Toni Morrison on NPR



The other day as I was making my monthly trek across 3 states to see my SO, I tuned into NPR. I admit that I look forward to the drive because I know I will have hour after hour of uninterrupted NPR time. One of the few pleasures radio has maintained. This weekend on NPR, Toni Morrison was on discussing her new book Mercy. Now anyone who has attempted read any of Morrison’s books or has seen Beloved, already knows it can be challenging. Morrison adds a different perspective to various events that happen to people. She takes a story, flips it upside down, then goes around the corner, stoops down, and views it from that angle, then she runs to her computer and types it up. And although I may not always get her perspective, I can appreciate the imagination and creativity that goes into it.

On the radio she was asked about her opinion about a certain person, who will remain nameless because I don’t want you guys to get distracted by the potential propaganda of the whole thing. Instead I want to focus on the word she used to describe this person. She said this person had “wisdom”. She said that wisdom wasn’t necessarily an accumulation of knowledge or something gained by spending many years on earth, but rather a kind of ingrained genius, something you are born with and are able to use to your advantage. -- I’m totally paraphrasing all of this and hopefully I’m doing it some justice.-- It is how you problem solve and the means by which you get something done. I thought this was an interesting perspective. She wasn’t trying to redefine wisdom, she just put a spin on it, or rather she opened my eyes to an additional view of the concept of wisdom.

It made me think of when we say a child or young person is wise beyond their years, or that a young person has an old soul. I’ve met people who haven’t been around long, but carry with them a keen sense of how things operate and are able to cope or approach problems with a depth of knowledge that belays their accumulated years of experience.

So I give a shout out to Toni Morrison for keeping me on my toes, I may have to invest in Mercy when it hits the stores. I would also like to give praise to Paradise, a book that really spoke to me by Morrison. I highly recommend it.

Thanks Toni.

4 comment(s) thus far...:

NaturallyAlise said...

I am not particularly a Toni Morrison fan, but I do cosign with her wisdom interpretation. I have met some of those folks on the "interwebs" that fit the bill and have changed my life... and cue the violins: I feel the same way about you, very wise...

lifeinthemiddlelane said...

I am one of those people who (according to some) doesn't have much common sense but has boat loads of "book sense".

I, of course beg to differ, as I am just overall amazing and misunderstood.

I haven't read any of Morrison's books, as I find them slow and boring, but I like her usage of wisdom here.

It helps me to explain why/how folks respond to me. It seems that I'm the one that folks turn to when they are in trouble, need some advice or someone to tell their problems to. And after I've worked my magic on them, they leave feeling better, wondering why the hell they couldn't figure it out, but I could.

Apparently, my genes consist of a dash of common sense, a dollop of book sense and whole heap of wisdom. (and yeah, I'm tooting the HELL out of my own horn)

Good post.

NaturallyAlise said...

^^^^Monica, you are one of the wise people I have encountered, and by the way, I totally approve of the tooting of one's own horn, in fact those who do not every now and the scare me.

suga said...

I am a total fan of Morrison ("Sula" is my favorite and "Paradise" is next on my list) even though I am also sometimes seriously confused about some of her writing.

I just started "A Mercy" and I do like it, but it is much like "Beloved".

I like her interpretation of wisdom as well. I wanted to shoot myself in the foot for ignoring my own reminders to see if she was doing a book tour. When I finally googled it, I found out that the day before I did my search, she was in San Francisco...argh!

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