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The Confessions of Nat Turner

The Confessions of Nat Turner By William Styron The Confessions of Nat Turner WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZEIn Nat Turner awaits death in a Virginia jail cell He is a slave a preacher and the leader of the only effective slave revolt in the history of that peculiar institu

  • Title: The Confessions of Nat Turner
  • Author: William Styron
  • ISBN: 9780679736639
  • Page: 497
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Confessions of Nat Turner By William Styron WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZEIn 1831 Nat Turner awaits death in a Virginia jail cell He is a slave, a preacher, and the leader of the only effective slave revolt in the history of that peculiar institution William Styron s ambitious and stunningly accomplished novel is Turner s confession, made to his jailers under the duress of his God Encompasses the betrayals, cruelWINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZEIn 1831 Nat Turner awaits death in a Virginia jail cell He is a slave, a preacher, and the leader of the only effective slave revolt in the history of that peculiar institution William Styron s ambitious and stunningly accomplished novel is Turner s confession, made to his jailers under the duress of his God Encompasses the betrayals, cruelties and humiliations that made up slavery and that still sear the collective psyches of both races.
    The Confessions of Nat Turner By William Styron

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    One thought on “The Confessions of Nat Turner

    1. Warwick on said:

      This book caused quite a controversy when it came out in 1967, and judging from some of the reviews here and on , it s continuing to do so I didn t know about any of that when I started it, but the I read the novel, the dissatisfying and even irresponsible it started to seem.Some have traced the outcry which followed its release to the simple fact that a white Virginian author was writing his way into the mind of a 19th century black slave, but that is hardly the issue The book may have won th [...]

    2. Jonfaith on said:

      By sword and ax and gun you run a swath through this county that will be long remembered You did, as you say, come damn near to taking your army into this town And in addition, as I think I told you before, you scared the entire South into a condition that may be described as well nigh shitless No niggers ever done anything like this.During my arrogant youth I signed up for a History of Slavery course, you know, so I could marshall evidence against The Man I went the first day, inspired by Huey [...]

    3. Karen on said:

      Much has been made of this book, with criticism ranging from the extreme charge of racism to the milder implication that Styron, as a white man, could not capture Nat Turner s blackness the way a black writer could have I don t wish to address this book within the context of these controversies Styron may not have been able to capture Turner s blackness the way a black writer could have as an Asian American woman myself I will never know , but he did capture Turner the man in a way only a great [...]

    4. Jim on said:

      I m tempted to give this 1 star, but it does hold some historical perspectives that are worth reading Just be aware that Styron twisted some facets of history around subscribed unsupportable motivations to Turner, a religious fanatic a lunatic, by his own words to Thomas Ruffin Gray Gray was the lawyer who sat down with Turner while he was awaiting execution wrote the first Confessions It s available as a free download here 2 15 2018 update of the original link, old one busted Turner thought him [...]

    5. Carol Storm on said:

      Terrible book Just as dishonest as Margaret Mitchell s GONE WITH THE WIND but not nearly as entertaining.William Styron s problem is that he s rotten with self disgust, and trying desperately to vindicate the guilty south This book isn t really about discovering a new truth about the Negro, but rather about trying desperately to keep his own illusions intact Here s what William Stryon wants to believe Slavery, while a terrible curse on both races, cannot be blamed on the South Especially not on [...]

    6. Scott Axsom on said:

      By turns breathtakingly beautiful and heartbreakingly poignant, William Styron s The Confessions of Nat Turner ranks among the most beautiful novels I ve read Though unavoidably polemical, the book is nonetheless a deeply stirring contemplation of man s place in the universe and his duties to his fellow man.The story is told through the eyes of a man convicted of leading one of the most notorious slave revolts in US history He is a man of God, and the book explores the circumstances that brought [...]

    7. Christopher Conlon on said:

      At the height of his fame, William Styron was one of America s pre eminent novelists, his name invariably present in any list of the luminaries of the post World War 2 generation of Big Male Writers Saul Bellow, Gore Vidal, James Baldwin, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote et al Yet like some of that group James Jones comes to mind , Styron s star has to a large degree faded Some of the diminishment may be due to the fact that he was never prolific, and his reputation must stand or fall on a tiny hand [...]

    8. L on said:

      Review written by my younger self Why is a novel that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1967 on my Hate list Author Styron has no question about the important presence his novel has he states that he is giving readers a fictional presentation of the actual history surrounding our title character in 1831 With this, Stryon takes on a certain authorial latitude that can be easily misconstrued with actual history I can understand the message Styron wishes to communicate He presents the historical precursor fo [...]

    9. Diane Barnes on said:

      I didn t even have to think about the 5 stars given this book Powerful writing, powerful characters, powerful themes this is what great literature is meant to be I consider the controversy surrounding this book to be an indication of it s excellence I won t bother to give a synopsis of the plot, but I will say it paints a painful and depressing view of the institution of slavery and it s effect on white and black people, creating less than human roles for both races I m glad I finally got around [...]

    10. Nathan "N.R." Gaddis on said:

      You see the quotation marks down there And I really am not going to dance around spoilers.I ve not read Nat Turner I ve not read Sophie s Choice In fact I ve likely never read word one by Styron And don t really care to Aesthetic reasons.But there s a brief discussion I ran across in Frederick R Karl s American Fictions 1940 1980 A Comprehensive History and Critical Evaluation about a collection of responses to Styron s book William Styron s Nat Turner Ten Black Writers Respond I can t say I ve [...]

    11. Chad Bearden on said:

      I won t really go into whether or not Styron has the right, as a rich white guy, to tell the story of the black slave, Nat Turner Nor will I engage with those who cry foul at the historical accuracy of these Confessions Those that harp on such things are missing the point of this work.To the extent that the point is obvious which it isn t, necessarily , Styron seems to have set out to explore the true story of a fascinating event in the history of American slavery, and to use it to describe and [...]

    12. Ned on said:

      A tremendously talented writer is Styron and a fascinating portrait of human bondage, madness and religious fervor gone amok Very relevant to today on these topics, though set in early part of 19th century Virginia Great research, exquisite detail and stupendous character development One of the best historical novels I ve read, and perhaps my favorite read of the year so far Looking forward to reading all Styron.

    13. Larry Bassett on said:

      This book was published in 1967 It was at the time of black power and the civil rights movement The book was a big hit and won the Pulitzer Prize and then ran into the headwinds of controversy I had forgotten that in the many years that passed How could this rich, white, southern man write about the experience of a black slave Soon, though, a group of African American writers attacked the book, accusing Styron of distorting history, of co opting their hero, and of demeaning Turner by endowing hi [...]

    14. Elizabeth (Alaska) on said:

      I have so many thoughts on this It is a powerful novel Early on, I thought if they had awarded two Pulitzers in 1968, this could have won it twice Reading it now close to 50 years after publication, and with 21st Century eyes, I don t understand the controversy The edition I read opens with an author s note The first sentence tells the basis for the novel In August, 1831, in a remote region of southeastern Virginia, there took place the only effective, sustained revolt in the annals of American [...]

    15. Karen Chung on said:

      Leave it to Styron to write a first person perspective narrative of a black slave If you want to revisit the offensive stereotype of a black man constantly fantasizing about sexually assaulting innocent white women, then go ahead and read it I have no idea why this book won a Pulitzer.

    16. Jennifer Hughes on said:

      I think I m giving up on Pulitzers I ve seen so many now that have very few redeeming qualities and just are rotten reading So here are The Confessions of Jennifer Hughes Section 1 Hmm Seems like a really interesting novel based on true historical events of the only effective, sustained revolt in the history of American slavery I m thinking 4 or maybe 3 stars here.Section 2 Confusing, circular method of story telling I m losing interest Down to 2 stars.Section 3 Aagh Horrifying, gruesome, and na [...]

    17. Judy on said:

      This novel puts an agonizing face on the institution of slavery and explains, from Nat Turner s perspective, the 1831 slave revolt in southeastern Virginia I ve found it hard to get this book out of my mind.

    18. Bradplumer on said:

      My gut first reaction to The Confessions of Nat Turner was something like wow, holy f , this is brilliant Then I started flipping through some of the contemporary reviews, the historians who thought Styron s portrayal of a slave revolt in the 1830s was psychologically sick and morally senile, who said Styron himself possessed a vile racist imagination Oh no.So after thinking about it for a bit, here s what I d say One way to look at the long, angry controversy around The Confessions of Nat Turne [...]

    19. Mark on said:

      Nat Turner was a negro preacher, an educated slave, born and raised in Virginia He felt he had been ordained by God, to fight a cause and start an insurrection against the horrors of slavery This is a fictionalized account of this story, narrated by Turner, as he lies in his cell, shackled, awaiting his execution.There was rampant controversy surrounding this novel, on it s release in 1967 America was in revolt at the time, over civil rights issues and having a white southerner pen this story, c [...]

    20. Tim on said:

      Of William Styron s four main works of fiction meaning, in this case, full length novels , the Pulitzer winning The Confessions of Nat Turner is my least favorite It s still pretty damn good that should give you an idea of what I think of Styron People have thrown stones at Styron for years over his portrayal of Turner, who supposedly was acting on a mandate from God in leading a slave uprising You know, white guy writing in first person as a black man, taking liberties with history The book see [...]

    21. Lawyer on said:

      William Styron s The Confessions of Nat TurnerTHE GATHERINGWhereupon all members of the congregation are seatedE LECTIONARYFirst ReadingOn Being Brought from Africa to America Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,Taught my benighted soul to understandThat there s a God, that there s a Saviour too Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.Some view our sable race with scornful eye, Their colour is a diabolic die Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain,May be refin d, and join th angelic t [...]

    22. Maureen on said:

      I read what I think was the 25th anniversary edition with an additional look back by the author coming at the end of the book It was very interesting as it described his process in making some of the decisions he was faced with where there were gaps in the historical record, or when it seemed that something contrary to the record might work better for the purposes of his novel I won t go into detail for fear of revealing too much, but some of his choices just didn t seem to fit in with the overa [...]

    23. Cynthia on said:

      Styron s Nat Turner seems to be awash in controversy which makes me hesitate to throw my opinion onto the pile but what they hey I thought the book well written It showed another facet of possible antebellum history Styron threw in the old chestnut of a black man lusting after a white woman which made my head ache The book opened up a complex set of moral issues for me Who would condone murder but then who in their right mind would own another person To juxtapose this book I m also reading Steph [...]

    24. Armin Hennig on said:

      57 100 William Styron ist ein Autor, der sehr gro z gig mit der Zeit seiner Leser umgeht, von daher muss er sich auch dem Anspruch stellen, etwas zu liefern, was den Aufwand rechtfertigt, sich heute noch durch seine Bekenntnisse des Nat Turner zu m hen.Die Debatte, ob ein wei er Schriftsteller aus dem 20 Jahrhundert einen Roman mit einem schwarzen Rebellen aus dem 19 Jahrhundert schreiben darf und inwieweit ein 50 Jahre altes Buch in Sachen Wortwahl und Gestaltung aktuellen Anspr chen in Sachen [...]

    25. Tinea on said:

      EDIT after reading reviews on Get the f outta town all y all saying the homoerotic parts of this book are what emascluates Nat Turner s character ACTUALLY, sexuality is helluv complicated and fluid, and that is true and sometimes goes double in constrained life contexts, even really masculine ones like wars and enslavement and sports It s pretty sick to read childhood sexual experimentation in a life with almost unlimited lack of privacy freedom as anything except bravery Ugh I hate when there s [...]

    26. Erin on said:

      As a former literature student with little to no knowledge of the real Nat Turner, I approached and judged this novel on the strength of its narrative Styron constructs a story within a story the reader meets Turner as he prepares for trial After the prosecutor reads Turner s confessions, Nat gives the reader the background that leads to his rebellion The story closes as Nat is taken to the gallows.What I find interesting again as a student of literature , is the way Styron plays with the notion [...]

    27. Quo on said:

      The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron is a courageous, visceral beautifully written tale, a book not bound by the transcribed historical narrative of Nat Turner, incomplete as it is but one that transforms the skeletal background details into an exceedingly memorable story of the 1831 slave rebellion in Southampton, within the Tidewater area of Virginia There has been much negative commentary on the book by a variety of African American writers, among others but also extensive praise f [...]

    28. Dominic on said:

      The Confessions of Nat Turner is my first Styron novel, and it proves that Styron is a true writer s writer It is undeniable that he composes some utterly breathtaking prose As for the story, which takes the scant historical fact of slave rebellion leader Nat Turner and turns it into a bold feat of writerly imagination, it is disturbing, haunting, and totally engrossing In a way, Nat Turner is the link connecting two other masterworks of Southern Literature a genre fast becoming my favorite Faul [...]

    29. L on said:

      This was both entertaining and graphic than I was expecting it to be I expected some kind of dry, fact by fact account of an event in the history of the U.S Instead, this book brought Nat Turner to life for me The author states in the foreword that he had very little to draw from when creating the novel therefore, he took liberties.I have no idea why this novel fiction, mind you is labeled racist by so many I found myself caring for Nat and although not condoning his actions at the end of his [...]

    30. Dale on said:

      A controversial winner of the 1967 Pulitzer PrizeHere we are, 34 years later and The Confessions of Nat Turner is still in the news Most recently, Henry Louis Gates, Jr made comments positive ones, now Originally negative impressions, years ago about the book The primary controversy is quite simple how can a white man, a southerner, and the descendent of slave owners write a novel about one of the few slaves who actually stood up and demanded his freedom by leading a rebellion Some have even ass [...]

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