criada en un pueblo de las llanuras canadienses e infelizmente casada, Hagar tuvo que ganarse su independencia a pulso en un mundo dominado por las apariencias y las convenciones. Su dureza de carácter, fruto de las difíciles circunstancias que le tocó vivir y del orgullo y la austeridad que le inculcaron, ha condicionado su vida. ( )
  MigueLoza | Mar 31, 2024 |
A sus noventa años, Hagar Shipley, testaruda e inconformista, es todavía una mujer de armas tomar. Vive con su hijo y su nuera, quienes, cansados de cuidarla y a punto de jubilarse, están pensando en trasladarla a una residencia; ella en cambio cree que todavía no ha llegado el momento y mientras espera ese fatídico día, rememora su vida. Criada en un pueblo de las llanuras canadienses e infelizmente casada, Hagar tuvo que ganarse su independencia a pulso en un mundo dominado por las apariencias y las convenciones. Su dureza de carácter, fruto de las difíciles circunstancias que le tocó vivir y del orgullo y la austeridad que le inculcaron, ha condicionado su vida.

Publicada en 1964, El ángel de piedra es un clásico contemporáneo protagonizado por uno de los personajes más memorables de la literatura canadiense; una emotiva novela llena de vida que demuestra el talento de Margaret Laurence, escritora con una extraordinaria habilidad para entender el funcionamiento del corazón humano.
  bibliotecayamaguchi | Mar 7, 2024 |
Why is it that those teaching high school and undergraduate English literature courses persist in assigning Margaret Laurence? Do they want to instil a lifetime aversion to her works?

Luckily for me, Can Lit was never on any curriculum in my studies. Reading The Stone Angel, I was really glad I hadn't read it earlier in life, as much of the novel would have escaped me. I would never have realized the sheer devastation of it all, and how deftly Laurence portrays it.

The very first sentence speaks of a stone angel high above the town, the monument young Hagar Currie's father had had erected to his wife after she died giving birth to Hagar. Thereafter, the angel is always described as marble. It is Hagar who is the woman of stone, unmoving and unable to see the devastation she wreaks around her. It was not until after her adult son's death that she finally realized it. The night my son died I was transformed to stone.

Like a stone angel, Hagar is unyielding. Yet at the same time she was so afraid of others in that "What will the neighbours think?" way. Like the angel, she is unseeing, not recognizing the need of others for love and approval. Her young son Marvin would linger at the kitchen door each evening with his refrain of "I've finished the chores", only to be shooed away. His younger brother John lied to her to please and deceive her, going so far as to invent respectable imaginary friends. Her husband Bram never heard an "I love you", and never knew how much she actually enjoyed sex with him.

The reader only gets to know Hagar through her own words. Now ninety and dementing, she is on the one hand an unreliable narrator, while at the same time completely credible as she reveals herself. Querulous, lacking in empathy, and very strong willed, she insists on remaining with her son and daughter-in-law when they themselves are in failing health.

Hospitalized after a defiant episode, Hagar, a non believer, found herself trapped into a visit from a minister. As he sang a hymn to her about rejoicing, the need to rejoice came to her as a revelation.When did I ever speak the heart's truth?
Pride was my wilderness and the demon that led me there was fear. I was alone, never anything else, and never free, for I carried my chains with me, and they spread out from me and shackled all I touched.


Still, nothing changed. There is no sappy ending. That is not Margaret Laurence's style. Hagar may have been granted a moment of insight, but she dismissed it immediately, afraid yet again to examine her life.

Laurence wrote The Stone Angel when she was in her mid thirties. It is an astonishing insight into a character decades older. She feared her publisher would not accept the novel; ninety year old unsympathetic protagonists are a hard sell.

Writing to her good friend Adele Wiseman, with her thoughts about her novel, she quoted Martin Luther: Here I stand; God help me, I can do no other.

She may have been thinking of herself, but she managed to sum up Hagar completely.
  SassyLassy | Nov 15, 2023 |
Somewhat grim but insightful and with moments of humor. What a deeply felt portrait, I can see why it's endured. From my notes, something in here reminded me of Hirschfield's Standing Deer.
(Note, as always: 3 stars means I liked it! If you rate everything you like 5 stars, then adjust mine accordingly in your mind.) ( )
  Kiramke | Jun 27, 2023 |
I had not heard of Margaret Laurence until I saw her name on the cover of a used book. That book was The Stone Angel, and the limited research that followed told me that Ms. Laurence was one of Canada’s most celebrated authors. I’m not surprised at my ignorance; even though I was raised in Michigan, the world may as well have ended at the very top of Lake Superior for the amount of Canadian non-hockey information that was shared with us in school.

I was intrigued, of course, to discover a new-to-me Canadian author. I bought and read the book. I was introduced to Hagar Currie Shipley, ninety and full of spark. I met her father and brothers, her husband Bram, her nemesis Lottie, her sons Marvin and John and her daughter-in-law Doris. I knew Hagar as a child, teen, bride, wife, mother, and widow, and I watched as, at the age of ninety, she managed to escape the clutches of her children in an attempt to gain her freedom at last.

There is no question that the book is well-written, rich in authentic emotion and detailed descriptions of nature. The symbolism is profound, if the reader is watching for it, and the characterization is excellent. (That Doris – what a pill.) The author sketches scenes of profound pain without ever using the word “pain.”

I wish I hadn’t read it.

I finished the book about half an hour ago, and the sadness hasn’t lifted yet. I suppose that’s a mark in the author’s favor; she has painted characters and events in a way that pulled me into their unfolding. Hagar could be any one of us. Her life is not a happy one, but it’s not tragic for the most part; she loses some family members, but the losses are described with a minimum of fuss and her husband is distant, but not cruel or abusive. Hagar, in the end, is an acerbic, slightly unpleasant woman who lives a life much like the life of any early 20th-century prairie farmer’s wife. She could have been my great grandmother; she could have been me. And that’s why I’m sad – becasue conversely, I could be her.

Regardless of my mood during and shortly after reading this book, I’m rating it at four stars. ( )
1 stem CatherineB61 | May 31, 2023 |
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Laurence, Margaretprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Dijk, Edith vanOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
New, William H.Introduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Above the town, on the hill brow, the stone angel used to stand.
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The film adaptation of Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel, starring acclaimed actresses Ellen Burstyn and Ellen Page, and introducing Christine Horne, opens in theatres May 9, 2008. This special fortieth-anniversary edition of Margaret Laurence’s most celebrated novel will introduce readers again to one of the most memorable characters in Canadian fiction. Hagar Shipley is stubborn, querulous, self-reliant, and, at ninety, with her life nearly behind her, she makes a bold last step towards freedom and independence. As her story unfolds, we are drawn into her past. We meet Hagar as a young girl growing up in a black prairie town; as the wife of a virile but unsuccessful farmer with whom her marriage was stormy; as a mother who dominates her younger son; and, finally, as an old woman isolated by an uncompromising pride and by the stern virtues she has inherited from her pioneer ancestors. Vivid, evocative, moving, The Stone Angel celebrates the triumph of the spirit, and reveals Margaret Laurence at the height of her powers as a writer of extraordinary craft and profound insight into the workings of the human heart.

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