Divine Days by Leon Forrest Online

Divine Days
Title : Divine Days
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780929968247
Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 1138

Fabulous, wildly comic, and Ulysses-like, Divine Days explores the mythical world of Leon Forrest's literary kingdom, Forest County. It is a huge oratorio of the sacred and the profane, set in bars, churches, and barbershops over a crucial seven-day period in the life of would-be playwright Joubert Jones during February 1966. Divine Days creates a profound microcosm of AfrFabulous, wildly comic, and Ulysses-like, Divine Days explores the mythical world of Leon Forrest's literary kingdom, Forest County. It is a huge oratorio of the sacred and the profane, set in bars, churches, and barbershops over a crucial seven-day period in the life of would-be playwright Joubert Jones during February 1966. Divine Days creates a profound microcosm of African-American life. It is the most prodigious literary creation since Ellison's Invisible Man forty years ago. Joubert Jones - playwright, journalist, bartender, lover - confronts and transcends the power of a fantastic group of bar denizens whose personalities run the gamut of classical myths, Shakespearean heros, Shakespearean villains, religious true-believers, and ghetto dwellers. Joubert is evolving a memory from the yeasty material of his friend and mentor Sugar-Groove into a play. Sugar-Groove is a world traveler, a mythical lover, who has twenty nicknames connected with his prowess. He is trickster-as-angel. Joubert's volatile and fragile girlfriend, Imani, is desperately searching for her abandoned siblings, a meaningful self-definition of her Blackness, and a place to settle her warring spirit. Joubert also encounters the powerful presence of his Aunt Eloise and the ever-haunting phantasmagoric W. A. D. Ford, the demonic trickster and manipulator of bodies and souls. Ford is the Mephistopheles of Forest County, and he comes to represent the forces of cosmic evil in the world. The neighborhood of Joubert's imagination becomes a theater enraptured with the voices of the living and the dead, acted out in Aunt Eloise's Night Light Lounge. The critic John Cawelti has called this novel: "the Ulysses of the South Side." In the tradition of Joyce's Dedalus, Ellison's invisible narrator, Bellow's Augie March, and Heller's Yossarian, Joubert's voice emerges clearly upon Divine Days's ebullient stage.


Divine Days Reviews

  • Jonathan

    At one point, late in our conversation, Sugar-Groove said: "Look Joubert, there is a river of time, more ancient than Eden, where every form of waste and wonder has been discarded, past all parchments of recorded time. You enter, or I should say you’re tossed adrift or hurled into those turbulent waters to make a way out of no way even out of nothingness. Tossed off. Told to swim. Sail even. Get lost. Or Die. You have to teach yourself to swim through all this ahistorical garbage, to remake yo [...]

  • Ronald Morton

    (There's a pretty big caveat that makes up the end of this review, if you're just looking at the star rating) But my problem was more complex; my is hounded by the voices of oral tradition, literary tradition. From the opening pages, Divine Days is embroiled with voices. To begin, the voices are only by reference; the narrator, an aspiring playwright, makes repeated claims to being afflicted by (composed of) voices (the claims are made in reference to both his youthful acting and his more recent [...]

  • J.W. Dionysius Nicolello

    So far so like fucking great. Kicking things off with Joyce, John, Proteus, and Fyodor, spotted with comparisons to Faulkner's Ywerawraomrtea*, kind words from Ralph Ellison and Saul Bellow and, for the few people that read my few reviews - I am a major proponent of the concept entailing gigantic books entail gigantic ideas - However, I am not obliged in the slightest in agreeing unquestioningly, or even accepting, such ideas. Time is money. So this Divine Days put me off at first (I have barely [...]

  • Nathan

    “Simply put, Leon Forrest's massive masterpiece Divine Days is the War and Peace of the African-American novel.” -- Henry Louis Gates

  • Geoff

    Purchased. Perhaps an early autumn read. "The War & Peace of the African-American novel"? Yes please thank you

  • Thomas

    some smart guy called this book 'the war and peace of the african american novel' but it's really more of a big modernist thing like your joyce or musil or whoever. the style is much less prose poetic and biblical overall than his first novel, probably because this book is so long, but there are sections where that style breaks through again. there's not really a single overarching plot, but more a series of digressive stories that interact and move in and around each other, with the protagonist [...]

  • J.W. Dionysius Nicolello

    Wow, me entire manifesto and critical review has been erased. Without warning. The single serious review on Divine Days available. The digital burying is no longer rumor; it is here. We are fucked. And how fitting: Divine Days.

  • Torry

    This is a long book