Nov 19, 2023 - Reading notes - Beloved by Toni Morrison
Beloved is every bit as heart-rending, beautiful, and erudite as I expected. It’s incredibly brilliant from a technical, writerly standpoint. I also appreciated its weaponization of the gothic novel genre for racial justice and black feminist purposes. In the gothic novel of the 18th/19th centuries, we often see captured women whose only power is the power of refusal - to say “no,” to flee - running around mossy castles pursued by evil Dukes, predatory priests, vampires and all that. Here, Morrison gives that trope meaning that is so much more complex and demanding of the reader. Beloved reorders the genre and its descendents around itself. Incredible.