Sunday, January 16, 2005

Favorite first line

"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some
they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the
horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns
his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time.
This is the life of men.
Now, women forget all those things they don't want to remember,
and remember everything they don't want to forget. The dream is the
truth. Then they act and do things accordingly."
- Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

Halle Berry will be appearing in a televised version of Hurston's famous novel this year on ABC. Entertainment Weekly has a brief blurb on the production, noting that the televised version was a bit more sexy than the original version. Hello! Hurston's novel was all about sex! The scene under the pear tree is clearly about Janie masturbating and learning about sexual desire. When Janie finally opens her mouth and puts down Jody, it's as much about his failure to please her sexually as it is about her asserting herself. Her relationship with Tea Cake is as much about sexual passion and compatibility as it is about their partnership.

I wonder if the filmmakers understand the novel, however. I worry that it will be transformed into just another example of the 1980s empowered black woman's novel, when it's really more than that.

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