Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson would have applauded his choice. Usually when I read a novel I tend to not finish them on account of a schedule filled with numerous other things. Which is all true, but neither here nor there in a society that respects the separation of church and state don't we all wish. While my college Spanish is rusty, I have plowed through the book and delighted in the childish dreams and fantasies expressed by Antonio. The novel is also semiautobiographical. There are many things happening in this book. Then he returns to the reeds.
And I read it because many readers have praised it. Tony faces the daunting prospect of growing up amidst constant religious and cultural uncertainty. It is a powerful force, full of magic and myth, integral to his writings. When Ultima and Antonio break a spell, a local man and his 3 witch daughters vow revenge. Catholicism and brujeria, oh my! Ultima takes him to her room and mixes herbs for him to drink. I spread my books out over several tables and crates, saying goodbye to hundreds of comrades who had been with me for so long.
His brother had finished his rounds and was having a cup of coffee in a cafe when Lupito came up to him and shot him in the head without warning. There are jealousies, murders, and family conflict. We sail upon Rudolfo's sea of subdued conflict and turmoil, that floods across mythically sinking plains of the psyche---all under control of the questing shaman of words, Señor Rudolfo. Antonio sees Lupito crying, torn between surrendering and fleeing. An encounter with a good book is occasionally as mystical as the story within it. I read Bless Me, Ultima because it is frequently challenged, often banned, sometimes even burned. Now I come to the hard part, explaining why I didn't get much out of reading it.
This concern is exacerbated by his mother's desire that he become a priest to a community of farmers, where her family lives. When a spell is broken, something terrible happens to the witch daughters, which increases their father's hatred for Ultima. The work moves forward as mysteriously, effortlessly, and grandly as Antonio's river, bearing gods, demons, and vast Presence. A fellow book club reader stated she would have liked to have read this in a class with a professor to fill in some of the things she may have missed due to cultural or time period differences and I heartily agree with that sentiment. He gets up and runs to the bank of the river close to Antonio. I have seen this book around.
There is a lot of symbolisms in the book. Both civilization and wilderness are necessary, each supporting and enriching the other, the way both the Lunas and the Marez are necessary to come together to create and raise Antonio, the culminating element and hero of the novel. My teacher at the time had a list of books we could choose to do reports on and this was one of the choices that jumped out at me. Sometimes, talking about something of controversy, especially when it comes against long held, strongly held ideals can hurt - and it often does - but being able to transcend that hurt, learn and understand things for what they are, and being able to move forward with that education brings new light and life to the person who bears witness to or is a part of it. It is based on the life of a little mexican boy named Antonio, who is surrounded by a strict Spanish Catholic family and lifestyle. I will tell you that I would rather read this than Cormac McCarthy's The Road any day of the week.
I spread my books out over several tables and crates, saying goodbye to hundreds of comrades who had been with me for so long. I enjoyed it particularly knowing it is an early example of this genre. In a way she lays a grandmother figure role to him and uses her wisdom and knowledge to guide him. I will tell you that I would rather read this than Cormac McCarthy's The Road any day of the week. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past-a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. In a way she lays a grandmother figure role to him and uses her wisdom and knowledge to guide him. I Being a native of New Mexico, I always heard references to this book growing up.
My teacher at the time had a list of books we could choose to do reports on and this was one of the choices that jumped out at me. Antonio swings a priest's robe over his shoulders and says it is the presence of the river. God's reading list, beacuse it was a very moving book. He meets Ultima when she comes to live with his family. . She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic.
Our book club is looking at banned books. Ultima conveys an indigenous viewpoint to him that provides guidance when he loses confidence in parental viewpoints and the teachings of the Church. His works are standard texts in Chicano studies and literature courses around the world, and he has done more than perhaps any other single person to promote publication of books by Hispanic authors in this country. He prays over and over the Act of Contrition. It was just so incredibly serious the whole way through. She helps María with breakfast and other housework.
Also, when Antonio is going through bad times and violent things around him, Ultima shows him the light to find his way. Download and start listening now! I ricchi rancheros hanno prosciugato la terra coi loro pozzi profondi, e allora dovevano venire le pesanti nevicate per restituire l'acqua alla terra. As a naturalist, I enjoyed the natural thread that runs through the book. I am an oral storyteller, but now I do it on the printed page. He says Lupito is a man, not an animal.