website statistics Creole Folktales - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Creole Folktales

Availability: Ready to download

Patrick Chamoiseau first became known to the international literary world with Texaco, the vast and demanding novel that won France’s prestigious Goncourt Prize in 1992. Less well known is the fact that Chamoiseau has written a number of extraordinary books about his childhood in Martinique. One of these, Creole Folktales, recreates in truly magical language the stories he Patrick Chamoiseau first became known to the international literary world with Texaco, the vast and demanding novel that won France’s prestigious Goncourt Prize in 1992. Less well known is the fact that Chamoiseau has written a number of extraordinary books about his childhood in Martinique. One of these, Creole Folktales, recreates in truly magical language the stories he heard as a child. Folktales with a twist, fairy tales with attitude, these stories are told in a language as savory as the spicy food so lovingly evoked within these pages. The cheeky urchins, dowagers, ne’er-do-wells, and gluttons in these tales are filled with longing for the simple things in life: a full plate, a safe journey, a good night's sleep. But their world is haunted, and the material comforts we take for granted are the stuff of dreams for them, for there are always monsters waiting to snatch away their tasty bowl of stew—or even life itself. Some of these monsters are familiar: the wicked hag, the envious neighbor, the deceitful suitor, the devil who gobbles up unwary souls. Others may be surprising, and their casual appearance in these tales makes them all the more frightening—like an unexpected glimpse into a fun-house mirror. But in contrast to these folktales’ more fantastic creations, the white plantation owner and the slave ship's captain remind us that these are stories of survival in a colonized land. A marvelous introduction to a world, both real and imaginary, that North Americans have ignored for far too long.


Compare

Patrick Chamoiseau first became known to the international literary world with Texaco, the vast and demanding novel that won France’s prestigious Goncourt Prize in 1992. Less well known is the fact that Chamoiseau has written a number of extraordinary books about his childhood in Martinique. One of these, Creole Folktales, recreates in truly magical language the stories he Patrick Chamoiseau first became known to the international literary world with Texaco, the vast and demanding novel that won France’s prestigious Goncourt Prize in 1992. Less well known is the fact that Chamoiseau has written a number of extraordinary books about his childhood in Martinique. One of these, Creole Folktales, recreates in truly magical language the stories he heard as a child. Folktales with a twist, fairy tales with attitude, these stories are told in a language as savory as the spicy food so lovingly evoked within these pages. The cheeky urchins, dowagers, ne’er-do-wells, and gluttons in these tales are filled with longing for the simple things in life: a full plate, a safe journey, a good night's sleep. But their world is haunted, and the material comforts we take for granted are the stuff of dreams for them, for there are always monsters waiting to snatch away their tasty bowl of stew—or even life itself. Some of these monsters are familiar: the wicked hag, the envious neighbor, the deceitful suitor, the devil who gobbles up unwary souls. Others may be surprising, and their casual appearance in these tales makes them all the more frightening—like an unexpected glimpse into a fun-house mirror. But in contrast to these folktales’ more fantastic creations, the white plantation owner and the slave ship's captain remind us that these are stories of survival in a colonized land. A marvelous introduction to a world, both real and imaginary, that North Americans have ignored for far too long.

30 review for Creole Folktales

  1. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    3.5/5 The class that I read this for assigns a great deal of theory alongside its short story selections, and despite being two readings behind on the more analytical pieces (shhhhhh), I was very pleased by how much the critical asides ameliorated my appreciation of this work. I know that doesn't seem to bode well for the reader who's looking for lit that doesn't require ridiculously dense side articles, but one of the most helpful was the introduction of this edition, which is not so theoretical 3.5/5 The class that I read this for assigns a great deal of theory alongside its short story selections, and despite being two readings behind on the more analytical pieces (shhhhhh), I was very pleased by how much the critical asides ameliorated my appreciation of this work. I know that doesn't seem to bode well for the reader who's looking for lit that doesn't require ridiculously dense side articles, but one of the most helpful was the introduction of this edition, which is not so theoretical and not so distant. It doesn't lay out the histories of analyses of Creolism and orality and the postmodern short story like some of the other pieces do, but it does ground it in the period that ultimately spawned all that, when French sent West Africa and the indigenous populations of countless islands into hyper-drive and folktales were vocally born in the compounds of slaves. Power's supposedly white (hee), endings supposedly are required to have emotional pay off (ha), and while I'm aware of how much I lost by not experiencing Chamoiseau's linguistic experimentations firsthand, his manipulation of text size, dialect, and point of view carries through well enough. It's funny that one of the same problems with another piece of Creole writing, Omeros, is the same I have here: the ultimate flatness of female characters. Now, both my prof and one of the articles pointed this out, so it's not just me being me, but there are some qualifiers. One, how much of this is what Chamoiseau wrote, and how much of it is what he heard as a child? Two, archetypes: fundamental, but too often along the lines of Gilgamesh and Beowulf and the Arabian Nights when it comes to women. Three, Creole's political, the intro's political, everything's political realy but when you've got a field of lit that centers itself around centuries of firsthand experiences with the dangers of ossification on one hand and annihilation on the other, it's a lot harder for academics to side step it. An unfortunate consequence of much of this politics is, first comes nationalism in the most patriarchal form it takes to take on the most evident form of the colonizing white supremacist patriarchy. It happened in the US, it happened in India, and while I like what Chamoiseau's trying to do here, I'm not the audience it was written for. Aesthetic appreciation versus heart and soul, y'know.\ The fact remains that a number of these stories are weirdly (sometimes terrifyingly) wonderful in ways that lend themselves marvelously to teasing out what oppressive usuals are being subverted, what colonial nursery rhyme indoctrinations are being turned inside out and upside down, how old is this tale really and how many tricks does it still have yet to learn. Also, as mentioned in a previous status, this is a Prix Goncourt winning writer we're talking about here. The work that won it is one of many that suffers from the rampant One Hundred Years of Solitude-Comparison Syndrome, but the prof assured me the author's much better about his women of color characters in that one, so between that and my admiration for his theoretical politics I may have to check it out.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    The painful legacy of slavery is ever-present in this collection of twelve Creole folktales from the Caribbean island of Martinique, retold by novelist and historian Patrick Chamoiseau, whose critically acclaimed Texaco was awarded the Prix Goncourt. It could hardly be otherwise, as so many of these stories (according to the author's brief foreword) come from the days of slavery, and so many of their heroes, like that trickster Ti-Jean Horizon, are slaves themselves. One especially haunting The painful legacy of slavery is ever-present in this collection of twelve Creole folktales from the Caribbean island of Martinique, retold by novelist and historian Patrick Chamoiseau, whose critically acclaimed Texaco was awarded the Prix Goncourt. It could hardly be otherwise, as so many of these stories (according to the author's brief foreword) come from the days of slavery, and so many of their heroes, like that trickster Ti-Jean Horizon, are slaves themselves. One especially haunting tale, The Person Who Bled Hearts Dry, is actually set during one of the transatlantic sea voyages of the Middle Passage. But even in those selections which do not reference slavery directly, there is this sense that it is still present - a malignant and influential force, like the devils that also seem to crop up with regularity. The ubiquity of hunger - "gluttony is no sin," declares the narrator, at one point - and racial injustice in these tales, highlight slavery's sinister and lasting influence on Creole culture. The ability of the storyteller - that nighttime rebel, that "Master of Words" - to capture these realties without being captured by them; to use all of his facility with language, all of his humor and understanding, in depicting the heart which survives - and even defies - such terrible brutality and oppression, make these tales a truly exceptional testament to the human spirit. And, of course, the language itself is simply gorgeous. I loved the narrative voice here, the many little editorial asides made by the storyteller, as when (in Glan-Glan, the Spat-Out Bird) he remarks mid-story: "Allow me to offer my opinion: I would have tiptoed away from such a sight, because when it comes to marvels, unless they're in a fairy tale, I keep my head down." As other reviewers have noted, the reader feels as if the teller were speaking directly to her, in some intimate setting, rather than through the words on a flat page. I do not think I have read any other folklore from Martinique - although I did enjoy Daniel Picouly's Thumbelina of Toulaba , a Martiniquais adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's famous tale - so many of these stories were new to me. Of course, some of the constituent elements - the Bluebeard-like locked chambers in A Little Matter of Marriage, for instance - were familiar. One tale - Yé, Master of Famine, in which a shiftless father manages to bring home a hungry devil who eats all the family food (and forces his unfortunate victims to eat his feces) - seems like a variant of the Puerto Rican tale Oté , with which it has many common points. But other than these few examples, I wasn't able to pick out very many points of comparison (one of my favorite things to do, when reading folklore). With powerful story and beautiful language, this slim little volume packs quite a punch, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves good folktales, anyone interested in the effects of slavery on African-descended peoples in the Caribbean, and anyone interested in Martiniquais culture. I've looked around, and can't find another collection like it!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Naori

    3.5 Actually, and definitely review coming...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kumasama

    *Score: 7/10* A collection of 12 folktales based on Martinique Island culture, based on stories the author heard as a child. Their nature tends to be a bit darker than common folktales and involve lots of stories about devil and sorcery. Pros: - Fun and easy read - Some of the longer stories are nice and funny in a dark way Cons: - Stories generally dont standout, and all tend to blend a bit with each other Overall: Nice, but nothing special imo. I was hoping for more unique ideas and a bit longer stor *Score: 7/10* A collection of 12 folktales based on Martinique Island culture, based on stories the author heard as a child. Their nature tends to be a bit darker than common folktales and involve lots of stories about devil and sorcery. Pros: - Fun and easy read - Some of the longer stories are nice and funny in a dark way Cons: - Stories generally dont standout, and all tend to blend a bit with each other Overall: Nice, but nothing special imo. I was hoping for more unique ideas and a bit longer stories, as most are too short to make any sort of impact on memory.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Viva

    Enjoyed it! I have never pickup a folktales book prior to reading Creole Folktales. Great to read at night. The overall writing style, the detail descriptions and symbolism made for great stories. I can read this book again.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    I'm a little obsessed with myths and folktales. So everything I say is in the context of that. If you don't like reading myths, folktales or fairy tales, then skip on down to the next book. As far as mythology books go, this one was superb. Up there with the best I've read. Whether through the strength of the story teller (its' a little cliche, but you really do get the feeling that he's sitting there by you telling these stories) or through the flavour of the Creole tales themselves, I don't know I'm a little obsessed with myths and folktales. So everything I say is in the context of that. If you don't like reading myths, folktales or fairy tales, then skip on down to the next book. As far as mythology books go, this one was superb. Up there with the best I've read. Whether through the strength of the story teller (its' a little cliche, but you really do get the feeling that he's sitting there by you telling these stories) or through the flavour of the Creole tales themselves, I don't know.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Darryl

    This is an entertaining collection of folktales that the author, who grew up and continues to reside on the island of Martinique, heard as a child. These tales originated amongst the slaves brought from Africa to the island by the French to harvest sugar cane, and were told by storytellers at night, once the work day was done. Common themes include food, as the slaves were given barely enough food to stay alive, and trickery, by clever Creoles, devils or other spirits. Chamoiseau enlivens these This is an entertaining collection of folktales that the author, who grew up and continues to reside on the island of Martinique, heard as a child. These tales originated amongst the slaves brought from Africa to the island by the French to harvest sugar cane, and were told by storytellers at night, once the work day was done. Common themes include food, as the slaves were given barely enough food to stay alive, and trickery, by clever Creoles, devils or other spirits. Chamoiseau enlivens these stories with warmth and humor, and they are delightful to read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    David Macpherson

    I picked this up with a bunch of other folktale books and was surprised on how literary it was. The stories are basic folk tales, but hte way they were told added so much life to it. I loved how in many of the stories the narrator put himself into the tale, as a by-stander, a member of the wedding. Some of the language is gorgeous. A really enjoyable collection.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gail Harris

  10. 4 out of 5

    Creolecat

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leia

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tony Gordon

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  14. 4 out of 5

    SM Ruth

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nora

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erin Colby Colby

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael Vo

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rouke

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine Samiere

  20. 5 out of 5

    Howard

  21. 4 out of 5

    Angie

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

  23. 4 out of 5

    Soryah Hollasie Mottley

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joe Hiller

  25. 5 out of 5

    Blake

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alisia Barringer

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sian

  29. 4 out of 5

    cuddlefish

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sam toer

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...