Friday, February 12, 2010

The Price of Stupidity

'Refusing to admit defeat, I shouted loudly to them again, "Where is Sunamei? Sunamei?"

They responded with the silence of a ten-thousand-year-old, snow-covered mountain. I wished they would curse me, see me, or hear me. Standing in the yard, I howled desperately,"Sunamei! Sunamei!"

No one heard my howling but a flock of scared chickens that fled noisily. Their flight proved that my vocal cords still worked.' p 367-368

from The Remote Country of Women by Bai Hua.

The character Liang did a foolish, foolish thing. He insulted the cultural practices of his wife's people, the Mosue, a matrilineal society in which the women are their own masters on earth.

The punishment for his misbehavior was unspoken among the villagers. He became an Invisible...not worthy of being seen, being heard, being considered a living entity. What a torturous existence...Indeed!

A very lyrical book worthy of reading several times. The book sways from one point of view to another with constrasting timbre of each speaker, views from different worlds. The surprising ending is not surprising upon reflection however, one is left with the proverbial, "Hey, wait a minute...What happened here?"

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