Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Cry the Beloved Country

M-14 is reading Cry the Beloved Country this year.  I haven't read it since I was in high school, so I've been reading it again, so we can discuss it.  She got ahead of me, but I finally caught up today....  There is a lot of pain, along with a lot of beauty in this book and terrific insight into the problems in South Africa.  It's a moving and beautifully written story.  M isn't so sure she likes it - it's challenging reading.  I re-read aloud for her one passage from today's reading that I really liked.  She hasn't been very enthusiastic about  narrating this particular book - perhaps because it is a challenging read, but even if she just takes away a sense of the struggles and challenges in South Africa it will have been worth her efforts.  I think though, that she can't help but be influenced by passages like this:  "Therefore I shall devote myself, my time, my energy, my talents, to the service of South Africa.  I shall no longer ask myself if this or that is expedient, but only if it is right.  I shall do this, not because I am noble or unselfish, but because life slips away, and because I need for the rest of my journey a star that will not play false to me, a compass that will not lie.  I shall do this, not because I cannot find it in me to do anything else.  I am lost when I balance this against that, I am lost when I ask if this is safe, I am lost when I ask if men, white men or  black men, Englishmen or Afrikaners, Gentiles or Jews, will approve.  Therefore I shall try to do what is right, and to speak what is true." 

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