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Book Three Lives (Import) by T. Lobsang Rampa (1977-12-23)

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Three Lives (Import) by T. Lobsang Rampa (1977-12-23)

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  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • Corgi Books (1756)
  • Unknown
  • 8
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Review Text

  • By sally tarbox on October 19, 2017

    Three stories about three very different working-class American women; I enjoyed the first and last. The middle (longest- almost a novella at 95p) was a literary achievement but rather a chore to read.My favourite was 'The Good Anna' - humorous in places, a great character study of a strong-minded German immigrant; a devoted servant but one who liked to rule the roost.The final 'The Gentle Lena' follows a much weaker character, another German servant but this time a simple-minded girl whose aunt determines to arrange a marriage with a quiet and dutiful - and unwilling - friend's son...The challenging one was 'Melanctha', whose protagonist is a young African-American woman. She has a slightly dodgy past, and when she takes up with a clean-living doctor, he starts to doubt the wisdom of their relationship; his girlfriend seems a mass of contradictions. Stein writes in a style all her own; a conversational style, repeating many statements, laying it on layer after layer to build up an understanding in the reader."Melanctha acted now the way she had said it always had been with them. Now it was always Jeff who had to do the asking. Now it was always Jeff who had to ask when would be the next time he should come to see her. Now always she was good and patient to him, and now always she was kind and loving with him, and always Jeff felt it was, that she was good to give him anything he ever asked or wanted, but never now any more for her own sake to make her happy in him. Now she did these things, as if it was just to please her Jeff Campbell, who needed she should now have kindness for him. Always now he was the beggar with them. Always now Melanctha gave it, not of her need but from her bounty to him. Always now Jeff found it getting harder for him."

  • By A customer on October 22, 1999

    This is an important work of literature. The use of language to tell stories beyond what can typically be told in narrative was radical at the time. Students of early 20th Century American literature, students of gender studies, students of American studies should all be required to read it. Not an uplifting book and certainly not a book to recommend to your friends who spend more time watching TV and going to movies than reading.There is a controversy surrounding the book's central character named Melanctha. It is unfortunate that television dominates culture in this era. It would seem that when a work of literature depicts a black person, a typical reader expects Cliff Huxtable to appear in one of his dandy sweaters to dispense advice to one of his children in DKNY clothing. Or readers of popular literature (books with bumpy covers) become offended when African American characters do not resemble one of Alice Walker's or Alex Haley's romanticized figures.Melanctha is realistic. She is most likely a composite of many of the women with whom Stein came in contact while studying medicine in urban Baltimore. Melanctha's tragedy is that her intellect will go to waste because she is black and because she is a woman. Her sin (to some readers) seems to be that she talks like a black woman from Baltimore at that time would talk. So don't buy this book if you are offended by the way black people acted or German people acted (there is a story about German immigrants, as well) in Baltimore in the early 20th century.If you are a fan of popular literature...Haley, Alice Walker, and the Cosby show are probably more up your alley. If you are interested in a very interesting experimental work from early 20th Century, by a woman who took her appreciation of post-impressionist art and tried to apply it to literature...this is it.

  • By A customer on August 6, 2000

    read the other reviews and youll be surprised by the violent reactions of people to this book. richard wright, black activist and author, praised this book as the "first true representation of an african-american in american literature" and yet another famous activist labeled it "senseless racist drivel"What in the book provokes this controversy?The question is complex. Though Stein in all three stories uses words like "black" and"german" as undeniable stereotypes, there is no denying that these categories get deconstructed by the narrative and the style.If your read books for style, you cant go wrong here. Stein's experimental prose is poetry set to music, exploring all the auditory limits of the english language.There are 3 stories, The Good Anna, Melanctha and The Gentle Lena.The controversy is mainly about the second story. Not that the other stories dont have their issues. Eg: The Gentle Lena is probably one of the weirdest characters you will EVER see in fiction.So, buy this book and treat yourself to some pleasure in the english language!

  • By Terrence Yan on August 26, 2014

    Gertrude Stein's words are simple but strong. Her solid strokes makes the fullest of the stories of the labor women she's "painting". A life behind each writing.


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