Point of View

“I’ve avoided the book and film because of the ‘”white person enriched by kind southern blacks who show them the way and are kind of magical but remain thoroughly oppressed and in fact their oppression is addressed, if at all, only tangentially.”‘- A former professor of mine who specializes in US History and Media

OK, whoa. I wasn’t expecting that one when I sent her an email trying to sort out my thoughts the night I finished watching the movie version of Bees. But, I guess I should have seen it coming, as I was having some feelings and leanings towards that, but didn’t really think much of it. She has neither read the book nor seen the film. Maybe I needed that kick so that I could defend myself in reading this book? Or maybe I needed that to realize that I can’t analyze everything I see or read too heavily because I will drive myself crazy. That happened to me with music. It took a long time for me to be ok with liking a summer pop tune just for the fact that it was fun and bouncy; not disliking it because it had no good musical foundation, only two chords, and a melody similar to all the other ones by that artist.

I stand by liking The Secret Life of Bees because of the lyrical quality of Kidd’s writing and dialogue, and because of the enchanting nature of the story in general. On the lyrical writing note, it’s interesting that the film boasts three musicians as lead cast members. There must be a connection for readers who identify with particular arts forms. My friend, H, and I had a discussion about “painterly writing,” which helped lead into my “musical writing” thought.

This is not to say that I will shut off my brain and education when reading books, but to be open to more than the what my education says I can and can’t like/enjoy/find deep stimulus in. Would you stand by your choice?


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