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A Sport of Nature is a fictional history of the end of Apartheid It is the story of a white Jewish privileged girl who is abandoned by her parents and brought up by her aunts She doesn t fit in with her her up tight Aunt Olga or her liberal do gooder ,Aunt, Pauline At about age 16 or 17 Hillela is discovered in her cousin s bed From this point, she uproots herself totally from her family and becomes The Sport of Nature, a spontaneous mutation.It is the 60 s,70 s even the 80 s Hillella is true to herself She finds comfort and gives comfort to the people she meets Both men and women find her bright , charming, innocent and wise Though she accepts aid from many, I can t think of a character who admits to feeling used She is tremendously loyal to her friends and lovers, though sexual fidelity is not a concept to her.The novel starts in South Africa and travels through many emerging countries in Africa, England and the U.S The reader is taken through the unimproved homes of black Africans and the luxurious suites and manor like homes of the ambassadors, the affluent whites and the affluent blacks Hillella, a high school drop out, manages to be integrally involved in Ivy League College lecturing,the inner sanctum in the revolution of South Africa and a mother I think she might be the muse for Sheryl Sandberg s book Lean In This is not an easy or quick read Nadine Gordimer Is always insightful and challenging.
[[ READ PDF ]] ↠ A Sport of Nature ☘ A Hist Ria De Hillela, Improv Vel Hero Na Dos Movimentos De Liberta O Que Mudaram O Mapa Pol Tico Africano Na Segunda Metade Do S Culo XX, Tem In Cio Da Classe M Dia Sul Africana E Numa Rebeldia Sem Causa Que As Circunst Ncias Acabam Por Enquadrar Na Luta Contra O Aparthaid Afastada Da Fam Lia E Empurrada Para O Ex Lio, Hillela Acabar Por Forjar Uma Personalidade Fundamental Para Os Movimentos De Liberta O Africanos, Num P Riplo Marcado Pela Trag Dia E Pela Supera O Pessoal, Que A Levar A Londres, Europa De Leste E Aos EUA, At O Seu Regresso A Frica Bem escrito mas a hist ria n o me cativou minimamente e a personagem principal n o me diz nada Good gawd Her writing is like nothing else intense, intuitive, and challenging, both in style and content It was such a rush for me to read Gordimer again her passion for her country South Africa and it s liberation is infectious she is not preachy but an incredibly intelligent and fluent observer and guide to the political pulse in not just S.A but all of Africa Written in the 80 s, but covering the late 50 s to early 80 s She s a genius and doesn t make the reader feel dumb I can t even begin to describe her characters black and white accurately, though they are so naturally there I feel like I ve already met them utterly real and human See I did a terrible job. A Sport of Nature by Nadine Gordimer recounts the life a white Jewish girl named Hillela whose mother abandoned her as a child, who was raised by two aunts, who ran away from a middle class South African life and became, through sundry love affairs, the widow of a black South African revolutionary and the wife of a successful president in a country not named neighboring South Africa The concept here is that a sport of nature is an aberration, perhaps a felicitous aberration, and that Hillela mysteriously adapts to mysterious circumstances, becoming a political force in her own right well versed in international affairs as well as in romantic affairs In a sense, she is a natural blank slate upon which many different individuals are permitted to write Her cousin, Sasha, is one A South African informer, pretending to be a journalist in sympathy with anti apartheid forces, is another Then comes the love of her life, the high ranking black South African who is assassinated on the threshold of their temporary home in exile, where he is planning and executing military actions against the white South African government All this makes for colorful, interesting reading Hillela never resolves into what Gordimer claims for her a personage who really understands her own purposes and is obscure simply because she keeps her own counsel but she gets caught up in the spirit of the times and is willing to cross boundaries few white women would cross in the apartheid days of South Africa The peculiar quality of the novel s heroine is matched in some ways by Gordimer s curious style She writes as if she s taking notes, jumping here and there, starting sentences she doesn t quite know how to finish, all in the service of exploring the intimacy of life under oppression and in revolt I ve read other novels and stories written by Gordimer that were not so distractingly expressed In the end, I can t help but feel that her inability to really get at Hillela as Henry James got at Isabel Archer, for instance made her stumble Having said that, A Sport of Nature has fascinating scope, many fine passages, and historical value Here we encounter the conscience of anti apartheid whites, their frustrations, the risks they took, and the limits of what they could contribute to the cause Gordimer takes some pains at one point to almost marry Hillela off to a New Republic style American liberal who lives in a fine brownstone and knows all the right people Given Hillela s exotic past and taste in men, these passages read like a lame attempt to work in some anti Americanism Naturally Hillela breaks off their engagement when she falls in love with the revolutionary who would become president for the second time of the aforementioned neighboring country This fellow is a lion of a man who is tough to take, or believe in he s shrewd, tenacious, brave, and wise With Hillela as his mate, he does a hell of a lot of good for his country I spent some time trying to determine what country Gordimer had in mind because I m not aware of many countries in Southern Africa where things have turned out well At novel s end, Mandela takes the stage and the overthrow of the whites is complete Structurally, this is odd Gordimer clearly is determined to focus on the politics of South Africa per se rather than on the psychology and personal life of Hillela the presidential consort who has, by this time, not that much to contribute to what her assassinated first husband helped bring about She lives elsewhere, after all By way of compensation, Gordimer focuses on the miserable fate of the one cousin Sasha who stayed behind and really suffered and was imprisoned as a result of his anti apartheid efforts For about two thirds of this almost 19th century novel, I thought I was reading something exceptionally good, and I m still sure I was reading something interesting But what I now think is that the conclusion devolves into a kind of sloganeering posing as a novel In different contexts, Solzhenitsyn and Dos Passos actually used journalistic excerpts from the times about which they wrote as a way of penetrating further into their stories That wouldn t work here because, despite Gordimer s themes, she really doesn t seem to have been a deeply political writer This isn t to question the staunchness of her beliefs it s to suggest she wanted to have her cake and eat it, too Her strong literary personality leaves the stage at the end of A Sport of Nature and it s just too late in the book to bow down before History and serve as its rapporteur. I read A Sport of Nature as a meditation on dissidence an exploration of whether and how a person can survive under a repressive regime and retain some level of integrity Almost all of the main characters are portrayed in some form of reaction or relationship to the apartheid regime protest, escape, exile, determined ignorance, collusion and the reader is invited to exercise his her judgement as to whether they have achieved anything praiseworthy, notable or even just acceptable as a result of their choices When I look back over the cast of characters, I think Gordimer s portrayal of the range of choices people make and how those choices affect their lives is extremely rich But in this sport Hillela some kind of freak, monster or aberration is unquestionably the most successful by any definition So the central question of the novel, for me, was why Why does Hillela succeed so spectacularly What qualities does she have that make her not only a survivor, but someone who flourishes and triumphs What is the relationship between her success and her freakishness To what extent is it possible to understand and predict what one would need how one would need to behave to survive intact the intense psychological pressure exercised by an extremely repressive regime Gordimer seems to credit Hillela s success to her ability to live fully in the present moment , without regard to societal norms and values, and it is within this context that I understand the great emphasis she places on Hillela s sensuality sexuality It s worth recalling that sexual repression is a key element of authoritarian control in Orwell s 1984 It s true that Gordimer s descriptions of HIllela have an oddly detached tone she is a bit of an enigma But I think Gordimer is fascinated and puzzled by the idea of what makes a successful dissident, and doesn t know herself what to make of the fact that dissidents are not always what or who we would expect them to be.I found a short interview with Gordimer in the NYT from back in 1987 that I thought was really illuminating on this point Gordimer Looking around me over my long life in South Africa, it somehow seemed to me ironic that sometimes very unexpected people are the ones who prove adequate to the situation I ve seen so many wonderful people fail at it, particularly people who are in some way liberally committed who do not go beyond liberalism But somebody like Hillela can sometimes see in an instinctive way that so many of these other ways of dealing with the situation the political ways just don t work, and can find her own way.I am completely different from Hillela, she said, adding that the path chosen by her heroine would be quite shocking to moralistic people including myself excerpts from an interview at the very end of a review of SON, at of the sentiments in the book, written in the late 80s, seem a bit outdated from the perspective of 2012, and one wonders whether Gordimer might temper the optimist note she closes with if she were to issue a second edition today I m tempted to read her most recent book to find out. You sense Nadine Gordimer somewhat admires her protagonist, the colorblind, social climbing iconoclast Hillela who rises in World Politics just as South Africa s apartheid is being overthrown But this Machiavellian blonde is also a soulless egoist who could ve just as easily aligned herself with a tyrant as a national hero I admired the historic scope of A Sport of Nature but found its mythic heroine an irritant Kind of a flop. This has to be one of my favorite books I am in awe of Gordimer, what she has tackled, and what has pulled off A history of black nationalism in South Africa through the eyes of a white Jewish girl woman from adolescence to her marriages to two black leaders to middle age I m going to copy another Goodread review that says it better than I can Good gawd Her writing is like nothing else intense, intuitive, and challenging, both in style and content It was such a rush for me to read Gordimer again her passion for her country South Africa and it s liberation is infectious she is not preachy but an incredibly intelligent and fluent observer and guide to the political pulse in not just S.A but all of Africa Written in the 80 s, but covering the late 50 s to early 80 s She s a genius and doesn t make the reader feel dumb I can t even begin to describe her characters black and white accurately, though they are so naturally there I feel like I ve already met them utterly real and human Jenny 2009 I d define overwritten with this book Gordimer covers similar territories although this novel in question seems a tadaggrandized in Burger s Daughter, and she does it there in a smaller,powerful canvas Interestingly enough, the protagonists of BD appear within these pages as throwaway references. Hated this book Did not finish Was totally confused by characters and what they were at.