Why ​Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? 6 csillagozás

Jeanette Winterson: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

In ​1985 Jeanette Winterson's first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published. It tells the story of a young girl adopted by Pentecostal parents. The girl is supposed to grow up and be a missionary. Instead she falls in love with a woman. Disaster.

Written when Jeanette was only twenty-five, her novel went on to win the Whitbread First Novel award, become an international bestseller and inspire an award-winning BBC television adaptation.

Oranges was semi-autobiographical. Mrs Winterson, a thwarted giantess, loomed over that novel and its author's life. When Jeanette finally left her home, at sixteen, because she was in love with a woman, Mrs Winterson asked her: why be happy when you could be normal?

This book is the story of a life's work to find happiness. It is a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a tyrant in place of a mother, who has two sets of false teeth… (tovább)

Eredeti megjelenés éve: 2011

Vintage, London, 2012
230 oldal · ISBN: 9780099556091
Knopf, New York, 2012
230 oldal · ISBN: 9780307401243
Grove Press, 2012
230 oldal · ISBN: 9780802120106

2 további kiadás

Enciklopédia 1

Kedvencelte 1

Most olvassa 1

Várólistára tette 4

Kívánságlistára tette 4

Kiemelt értékelések

Jeanette Winterson: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Időről-időre felbukkan egy könyv a semmiből, és teljesen elvarázsol, magával ragad. Wintersont már elég régóta olvasok, kedvelem is, de ez a regénye most nagyon megtalált. Pedig nem is igazi regény a szó klasszikus értelmében: nincs valódi története, sem lineáris időkezelése vagy legalább eleje-közepe-vége. Inkább egy gondolatfolyamnak tekinthető, amit az írónő életének mozzanatai tagolnak csupán. De micsoda gondolatok ezek! Valódi gyöngyszemek, szeretetről, családról, könyvekről – de nem ám Coelho-s vagy Oravecz Nórás mércével mérve. Értékes, belénk ivódó sorok ezek, amik egytől-egyig idézésért könyörögnek – próbálom is magam visszafogni a posztban.

Jeanette Winterson: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

No ezt akkor én most félbehagyom. Értem én, hogy lineáris idő meg személyes idő, meg miegyéb, de akkor is szeretem, ha egy könyv tart valamerre, és nem csupán önsajnálatból meg idézetekből áll, körbekörbe, fejezetenként újra és újra.

iquexy P>!
Jeanette Winterson: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Utazás emlékezet-országban; Mrs. Winterson-földön; történet-idővonalak mezsgyéjén. Minden fejezet egy-egy novella, összességében pedig egy sokkal nagyobb valamit adnak ki. Nem csak egy könyvet. Egy életet. Humoros és megrázó és elgondolkodtató és tanulságos. És még ezernyi másféle.

Knopf, Toronto, 2011
ISBN: 9780307401267

Népszerű idézetek


She hated being a nobody, and like all children, adopted or not, I have had to live out some of her unlived life. We do that for our parents — we don't really have any choice.


I love that way cats like to be half in half out, the wild and the tame, and I too am the wild and the tame. I am domestic, but only if the door is open.


Mrs Winterson was unhappy and we had to be unhappy with her. She was waiting for the Apocalypse. Her favourite song was ‘God Has Blotted Them Out’, which was meant to be about sins, but really was about anyone who had ever annoyed her, which was everyone. She just didn't like anyone and she just didn't like life. Life was a burden to be carried as far as the grave and then dumped. Life was a Vale of Tears. Life was a pre—death experience.


I like it that pre-industrial societies, and religious cultures still, now, distinguish between two kinds of time – linear time, that is also cyclical because history repeats itself, even as it seems to progress, and real time, which is not subject to the clock or the calendar, and is where the soul used to live. This real time is reversible and redeemable. It is why, in religious rites of all kinds, something that happened once is re-enacted – Passover, Christmas, Easter, or, in the pagan record, Midsummer and the dying of the god. As we participate in the ritual, we step outside of linear time and enter real time.
Time is only truly locked when we live in a mechanised world. Then we turn into clock-watchers and time-servers. Like the rest of life, time becomes uniform and standardised.


I needed lessons in love. I still do because nothing could be simpler, nothing could be harder, than love.


My friends joke that I won't shut the door unless it is officially bedtime or actually snowing into the kitchen. The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is to open the back door. The next thing I do, in winter, is to light the fire.
All those hours spent sitting on my bum on the doorstep have given me a feeling for liminal space. I love that way cats like to be half in half out, the wild and the tame, and I too am the wild and the tame. I am domestic, but only if the door is open.
And I guess that is the key – no one is ever going to lock me in or lock me out again. My door is open and I am the one who opens it.

60. oldal


Books, for me, are a home. Books don't make a home – they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space.
There is warmth there too – a hearth. I sit down with a book and I am warm. I know that from the chilly nights on the doorstep.

61. oldal

poggi IP>!

The librarian was explaining the benefits of the Dewey decimal system to her junior – benefits that extended to every area of life. It was orderly, like the universe. It had logic. It was dependable. Using it allowed a kind of moral uplift, as one's own chaos was also brought under control.



I think Mrs Winterson was afraid of happiness. Jesus was supposed to make you happy but he didn't, and if you were waiting for the Apocalypse that never came, you were bound to feel disappointed.

96. oldal


Didn’t I understand that I was perverting God’s plan for normal sexual relationships?
I said, my mother won’t sleep in the same bed as my father – is that a normal sexual relationship?
He shoved me onto my knees to repent those words and I felt the bulge in his suit trousers. He tried to kiss me. He said it would be better than with a girl. A lot better. He put his tongue in my mouth. I bit it. Blood. A lot of blood. Blackout.

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