By Denise Lewis Patrick
From the beaches of Africa to the bowels of a transatlantic send to a vote casting sales space in Mississippi to the jungles of Vietnam, all human connection is an issue of souls.
In this stirring number of brief tales, Denise Lewis Patrick considers the souls of black women and men throughout centuries and continents. In every one, she takes the degree in their dignity, describes their desires, and catalogs their fears.
Brutality, good looks, laughter, rage, and love all take their turns in every one tale, however the ultimate effect is of indomitable, luminous, and attached souls.
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Additional info for A Matter of Souls
There are many different typologies of boredom. 85 I don’t feel this typology is particularly illuminating. It does nothing more than emphasise that one can react passively or actively, and it fails to distinguish qualitatively between various forms of boredom. 86 These four overlap, but there are clear distinctions. Flaubert distinguished between ‘common boredom’ (ennui commun) and ‘modern boredom’ (ennui moderne),87 which, broadly speaking, corresponds to our distinction between situative and existential boredom.
Because the old occupations, at least most of them, were unthinkable without a passionate involvement: the peasants in love with their land; my grandfather, the magician of beautiful tables; shoemakers who knew every villager’s feet by heart; the woodsmen; the gardeners; probably even the soldiers killed with passion back then. The meaning of life wasn’t an issue; it was there with them, quite naturally, in their workshops, in their fields. Each occupation had created its own mentality, its own way of being.
It is impossible to make any clear distinction between the respective contributions made by the subject and object to boredom, because the emptiness of the subject and object is so interwoven. Fernando Pessoa describes being affected by boredom as like having the drawbridge over the moat round the castle of our soul suddenly raised, so that there is no longer any connection between the castle and the surrounding land. Further: I observe myself. I’m my own spectator. My sensations pass, like external things, before I don’t know what gaze of mine.
A Matter of Souls by Denise Lewis Patrick