Monday, March 21, 2011

Reader's Diary #696- Alice Dunbar-Nelson: Violets


This is the first of a few pre-written posts scheduled to be published while I am away in New Orleans.

Hailing from New Orleans, Alice Dunbar-Nelson is remembered for her writings, her role in the Harlem Renaissance, her fight for African-American and women's rights, and for being a bisexual. Where's the biopic already?

But might this be a case of an author being more interesting than her writing? Check out "Violets."
For in the dawn of the perfect morn, it had arisen, stretched out its arms in glorious happiness to greet the Saviour and said its hallelujahs, merrily trilling out carols of bird, and organ and flower-song.
Um...

What was up with that saccharine mess? Okay, the woman is clearly in love, and okay, so sometimes when we're in those early stages, we say and do things that in retrospect are a little, shall we say, nauseating.
Keep them always in remembrance of me, and if ought should occur to separate us, press these flowers to your lips, and I will be with you in spirit, permeating your heart with unutterable love and happiness.
Good Lord, it continues.

This has to be forced right? Dunbar-Nelson is making a point, isn't she?
The giddy, dancing sunbeams laugh riotously in field and street; birds carol their sweet twitterings everywhere, and the heavy perfume of flowers scents the golden atmosphere with inspiring fragrance.
Okay, make the point already. Yes, those teen dance movies were stupid, but we don't need 90 minutes of the Wayans Brothers' Dance Flick to point that out?

Was Dunbar-Nelson a Wayans? Or was the sentimental tripe not intentional? Neither choice is particularly promising. But wait...

There's a twist ending.

Is it worth it? I can't decide quite yet, but I'm leaning towards no. Your thoughts?

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below?)

8 comments:

Teddy Rose said...

LOL! It sounds like a poem my 9th grade English teacher made us study, discuss, and dissect. I really don't want to go there again!

Alice Dunbar-Nelson's life sound much more fascinating than her writing!

I hope your having a great time in New Orleans!

I read another Oscar Wilde: http://teddyrose.blogspot.com/2011/03/model-millionaire-note-of-admiration-by.html

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I don't think I can read this! You have already done the dirty work for us, thankfully.

C.B. James said...

Enjoy New Orleans. That's someplace I hope to visit one day.

I read one by James Purdy.

http://readywhenyouarecb.blogspot.com/2011/03/reaching-rose-by-james-purdy.html

carolsnotebook said...

Oh, my! She does sound like she had a fascinating life though.

I hope you're enjoying New Orleans.

I read a ghost story today.
http://carolsnotebook.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/short-story-monday-the-botathen-ghost-by-robert-stephen-hawker/

Em said...

You don't make this story sound appealing!

After a little absence - I went to Spain (for real and not through short stories!) - I'm back on my Canadian tour with Clark Blaise.
http://emeire.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/north-by-clark-blaise/

Em

Em said...

You don't make this story sound appealing!

After a little absence - I went to Spain (for real and not through short stories!) - I'm back on my Canadian tour with Clark Blaise.
http://emeire.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/north-by-clark-blaise/

Em

JoAnn said...

Oh dear, think I'll pass on this one! Hope you're having a great time though.

I'm a day late, but read a story by Richard Yates. He's quickly becoming a favorite.
http://lakesidemusing.blogspot.com/2011/03/no-pain-whatsoever-by-richard-yates.html

Cozy in Texas said...

Thanks for the review. I agree with Teddy Rose.
Ann