Friday, February 12, 2016

Beginning ~ with not being seen

Invisible Man ~ by Ralph Ellison, 1952
I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms.  I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids — and I might even be said to possess a mind.  I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.
This "Invisible Man" memorial to Ralph Ellison would make a better cover than the ones I've seen.  The version of the book I have is 439 pages long, and I can see I won't finish reading it before our book discussion on Tuesday.  So I resorted to reading the SparkNotes plot overview.  Here's Amazon's summary (their version has 581 pages):
Invisible Man is a milestone in American literature, a book that has continued to engage readers since its appearance in 1952. A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.


Julie said...

You've made me want to read this book! Here's mine: Friday

Maria said...

This is the first time I've seen this book - sounds interesting. Here's my Friday meme

Elizabeth said...

I haven't heard of this book.

I like the statue in the park better as a cover too.

Thanks for sharing, and I hope you are having a good weekend.

Silver's Reviews
My Book Beginnings

Ginnie said...

Thanks for the book suggestion Bonnie. It sounds like one I would definitely find fascinating and I will get to my library tomorrow and see if they have it or can get it for me. We have a county library system and share books between 4 small libraries spread over the county. They often swap books back and forth.
Oh, and Happy Valentines Day !!

Lauren Stoolfire said...

A classic I have yet to read. :)

Check out my Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings) and my current giveaway.

Joy said...

Did you have a good discussion? My book group really liked this.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Yes, we had an excellent discussion, especially because a black friend of ours came over and joined us in the Café. He added a lot of personal stuff he had experienced. That, of course, is what the book's about.