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10 thoughts on “Solibo Magnifique

  1. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    The action takes place in Fort de France, capital of Martinique, a French island in the Lesser Antilles, the chain of islands along the eastern edge of the Caribbean stretching from Puerto Rico to Trinidad The island is considered not a colony, but French territory, and it s a Department or province of France.Solibo is one of the last story tellers An older man, he begins speaking in the main square and folks gather around to hear his stories in a call and response format The main character w The action takes place in Fort de France, capital of Martinique, a French island in the Lesser Antilles, the chain of islands along the eastern edge of the Caribbean stretching from Puerto Rico to Trinidad The island is considered not a colony, but French territory, and it s a Department or province of France.Solibo is one of the last story tellers An older man, he begins speaking in the main square and folks gather around to hear his stories in a call and response format The main character who tells us Solibo s story is the author he s a character in his own book a kind of participant observer.One day the story teller dies suddenly in the middle of his performance Did he choke Stroke Heart attack The police choose to believe he didn t die of natural causes and use that as an excuse to round up his audience of homeless people, prostitutes and ne re do wells They take them in for questioning and beat and threaten them One dies from the beatings In the process we learn a bit about their lives and hardships.Most of these folks don t speak or understand formal French but use a French Creole dialect that the police don t use, or don t want to use or understand They assume many are homeless, so they don t ask where do you live they ask, where do you sleep They assume many areor less unemployed so they don t ask where do you work they ask what do you do for the beke the white man who still controls the economy They are a bushel of those unclassifiable people who still manage to escape social services Through the story, the book gives us a treatise on race and ethnicity in the Caribbean We are told in an afterword that the author is a proponent of Creolite the preservation of the Creole language and the recognition of its speakers as a distinct ethnicity neither European, African nor Asian I m sure the varieties of wordings presented problems to the translator it was translated from the French and Creole Most folks in the story, called Creoles, are black by American standards, but the author tells us that folks at the bottom of the totem pole, like most characters in the book, call themselves blackmen We are told that the name Solibo is Creole for blackman fallen to his last peg and no ladder to climb back up There are also congos, a pejorative term for field workers who are recent descendants of African slaves or immigrants Chabins are light skinned mixed race folks with African facial features but red or blonde hair There are East Indians, called pejoratively, coolies, and Columbian prostitutes, and Syrian actually Lebanese merchants In addition, Creole immigrants from adjacent islands are treated almost as separate ethnic groups with their own stereotypes, such as Guadeloupeans and Dominicans from the neighboring island of Dominica, not the Dominican Republic And as mentioned above, the bekes are the well off white descendants of the old planter class Wow, let s talk about diversity.There is much good writing The harvest of fate that I shall narrate to you happened on a day whose date is unimportant since time signs no calendar here And later Where does time happen inspector Some say it s in France, that there, there is time happy as chiggers dug into a dirty foot His face has less sense in it than a rock in a river If he had been a vegetable, he would have naturally been a hot pepper, attracted to all sauces tall, his belly collapsing above his long legs, the bags beneath his eyes stored his tally of drinks and sleepless nights They bandaged the vendor s skull with the precious gestures of a starving man unearthing a yam from the word you build the village, but from silence you construct the world she liked to suck on three things her pipe every night, vermouth every Sunday, and rum all the time A good story The information about the various ethnicities is well worked into the book, not at all in an academic fashion The author is best known for his book Texaco the name of a sprawling shantytown in Martinique , which won France s Prix Goncourt in 1992 Map from paradise islands.comFort de France photo from blog.kudoybook.comPhoto of the author from telerama.fr


  2. Chrissie Chrissie says:

    Disliked the writing style Every sentence is filled with extraneous information The writing is disjointed and confusing, stuffed with words that must be found either in the glossaries at the end of the book or translation notes in tiny text at the bottom of the pages Every time I pick up this book I think, now I will understand, I must have been tired last time I tried to read it But every time the same thing happens I don t understand what the heck is being said and think jeez, get to the Disliked the writing style Every sentence is filled with extraneous information The writing is disjointed and confusing, stuffed with words that must be found either in the glossaries at the end of the book or translation notes in tiny text at the bottom of the pages Every time I pick up this book I think, now I will understand, I must have been tired last time I tried to read it But every time the same thing happens I don t understand what the heck is being said and think jeez, get to the point Figuring out what is being said seems just not worth the effort Quitting after 85 pages and three days of really trying


  3. Leeyanne Moore Leeyanne Moore says:

    I love this book because it uses meta fiction so naturally to bring the author into the narrative, and it has a very dry use of humor I particularly love how the author uses great narratorial techniques to show how authorities automatically dismiss and denigrate the poor people they encounter and how the author gets wrapped up into the same shocking off hand dismissal It s brilliant This is the kind of writing that I find saysabout the human spirit and says itaccurately than other I love this book because it uses meta fiction so naturally to bring the author into the narrative, and it has a very dry use of humor I particularly love how the author uses great narratorial techniques to show how authorities automatically dismiss and denigrate the poor people they encounter and how the author gets wrapped up into the same shocking off hand dismissal It s brilliant This is the kind of writing that I find saysabout the human spirit and says itaccurately than other books such as A FINE BALANCE A Fine Balance is Dickensean yes, but it damns everyone eternally The rich crush the poor deliberately, etc It misses the point that everyone sees themselves as the good guys In A Fine Balance everyone really poor gets caught in the same kind of crushing box over and over again as if they can learn nothing.Solibo shows much of the same issues yes, everybody s poor and leaping around to survive, but the spirit is not meek and clueless When people are oppressed, they return fire if and when they can the author joining in with them


  4. Tim Tim says:

    Chamoiseau s Solibo is a response to Joyce s Finnegan s Wake Solibo s fall is accompanied by a thunderous beating of a drum and not the long peal of thunder of the original the author reproduces the sound of the drum in an appendix, rather than on the opening page of his novel, and the wake is wetted with rum rather than porter the celebrants are not even aware of the hero s death, but take him to be marking a long pause in his tale Finally they determine that his own speech has cut his th Chamoiseau s Solibo is a response to Joyce s Finnegan s Wake Solibo s fall is accompanied by a thunderous beating of a drum and not the long peal of thunder of the original the author reproduces the sound of the drum in an appendix, rather than on the opening page of his novel, and the wake is wetted with rum rather than porter the celebrants are not even aware of the hero s death, but take him to be marking a long pause in his tale Finally they determine that his own speech has cut his throat un gorgette de la parole The book is, at one level, about the tension between language and speech If a language is a dialect with an army and, above all, a system of writing, then parole, in Solibo s universe, is the breath of those who live Chamoiseau, who introduces himself as a character in the novel, and who tries to see himself as bearing witness, attempts to note down Solibo s words, an endeavour that the master of speech regards with amused contempt, although it is the possibility of reducing his living speech to script that is, the reader understands, the ultimate cause of his death.Solibo s death becomes official when the police intervene The policemen, at first lead by the sinister brute whose name translates into English as something like Muddyarse, declare him dead and immediately begin a murder investigation Suspecting a plot involving all the witnesses to the death, they are constantly hindered in their attempts to work out what happened by their insistence on using their officialese a rudimentary colonial French which is blocked by several of the witnesses who will only speak Creole the language which Solibo himself spoke For Muddyarse, even the dead man s name is inadmissable Tu dis Solibo mais c est pas un nom, c est un n grerie, son nom exact c est quoi Chamoiseau, like Joyce, writes from a periphery that is in many ways a centre Just as Ireland was the first of England s colonies unless we count England itself, suffering even today beneath the Norman Yoke so Martinique, along with its other Caribbean possessions is at the centre of modern French history Like Joyce, confronted with the power of colonialism, Solibo adopts silence, exile and cunning His cunning is that of the magician, his silence is that of word weaver, and his exile is imposed and unspoken Chamoiseau himself seems to waver, but is tight webbed between Aim C saire s n gritude and Solibo s Christ like retreat from both the language of the oppressor, and, in the end, from language itself.Another large reference in the book is Rabelais It is peppered with hilarious monsters two of the policemen could step straight out of the world of San Antonio, and their first victim, Lolita Doudou Menar is a towering figure of female energy and power before they put an end to her at their second attempt They also resemble the fundamental spirits that are found in the constellations of practices and beliefs common to the African diaspora, the Martiniquan form of which is known as quimbois Solibo himself has many of the characteristics of the quimboisier or shaman He feeds a multitude with a single fish, brings about miraculous cures through his benign presence, confuses the spirits of the wrong doer until they become docile enough to drown themselves in rum Chamoiseau s writing is nothing if not eclectic


  5. Nancy Nancy says:

    The art of storytelling is alive and well but in Chamoiseau s tale the storyteller has done the ultimate he has become a magnificent tale A story of clashing cultures and the misunderstanding of an art form, this great book is a teaching tool for the beauty and art of wordsmithing.


  6. Melondrop Melondrop says:

    Beautiful, florid, transporting descriptions, captures the violently ludicrous and rampaging nature of law enforcement, and a lament to the fading art of storytelling in a world very different from the one I m used to Gorgeous.


  7. Dov Zeller Dov Zeller says:

    Beautiful, brave, cutting, elegiac, comic, cruel, bewildered and irreverent Funny and horrifying and horrifyingly funny.


  8. Robert Beech Robert Beech says:

    A murder mystery sort of The main character, Solibo Magnifique, dies in the first chapter The remainder of the book is an attempt to understand the meaning of both his life and death Solibo, we learn, is a Martinique expression meaning failure or down and out After the death of his mother, Solibo becomes a child of the streets, and acquires the nickname Solibo He involves into un homme de la parole , a raconteur And with his death, the author chronicles the death, as he sees it, of t A murder mystery sort of The main character, Solibo Magnifique, dies in the first chapter The remainder of the book is an attempt to understand the meaning of both his life and death Solibo, we learn, is a Martinique expression meaning failure or down and out After the death of his mother, Solibo becomes a child of the streets, and acquires the nickname Solibo He involves into un homme de la parole , a raconteur And with his death, the author chronicles the death, as he sees it, of the Creole oral tradition, replaced ironically, by the French language which the book is written in and those, like the author, for whom story telling is a written, not a spoken, art The book is difficult at times both for the language, which blends formal French with Creole in a way that is sometimes difficult to follow at least for those, like me who don t speak or read Creole , and also for the realistic descriptions of the casual violence visited on the poor people of the island by the police, even when these police are themselves Creole Nonetheless, I enjoyed this chance to be part of a different world, one that is disappearing as we read


  9. Annie Young Annie Young says:

    Read for my Storytelling class And it is Magnificent.


  10. Devon Forest Devon Forest says:

    I think this probably lost something in its translation It was a bit hard to understand at times and jumped around a lot I m going to assume it s a lot better in the original French


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Solibo Magnifique [PDF] ✅ Solibo Magnifique ✈ Patrick Chamoiseau – Thomashillier.co.uk Se durante il carnevale di Fort de France, Martinica, sotto un albero di tamarindo un cantastorie magnifico, di nome e di fatto, cade a terra morto, ucciso dal suo stesso discorso senza virgole , inca Se durante il carnevale di Fort de France, Martinica, sotto un albero di tamarindo un cantastorie magnifico, di nome e di fatto, cade a terra morto, ucciso dal suo stesso discorso senza virgole , incapace di sopravvivere alla marea montante della modernit che tutto appiattisce per renderlo meglio vendibile, la polizia cosa fa Arresta gli spettatori presenti all ultima esibizione, colpevoli soltanto di aver amato la vittima, e imbastisce un indagine insensata e brutale L eco di sofferenza e di morte che Solibo lascia dietro di s sembra dargli ancora una volta ragione la battaglia ormai persa, inutile resistere Ma c invece chi, testardo e malinconico, raccoglie i cocci sparsi della tradizione orale, i racconti e i ritmi e i gesti, e improvvisa un appassionata narrazione scritta delle gesta di Solibo Chamoiseau, detto Chambizie, di professione tracciatore di parole, cio scrittore L inchiesta procede, deve procedere, perch fogli di carta devono essere riempiti di deposizioni, e verbali devono essere stilati in un linguaggio burocratico funebre che nessuno capisce una lingua scritta, quella dei poliziotti, che legittima la violenza ne fanno le spese l energica Doudou Menar, che cade sotto i colpi di manganello, e il povero Congo, che per non prendersi altri ceffoni vola dalla finestra Evariste Pilon, ispettore capo, si convince che si tratta di un caso di avvelenamento, e cos dev essere, perch altrimenti il decesso non ha senso, e non pensabile che non esista una spiegazione nella lingua di Cartesio Quanto tempo sono stati ad ascoltare il cantastorie, la notte della sua morte, chiede Pilon agli indiziati Chambizie risponde Come si fa a sapere il tempo che passa, signor ispettore Il tempo, sono forse chicchi di riso un rotolo di tela che uno pu misurare Dove passa quando passa davanti o dietro Cos ieri, cos domani, quando si aspetta Alla fine Pilon deve rassegnarsi l autopsia lo conferma, Solibo morto strangolato dall interno o secondo la tesi dei suoi amici, per uno strangolio della parola Il silenzio del cantastorie d vita alla voce dello scrittore che, colmo di tristezza, inizia a raccontare.