Life Times: Collected Stories. 1952-2007

Life Times: Collected Stories. 1952-2007A Stunning Selection Of The Best Short Fiction From The Recipient Of The Nobel Prize In LiteratureThis Collection Of Nadine Gordimer S Short Fiction Demonstrates Her Rich Use Of Language And Her Unsparing Vision Of Politics, Sexuality, And Race Whether Writing About Lovers, Parents And Children, Or Married Couples, Gordimer Maps Out The Terrain Of Human Relationships With Razor Sharp Psychological Insight And A Stunning Lack Of Sentimentality The Selection, Which Spans The Course Of Gordimer S Career To Date, Presents The Range Of Her Storytelling Abilities And Her Brilliant Insight Into Human Nature From Such Epics As Friday S Footprint And Something Out There To Her Shorter, Experimental Stories, Gordimer S Work Is Unfailingly Nuanced And Complex Time And Again, It Forces Us To Examine How Our Stated Intentions Come Into Conflict With Our Unspoken Desires.This Definitive Volume, Which Includes Four New Stories From The Nobel Laureate, Is A Testament To The Power, Force, And Ongoing Relevance Of Gordimer S Vision.

Nadine Gordimer was a South African writer, political activist, and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature She was recognized as a woman who through her magnificent epic writing has in the words of Alfred Nobel been of very great benefit to humanity.Gordimer s writing dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa Under that regime, works such as Burger

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  • Hardcover
  • 560 pages
  • Life Times: Collected Stories. 1952-2007
  • Nadine Gordimer
  • English
  • 08 February 2019
  • 9780374270537

10 thoughts on “Life Times: Collected Stories. 1952-2007

  1. Katie says:

    This collection seems like a great way to get introduced to Gordimer s work It contains almost 40 short stories from throughout her career, all of them remarkably competent, some of them brilliant Aside from her consistency, the thing that impressed me most about Gordimer s work was her absolute refusal to simplify or to accept easy answers to moral questions Favorite stories include Friday s Footprint, Livingstone s Companions, Town and Country Lovers, The Ultimate Safari, and the novella Something Out There.

  2. Brian says:

    Fine collection of short stories by an authoress with a good command of the language and plot Occasionally, she fails to make sentences in favour of sound bytes A prosetry, a pathologicum, a practical plan I like stories, but not all of hers.

  3. D says:

    Always a pleasure reading Nadine Gordimer learning new words and different situations.The effect of travel on a man whose heart is in the right place is that the mind is made self reliant it becomes confident of its own resources there is greater presence of mind.Letter from His FatherMy dear son,You wrote me a letter you never sent.It wasn t for me it was for the whole world to read You and your instructions that everything should be burned Hah You were never open and frank with me that s one of the complaints you say I was always making against you You write it in the letter you didn t want me to read so what does that sounds like, eh But I ve read the letter now, I ve read it anyway, I read everything, although you said I put your books on the night table and never touched them You know how it is, here where I am not something that can be explained to anyone who isn t here they used to talk about secrets going to the grave, but the funny thing is there are no secrets here at all If there was something you wanted to know, you should have known, if it doesn t let you lie quiet, then you can have knowledge of it, from here Yes, you gave me much credit, you said I was a true Kafka in strength eloquence, endurance, a certain way of doing things on a grand scale and I ve not been content just to rot In that way, I m still the man I was, the go getter Restless Restless Taking whatever opportunity I can There isn t anything, now, you can regard as hidden from me Whether you say I left it unread on the night table or whether you weren t man enough, even at the age of thirty six, to show me a letter that was supposed to be for me.I write to you after we are both dead Whereas you don t stir There won t be any response from you, I know that You began that letter by saying you were afraid of me and then you were afraid to let me read it And now you ve escaped altogether Because without the Kafka will power you can t reach out from nothing and nowhere I was going to call it a desert, but where s the sand, where re the camels, where s the sun I m still mensch enough to crack a joke you see Oh, excuse me, I forgot you didn t like my jokes, my fooling around with kids My poor boy, unfortunately you had no life in you, in all those books and diaries and letters the ones you posted, to strangers, to women you said it a hundred times before you put the words in my mouth, in your literary way, in that letter you yourself were unfit for life So death comes, how would you say, quite naturally to you It s not like that for a man of vigour like I was, I can tell you, and so here I am writing, talking I don t know if there is a word for what this is Anyway, it s Hermann Kafka I ve outlived you here, same as in Prague.That is what you really accuse me of, you know, for sixty or so pages I notice the length of that letter varies a big from language to language, of course, it s been translated into everything I don t know what Hottentot and Icelandic, Chinese, although you wrote it for me in German I outlived you, not for seven years, as a n old sick man, after you died, but while you were young and alive Clear as daylight, from the examples you give of being afraid of me, from the time you were a little boy you were not afraid, you were envious At first, when I took you swimming and you say you felt yourself a nothing, puny and weak beside my big, strong, naked body in the change house all right, you also say you were proud of such a father, a father with a fine physique And may I remind you that a father was taking the trouble and time, the few hours he could get away from the business, to try and make something of that nebich, develop his muscles, put some flesh on those poor little bones so he would grow up sturdy But even before your barmitzvah the normal pride every boy has in his father changed to jealousy, with you You couldn t be like me, so you decided I wasn t good enough for you course, loud mouthed, ate like a pig your very words , cut my fingernails at table, cleaned my ears with a toothpick Oh yes, you can t hide anything from me, now, I ve read it all, all the thousands and thousands of words you ve used to shame your own family, your own father, before the whole world And with your gift for words you turn everything inside out and prove, like a circus magician, it s love, the piece of dirty paper s a beautiful silk flag, you , and so what You tell me You couldn t be like him You wanted to be like him The ghasa, the shouter, the gobbler Yes, my son, these insignificant details you write down and quickly dismiss these details hurt Eternally After all, you ve become immortal through writing, as you insist you did only about me, everything was about you, father a hundred years after your birth, the Czech Jew, son of Hermann and Julie Kafka, is supposed to be one of the greatest writers who ever lived Your work will be read as long as there are people to read it That s what they say everywhere, even the Germans who burned your sisters and my grandchildren in incinerators Some say you were also some kind of prophet God knows what you were thinking, shut away in your room while the rest of the family was having a game of cards in the evening after you died, some countries built camps where the things you made up for that story In The Penal Colony were practised, and ever since then there have been countries in different parts of the world where the devil s work that came into your mind is still carried on I don t want to think about it.You were not blessed to bring any happiness to this world with your genius, my son Not at home either Well, we had to accept what God gave Do not ever stop to think whether it wasn t a sorrow for me never mind for once how you felt that your two brothers, who might have grown up to bring your mother and me joy, died as babies And you sitting there at meals, always with a pale, miserable, glum face, not a word to say for yourself, picking at your food You haven t forgotten that I used to hold up the newspaper so as not to have to see that You bear a grudge You ve told everybody But you don t think about what there was in a father s heart From the beginning I had to hide it behind a newspaper anything For your sake.Because you were never like any other child You admit it however we had tried to bring you up, you say you would have become a weakly, timid, hesitant person What small boy doesn t enjoy a bit of rough house with his father But writing at thirty six years old, you can only remember being frightened when I chased you, in fun, round the table, and your mother, joining in, would snatch you up out of my way while you shrieked For God s sake, what s so terrible about that I should have such memories of my childhood I know you never liked to hear about it, it bore you, you don t spare me the written information that it wore grooves in your brain, but when I was seven years old I had to push my father s barrow from village to village, with open sores on my legs in winter Nobody gave me delicacies to mess about on my plate we were glad when we go potatoes You make a show of me, mimicking how I used to say things But wasn t I right when I told you and your sisters provided for by me, living like fighting cocks because I stood in the business twelve hours a day what did you know of such things What did anyone know, what I suffered as a child And then it s a sin if I wanted to give my own son a little pleasure I never had.And that other business you schlepped up out of the past the night I m supposed to have shut you out on the pavlatche Because of you the whole world knows the Czech word for the kind of balcony we had in Prague Yes, the whole world knows that story, too I am famous, too You made me famous as the father who frightened his child once and for all for life Thank you very much I want to tell you I don t even remember that incident I m not saying it didn t happen, although you always had an imagination such as nobody ever had before or since, eh But it could have been the last resort your mother and I turned to you know that your mother spoilt you, over protected they would call it, now You couldn t possibly remember how naughty you were at night, what a little tyrant you were, how you thought of every excuse to keep us sleepless It was all right for you, you could nap during the day, a small child But I had my business, I had to earn the living, I needed some rest Pieces of bread, a particular toy you fancied, make wee wee, another blanket on, a blanket taken off, drinks of water there was no end to your tricks and whining I supposed I couldn t stand it any longer I feared to do you some harm You admit I never beat you, only scared you a little by taking off my braces in preparation to use them on you So I put you out of harm s way That night Just for a few minutes It couldn t have been than a minute As if your mother would have let you catch cold God forbid And you ve held it against me all your life I m sorry, I have to say it again, that old expression of mine that irritated you so much I wish I had your worries.Everything that went wrong for you is my fault You write in down for sixty pages or so and at the same time you say to me I believe you are entirely blameless in the matter of our estrangement I was a true Kafka, you took after your mother s, the L wy side, etc all you inherited from me, according to you, were your bad traits, without having the benefit of my vitality I was too strong for you.Rest in peace, my son I wish you had let me.Your father,Hermann Kafka Yes, thank you And then, the usual phrase from white people, who are always in a hurry to get things over, who don t seem to know or take any pleasure in the lingering disengagement that politely concludes a discussion All right, then, eh But the writer knows something no one else knows the sea change of the imagination.

  4. Vera VB says:

    Korte verhalen van Nobelprijs winnaar Literatuur Nadine Gordimer De meeste verhalen bevatten sociaal ge ngageerde thema s en uiteraard is de apartheid en discriminatie nooit ver weg Niet alle verhalen zijn even sterk, het gaat een beetje op en af Zo is er een verhaal over een vrouw die een zwarte jongen op een elitaire school helpt, hij is slim maar heeft onvoldoende geld voor zo n school Of de jongen wel gelukkig is, daar staat ze niet bij stil Het lijkt meer alsof haar geweten gesust is dat ze iets goed gedaan heeft Verder staat me ook nog een verhaal bij van een vrouw die mee gaat protesteren met de zwarten, maar alhoewel ze dezelfde dingen doet, wordt ze toch anders behandeld wanneer de politie optreedt Het onderscheidt blijft bestaan.

  5. George Deoso says:

    That book you will read for an extended period at least four months, in my case , read slowly, sometimes even taking two or three times of going over to understand a single sentence, and yet, you won t mind The politics and milieu rendered so elegantly through words it didn t even matter for me if I barely understand at once each story s implications Maybe someday I would.

  6. Juma Ali says:

    I read July s People before starting on Life Times, and I found her writing esoteric and sometimes difficult to follow This is reflected in the stories in Life Times The writing is almost always detached and dispassionate the prose poetry is thick for long periods and is layered by complicated sentence constructions and the stories are heavily theme and plot based Characters are almost always relegated in relation to theme and plot, and this renders many of the stories impersonal and therefore difficult to connect with I thus found just a handful of characters memorable In addition, there is heavy contextualization as a technique of building the plots I have seen some reviews referring to the writing in this collection as dry , and it s hard to disagree It indeed acquires a pseudo intellectual hue, and it tests the limits of normal fiction writing.However, much of the writing is ethical and conscientious Apartheid and related themes, such as interracial relations, feature prominently, as can be expected of a Nobel laureate from South Africa writing in that era I was most impressed by Something Out There, which brings forth the raw fear among white people of black people, using parallel stories of a baboon on the loose in white suburbs and the constant threat of sabotage from Black freedom fighters In Town and Country Lovers Two , we see the distortion, by apartheid, of normal relations among humans on the basis of colour It conveys the near totalitarianism of apartheid in all spheres of life from the get go The farm children play together when they are small but once the white children go away to school they soon don t play together any so that by the time early adolescence is reached, the black children are making, along with bodily changes common to all, an easy transition to adult forms of address, beginning to call their old playmates missus and bassie little master The relationship between Paulus white and Thebedi black however persists beyond this social construct, and they become lovers Nevertheless, when Thebedi becomes pregnant with Paulus child, they cannot escape it any, and what happens is the stuff of heartbreak Gordimer doesn t present a one dimensional story of apartheid however In The Moment Before the Gun Went Off, a white farmer is genuinely distraught and this puts off a white police officer when he accidentally shoots dead one of his black farm boys because he considers him a son In Beethoven Was One Sixteenth Black, a white professor decides to visit a town his great grandfather lived in for five years in the hope he might meet relatives his great grandfather might have sired with black women.There are stories beyond the apartheid narrative One that tugs at the heart is The Ultimate Safari, about a poor family escaping the civil war in Mozambique and seeking refuge in South Africa through the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga Some are personal, poignant and poetic, leaving a lasting impression I very much liked the uplifiting The Soft Voice of the Serpent, about a man having to adjust to life after losing a leg In an idyllic garden so poignantly portrayed, he notices a locust with a broken leg, facing a similar struggle In a week or two he did not have to read all the time he could let himself put down the book and look about him, watching the firs part silkily as a child s fine straight hair in the wind, watching the small birds tightroping the telephone wire, watching the old dove trotting after his refined patrician grey women, purring with lust Just lovely Why Haven t You Written is also inward, depicting a man in mid life crisis who almost leaves his wife and children in a fit of discontent with his life In short, the stories Gordimer has written span a wide spectrum of imagination beyond apartheid an extramarital affair in Rain Queen a return to history in Livingstone s Companions post struggle politics in A Soldier s Embrace and At the Rendezvous of Victory mild eroticism in The Diamond Mine and even the life of a tapeworm in Tape Measure Religion is also not spared Second Coming imagines the second coming of Christ, who finds no life waiting for him ouch Curiously, Letter From his Father imagines a letter by Franz Kafka s father in response to Franz s real life open letter to him It s pretty much a father s scorn at an unappreciative and wayward child Franz s fans wouldn t be too happy reading or re reading it.I noticed too that Gordimer deftly applies biting irony in most of the stories For instance, in A Soldier s Embrace, a white couple has helped a liberation struggle in an African country, and as freedom dawns for the country, it doesn t in the real sense for their manservant of 21 years, who they leave behind with nothing Irony cuts through Which Era Would That Be , in which a group of friends black, white, coloured interact.It is impossible to discuss here all the stories, but they are all interesting in their own ways once one is able to overcome the somewhat difficult writing style that narrates them If you haven t read this collection, and are looking for a sturdier challenge than the usual easy reads, by all means, try it.

  7. Catherine says:

    The two stories I read were outstanding.

  8. Laura says:

    I ve loved Nadine Gordimer s writing since I first read her novel The Pick Up years ago before I had any idea who Nadine Gordimer was and what an inspiring person she was.This book is a massive collection of her short stories, and they cover a wide range of topics, characters, time periods, locations, and issues I ve read in some reviews that people find Gordimer s style dry at times and boring, and I can understand how that might seem Her stories are not stories that one flies through in one sitting I find her writing very precise and carefully constructed nothing wasteful or melodramatic or purely decorative She is masterful at evoking the dynamics of relationships between people without boxing them into an archetype or a pattern or giving them any kind of label at all To me, her writing is like an expert photograph she captures the image exactly, but she doesn t explain why this image was the one she took That sounds pretentious, but it s not Instead, her writing places the reader fully into the story without any didactic guidance.My favorite story of this collection is towards the beginning and is titled Face From Atlantis It tells the story of a newlywed couple, Eileen and Waldeck, who, on their honeymoon to Europe and NYC, run into Waldeck s old friends from his university days in Europe Eileen has seen photos of these friends, but when she meets the friends in the flesh, the narratives that she has created in her mind of them must be reconciled with her experiences face to face with these people One friend in particular, Carlitta, clashes strongly in reality with the narrative that Eileen has written about her based on photos and stories Gordimer does an amazing job of allowing us access to Eileen s inner thoughts and process as she grapples with how to match the old photos of Carlitta to the actual Carlitta whom she meets This quote is one of my favorites of all time, because it describes perfectly my own discomfort with a certain favored selfie pose and also shows how Eileen s relationship as an outsider to this world of her husband s past also gives her a clearer perspective on both the present and the past Eileen knew Carlitta well, in picture and anecdote Eileen had a favourite among the photographs of her, too The photograph was taken in Austria, on one of Waldeck s skiing holidays It was a clear print and the snow was blindingly white In the middle of the whiteness stood a young girl, laughing away from the camera in the direction of something or someone outside the picture In none of these pictures did she face the camera If, as in the ski picture, she was smiling, it was at someone in the group, and if she was not, her black pensive eyes, her beautiful little firm fleshed face with the short chin, stared at the toes of her shoes, or at the smoke of her cigarette, arrested in its climbing arabesque by the click of the camera The total impression of all these photographs of the young German girl was one of arrogance She did not participate in the taking of a photograph she was simply there, a thing of beauty which you could attempt to record if you wished p 37

  9. D.A. Gray says:

    Nadine Gordimer is a master storyteller It may not appeal to those with a need to be entertained but what makes it masterful is the way complex characters are displayed with subtlety and powerful issues are handled without preaching Once Upon A Time will change the way you look at the fairytale and racism xenophobia s destructive effects Each word used to describe the scenery is necessary part that holds this tapestry together Some of the chilling parts of a story like Beethoven Was One Sixteenth Black come in a spare poetic lines that seem to be normal thoughts on the surface until one goes back to see the layers they open, Caches of old papers are graves A great collection that has much to offer for the complex multi faceted problems of race and stereotyping in the States as well as South Africa Not only covers overt racism but the complicity of the so called upper class.

  10. Rita says:

    Life Times stories 1952 2007This has a few selected stories from a large number of her story collections.This is NOT CHEERFUL reading, for the most part Gordimer tells it like it is, and life is full of hardship and bad relations between people ON the other hand, you probably can t say Gordimer is pessimistic.It amazes me that she can portray convincingly such a very wide range of characters women, men, old, young, children, rich folks and poor folks, urban, rural, educated and uneducated, black, white, and other e.g Anglo South AFricans, Afrikaners, coloreds She does not belabor her points The reader needs to pay attention and work out what to think feel In rather few words, she can sketch a situation, an exchange between people, and bring it to life in a hard hitting way.Actually I got only halfway, and read only half of the long long story Something Out There to p 410.So I want to check it out of the library again, to finish it.

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