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Das Tagebuch der Daisy Goodwill (1993)

von Carol Shields

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen / Diskussionen
5,3601131,540 (3.76)1 / 474
Die Biographie einer Frau, die im reifen Alter eine ganz neue Art von Erfüllung und Freiheit in ihrer beruflichen Arbeit zunächst findet und dann wieder verliert.
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This book! It’s just the story of a life, of several lives, of loneliness and internal desolation, of a life half lived or unlived, of too late awakenings, of “orphanhood” and the horrible effects of feeling unloved….of loss …and unresolved grief that lasted a life time. And yet, it’s so much more.

We are taken on several characters’ journeys in a biographical/autobiographical structure that normally would have confused me (all the switches from omniscient narrator to third person back to first, etc.), but seemed to have worked for this book. It begins and ends with the same character, Daisy.

Shields’ writing is good, but there were some metaphors left me utterly confused (forgot to write them down).
Another bothersome bit was the picture used for the fictional character, Mercy (the author incorporates family pictures in the middle like you may find in biographies/autobiographies, which thrilled me). So much (so much!) emphasis was made as to how obese Mercy was, how elephantine and enormous she was (the author’s descriptions not my own assumptions), and the picture used was of an average portly woman and nothing like the Mercy that was described.

But these two small gripes are nothing compared to the aspects I absolutely loved about this book:
💫
The main thing I got out of this book is that time passes and time is precious. We should make the best of this thing called life for as long as we can, and according to our own interpretation of what it means to be alive and present: ““It has never been easy for me to understand the obliteration of time, to accept, as others seem to do, the swelling and corresponding shrinkage of seasons or the conscious acceptance that one year has ended and another begun. There is something here that speaks of our essential helplessness and how the greater substance of our lives is bound up with waste and opacity. Even the sentence “twelve years have passed” is to deny the fact of biographical logic. How can so much time hold so little, how can it be taken from us? Months, weeks, days, hours misplaced – and the most precious time of life, too, when our bodies are at their greatest strength, and open, as they never will be again, to the onslaught of sensation.” Time *is* precious…say what you need to before it’s too late.
💫
This is such a simple story and yet so profound. The notion that we can, and often are, different people at different times of our lives is not usually acknowledged or accepted. This is exemplified in various characters but most notably with Cuyler Goodwill: quiet acquiescing child, besotted young husband who had an erotic awakening, despondent widower who leaned into faith, negligent father who reassumed his role with guilt and determination, self-made man who became extremely eloquent, and a man who later lost his flavor for words and started a new life with a new wife. So many different people in one life time!
As to the ending – it will haunt me for a minute. Initially it felt so drawn out and long. I was thinking “Where the heck is this leading? It’s the end of a life. I get it” – But then realized that, not only did the author do an amazing job of “ending” a life phase, but she set it up as a contrast between what “we” (the general societal “we”) see as opposed to what “we” (the personal) may be thinking or experiencing at the end of our lives:

“Daisy Goodwill Flett….died peacefully…after a long illness patiently borne…” VS “I am not at peace.” (final unspoken words by Daisy) – AHHHHHH!!!! I’m still shuddering. ( )
  Eosch1 | Jan 2, 2022 |
Apparently I read this book in the 90's, as it was on my "read" bookcase and had survived several previous book culls and the house move. It nearly got sold in the recent, major, new furniture clear out, but something told me to take another look. I didn't remember a thing about it, but I am so glad I reread it. Deserved its Pulitzer Prize. ( )
  MuggleBorn930 | Jul 11, 2021 |
[pulitzer #17] historical fiction (1905-199?); stories from one woman's family tree (memories plus what might be pieced together with artifacts and documentation). I'd read this 10 years ago(Manitobans and their stone!) but had forgotten that I had. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
The Canadian marvel, loved it for the 2nd time. One of those books that makes me feel like there are other people out there like me, which was her point. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
“My mother’s name was Mercy Stone Goodwill.” And so begins what appears at first to be an autobiography of a woman named Daisy but yet as the pages unfold, it becomes something unique, an outsider’s observation of someone’s actions or inner thoughts (though at times even the narrator, be it Daisy or another does not seem to know exactly what is going on). It seems at times to be a pseudo-biography, or perhaps (more apt), to be a philosophical treatise on human nature and a woman’s psyche, or maybe it is a somewhat humorous yet sad look at the place of a woman in the twentieth century. The novel explores what one thinks as one is dying or ill or going through the loss of a loved one but then explains that although it has the appearance of truth it might just be all made up. However, as the author makes clear, if we are told it is the truth we can accept it.

The ins and outs and ups and downs in the life of an ordinary woman could have been told in an even, flat tone with perhaps exclamations when a milestone is reached (age 31! Marriage! 3rd child!), but instead the narrative meanders, always going forward but yet constantly looking back over its shoulder at certain places so we can peek into the minds of others and be a part of their going forth into the world apart from Daisy. One chapter is told entirely in letters (only letters TO, never FROM) and another chapter is a series of interviews with people who “knew Daisy when”. Although it is doubtful these interviews happened, they ring of truth, and because Daisy is never very forthright herself about what’s going on, the opinions and insights of others are important to the narrative.

In the end we are left with a shopping list, a bridal trousseau, school awards, a collection of books, fingernail clippings, and a memorial write-up of a life lived. Daisy’s thoughts about life and what others perceived about her life (sometimes wrongly, but that would only be natural) are also left with us.

As I read this book, I would often think – this is a strange novel. Sometimes it made me wince, sometimes it made me laugh. This book touched on subjects not often analyzed or seen in the fiction that I normally read. “Mom! Tell me where babies come from!” Then, “Ooo, yuk!” come to mind as one great scene. The inclusion of pictures (!) was definitely a pleasant surprise. The different writing styles was interesting and although I sometimes wondered if I actually liked this book, I did find I had to read to the end. The observations made by the author were sometimes painful but very perceptive. If at times it seemed to get wordy and bogged down in too much analysis, the author changed the style and started a new chapter in Daisy's life.

From “The tide of fertility and the consolation of fruit salts” to “her faltering pendulum heart, her stiffened coral lungs” the descriptions and comparisons in this book are beautiful and poetic and some I had to read several times so I could fully appreciate them. It's 4 stars instead of 5 for me as at times I was impatient for the story to move forward but the book is incredible for the observations the author makes about our lives.
( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
The Stone Diaries is a kaleidoscopic novel, brilliantly and intricately told by way of straight narrative, alternating points of view, letters, newspaper reports.
hinzugefügt von KayCliff | bearbeitenLife in the Garden, Penelope Lively (Nov 10, 2021)
 
There is little in the way of conventional plot here, but its absence does nothing to diminish the narrative compulsion of this novel. Carol Shields has explored the mysteries of life with abandon, taking unusual risks along the way. "The Stone Diaries" reminds us again why literature matters.
hinzugefügt von kathrynnd | bearbeitenNew York Times, Jay Parini (Mar 27, 1994)
 

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (7 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Shields, CarolHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Belenson, GailUmschlaggestalterCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Gossije, MarianneÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Lively, PenelopeEinführungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Smith, Mary AnnUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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nothing she did or said
was quite what she meant
but still her life could be called a monument
shaped in a slant of available light
and set to the movement of possible music

(From "The Grandmother Cycle" by Judith Downing, Converse Quarterly, Autumn)
Widmung
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For my sister Babs
Erste Worte
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My mother's name was Mercy Stone Goodwill.
Zitate
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It is frightening, and also exhilarating, her ability to deceive those around her...
She was, you might say, a woman who recognized the value of half a loaf.
These last ten years had been a period of disintegration; he saw that now. He had imagined himself to be a man intent on making something, while all the while he was participating in a destructive and sorrowful narrowing of his energy.
Moving right along, and along, and along. The way she's done all her life. Numbly. Without thinking.
That life “thus far” has meant accepting the doses of disabling information that have come her way, every drop, and stirring them with the spoon of her longing – she's done this for so many years it's become second nature.
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Die Biographie einer Frau, die im reifen Alter eine ganz neue Art von Erfüllung und Freiheit in ihrer beruflichen Arbeit zunächst findet und dann wieder verliert.

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Durchschnitt: (3.76)
0.5 2
1 19
1.5 4
2 76
2.5 12
3 253
3.5 107
4 408
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5 239

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