Friday, May 2, 2014

Quotations: The Bluest Eye

I've read this one over and over and over. It's from Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, her first novel, page 134. It's tough to include, for reasons that will become obvious, but it's one of my favorite passages in all of literature, and I feel I would be remiss if I didn't put it here at some point.

Cholly loved Blue. Long after he was a man, he remembered the good times they had had. How on a July 4 at a church picnic a family was about to break open a watermelon. Several children were standing around watching. Blue was hovering about on the periphery of the circle--a faint smile of anticipation softening his face. The father of the family lifted the melon high over his head--his big arms looked taller than the trees to Cholly, and the melon blotted out the sun. Tall, head forward, eyes fastened on a rock, his arms higher than the pines, his hands holding a melon bigger than the sun, he paused an instant to get his bearing and secure his aim. Watching the figure etched against the bright blue sky, Cholly felt goose pimples popping along his arms and neck. He wondered if God looked like that. No. God was a nice old white man, with long white hair, flowing white beard, and little blue eyes that looked sad when people died and mean when they were bad. It must be the devil who  looks like that--holding the world in his hands, ready to dash it to the ground and spill the red guts so [I have removed a word that means black folks because it's in all our best interest that I not include it] could eat the sweet, warm insides. If the devil did look like that, Cholly preferred him. He never felt anything thinking about God, but just the idea of the devil excited him. And now the strong, black devil was blotting out the sun and getting ready to split open the world.

If you're wondering why I have censored that one word, here's a bit from Louis CK.

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