[Read] ➬ The Confessions of Nat Turner Author William Styron – Saudionline.co.uk



10 thoughts on “The Confessions of Nat Turner

  1. says:

    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 the Pulitzer, but for me it has two major problems the narrative voice is wildly inappropriate and the characterisation is on ethically shaky ground.The book is narrated by Nat Turner, the poor and uneducated slave who led a rebellion against white society in 1831 Nat has scrabbled together a self taught literacy through a study of the Bible Yet the register of his narration is jarringly elevated It may be the commencement of spring or perhaps the end of summer it matters less what the season is than that the air is almost seasonless benign and neutral, windless, devoid of heat or cold.This is from his introductory remarks on the first page By the end of the book, as he really tries to ratchet up the sense of drama, he is writing things like this I heard from afar, across the withering late summer meadows, the jingle of a cowbell like eternity piercing my heart with a sudden intolerable awareness of the eternity of the imprisoning years stretched out before me it is hard to describe the serene mood which, even in the midst of this buzzing madness, would steal over me when as if in a benison of cool raindrops or rushing water I would suddenly sink away toward a dream of Isiah.Does this really seem like the way a psychopathic uneducated slave would talk Not to me it doesn t What it sounds like is an overeducated middle class 20th century writer Of course this is fiction, and there is no real reason why Styron can t just abandon verisimilitude and write however he likes and if the writing were beautiful I would probably not care But I m afraid I didn t find it especially beautiful just overblown and consciously literary in a way that distracted from the story.Nat Turner writes suspiciously like William Styron and identifying author with character turns out to be of particular concern in a book like this Where this moves from literary concerns to moral ones is the way Nat s stylistic flourishes are contrasted with the dialectal speech of other slaves Not only do other black characters have their patois transcribed in detail and to the point of caricature , but Nat himself is made to see it in the worst possible terms Yam, me tek ee dar, missy, me tek ee dar I listened closely It was blue gum country nigger talk at its thickest, nearly impenetrable, a stunted speech unbearably halting and cumbersome with a wet gulping sound of Africa in it.It seems like this represents not the thoughts of a fellow slave, but rather the kind of racist white society around him That s not to say that no slaves internalised this racism and looked down on other black people I m sure that happened But for an author to stress this element so strongly seems rather precarious, and taken with how much Styron s own writing seems to speak through Nat s narration, leaves the author in a slightly awkward position.If it were just the language it might be surmountable, but it isn t In so many ways Nat is given exactly the feelings that anti emancipationist, pro slavery militants liked to imagine black people had Despite leading a slave rebellion, Styron s Nat Turner is himself the most fervent despiser of black people He sees them as a disheveled, ragged lot filled with laughter high and heedless, and loutish nigger cheer faces popeyed with black nigger credulity , sweat streaming off their black backs in shiny torrents, the lot of them stinking to heaven.So after a few passages like this I couldn t help feeling that Nat s identification with the author was starting to have sinister overtones Nowhere is this unnerving than in sex Racist activists liked, then and later, to portray black people as sexually voracious, lusting wildly after god fearing white people s wives and daughters In that context it seems vaguely irresponsible to give exactly these impulses to Nat Disgusted at the rest of his own race, our narrator disappears into sexual fantasies of raping white girls It was always a nameless white girl between whose legs I envisioned myself a young girl with golden curls when I stole into my private place in the carpenter s shop to release my pent up desires, it was Miss Emmeline whose bare white full round hips and belly responded wildly to all my lust and who, sobbing mercy, mercy, mercy against my ear, allowed me to partake of the wicked and godless yet unutterable joys of defilement.Again, I m not saying these psychological dynamics never happened, only that representing them in a balanced way is an incredibly delicate job and I don t find Styron up to it To speak the question, then, that lies behind these criticisms if Nat s high writing style is representative of the author than the character, then could the same be said of Nat s unpleasant opinions on race That s ridiculous, right That s ridiculous Obviously But at the same time, it s not the sort of question I want to be worrying about Styron s intention may have been to show how the system of slavery brutalised everyone, but the fact remains that he has come up with a portrait of a black man which would have pleased the most unpleasant proponent of white supremacy This is a real problem Add to that a writing style I could never believe in, and you have one of the few books that left me with, to put it mildly, serious misgivings.


  2. says:

    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 writer can.The figure of Nat Turner is a compelling one even though we can sympathize with his cause, we are still somewhat appalled by the bloodbath he created and the terror that followed in his wake His motivation, too, adds to our fascination with him had he claimed to be attempting a political overthrow or simply to be acting out of revenge, he would not be so intriguing Instead, however, he claimed to be acting on the direct orders of God And it was this claim that must have burned like a brand into the hearts of the white slaveowners, many of whom had already bent their minds into knots in their attempts to justify black slavery from a Christian perspective Nat the avenging prophet challenged not only the system of slavery, but also the divine justification for it on which slaveowners relied to assuage their own consciences.Turner could easily have been presented as a deluded religious fanatic, but some instinct told Styron not to portray him so And indeed, if we as a culture could convince ourselves that he was simply a religious fanatic I doubt we d be as fascinated by him as we are Instead Styron portrays him as dark and brooding, deeply conflicted, torn by ambivalences, driven by a love that eventually becomes indistinguishable from hate He loves his fellow slaves, but despises them for their ignorance he even loves some of his masters, but hates them for their inability to act on their convictions he loves Margaret Whitehead, but hates her for making him love her in a world where such love is forbidden he loves God deeply, but in the end comes close to hating Him for calling him to such a dreadful task and, most of all, he loves himself, but hates himself for being caught between worlds too educated to belong to the slave community, but too dark skinned to belong to the white community Some have commented on Styron s failure to give Turner a wife, but it is precisely Turner s loneliness that is his defining characteristic He does not belong with anyone, or to anyone He does not fit in anywhere It is this frustration that ultimately drives him to slaughter, but it is also this frustration that leads to his undoing He sought to use his fellow slaves to destroy the white world to which he could never belong, but he also realized that, even with the whites gone, he could never belong to the rag tag group of slaves who would remain Critiques that Styron hasn t captured the black experience, I believe, rather miss the mark Styron wasn t attempting to speak of the black experience, but rather he was attempting to speak of the experience of a lone man who sat on the margin between slave and free, who refused to be trapped into the world of slavery even when he knew that the free world would never let him in In the context of race relations, Styron s book can be seen as having done a great service in showing that, at those points where the boundaries between black and white, slave and free, begin to blend and blur, danger and destruction to both races lurk In such cases there are only two options We can do as the slaveowners did and redraw the boundaries even rigidly, a task which is bound to fail as the boundaries once again begin to merge over time Or we can eliminate the boundary altogether a task which I am sure Styron would support, and one which we are still in the process of completing.


  3. says:

    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 Newton, wearing a Ziggy Marley t shirt, cargo pants and my Barca soccer cleats I entered the room with Wretched of the Earth prominently displayed and discovered that the class was 80 percent black This is southern indiana, mind you I tried to participate and often did, the undertow of history kept clipping my thoughts and outbursts The instructor was also white and spent most of the semester bursting into tears The term project required reading a literary treatment of the period Gone With The Wind, Beloved and comparing it to slave narratives I chose William Styron s novel, well, because it concerned Nat Turner I did listen to Public Enemy after all.I did enjoy the novel and can remember a number of aspects Reading the critical responses to such, i can certainly empathize with those that felt that were being disinherited or disabused somehow by this nuanced portrait The chanteuse Abbey Lincoln proclaimed on Ken Burns Jazz, in this country they ll steal your ancestors That s a great deal of baggage for a goodreads review.


  4. says:

    Ve a Jerusalem y marca la frente de los hombres que suspiran y lloran a causa de todas las abominaciones que all ocurren M talos a todos, a viejos y j venes, a doncellas, mujeres y ni os, pero ni siquiera te acerques a los que llevan la marca Lo primero que tienen que saber de Nat Turner es que no es lo mismo que un carro, aunque ambos sean bienes muebles susceptibles de venderse o alquilarse por horas Tambi n es importante entender que Nat Turner, aun siendo negro, estaba dotado de libre albedr o y voluntad, por lo que, a diferencia del carro, las consecuencias de sus actos no eran responsabilidad de su amo y que, por tanto, pod a ser juzgado por ellos Y lo m s importante, Nat Turner encabez la rebeli n m s sangrienta de esclavos negros contra la esclavitud en EE.UU, una rebeli n fracasada por la que fue juzgado y condenado a morir en la horca Sobre Las confesiones de Nat Turner tambi n es conveniente que sepan que es una obra de ficci n, ganadora del Premio Pulitzer de 1968, y que fue escrita a partir de las supuestas confesiones que el propio esclavo hizo a su abogado defensor Thomas Gray con la esperanza de ser liberado de las cadenas que le apretaban tobillos, mu ecas y cuello y as hacer m s llevaderos sus ltimos d as antes de ser ahorcado Y, por supuesto, leer Las confesiones de Nat Turner les va a enfrentar al reto de comprender por qu esta novela fue tan criticada y tachada de racista Styron hace en su novela un ejercicio de reflexi n en base a lo poco que se sabe de la vida de Turner y con el fin de establecer una base de explicaci n plausible a algunos de los hechos que all ocurrieron Por qu la matanza de 57 personas, incluidos ni os y mujeres, muchos de ellos indefensos y asesinados en su propia cama Por qu Turner, qui n dirig a la rebeli n, mat a una sola persona Por qu esa persona fue precisamente una joven de 18 a os Por qu su acci n no se limit a apropiarse de los medios que les permitieran huir hacia la libertad Por qu la rebeli n fue tan poco apoyada entre los esclavos negros Por qu muchos de ellos defendieron las posesiones de sus amos blancos Criados, obedeced a vuestros amos con todo temor, y obedeced no s lo a los amos buenos y amables, sino tambi n a los perversos cuantas faltas comet is para con vuestros amos y amas, son faltas que comet is contra el mism simo Dios, quien en sus designios os ha dado estos amos y amas, y espera que os port is para con ellos de igual manera que os portar ais para l mismo Por mi parte, solo puedo entender las cr ticas en virtud de la sacralidad que llegan a alcanzar los mitos, los s mbolos, de una lucha por lo dem s justa y necesaria Solo desde esa perspectiva cuasi religiosa puede entenderse que alguien como Nate Parker, director de El nacimiento de una naci n, otra visi n de los mismos hechos narrados en la obra de Styron, pueda llegar a ver en el personaje de la novela a un lun tico sexualmente perturbado cuya nica motivaci n depend a de sus lujurias incontrolables para las mujeres blancas, y un rebelde que carec a de un verdadero prop sito o inteligencia Y solo partiendo de esta indignaci n por las argumentadas dudas que plantea Styron sobre la figura tradicional de un Turner viril, dominante y valiente, puede explicarse que se cuestione la capacidad de un blanco para entender lo que supuso la esclavitud solo en ese contexto puede enmarcarse las cr ticas al recurso de dotar de voz literaria a un personaje que claramente no deber a poder expresarse como aqu lo hace solo con esa perspectiva alguien puede encontrar aberrante poner en la boca de un esclavo el desprecio indignado por muchos de sus compa eros de infortunio Apalead a un negro, matadlo de hambre, dejad que se revuelque en sus propios excrementos, y este negro ser vuestro hasta el fin de sus d as , que pueda uno asombrarse de que no se produjeran m s rebeliones, que se denuncie la docilidad de muchos de ellos ante su opresi n, que se observe lo interiorizada que ten an su situaci n de esclavitud Cr ticas que, bajo mi criterio, tienen tan poca base como la que desde el otro lado del problema acusan a Styron de excusar la matanza Lean la novela, una gran novela, y si encuentran motivos de cr tica los discutimos.


  5. says:

    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 himself destined for great things due to visions that he ascribed to his god filtered through a distorted religion His twisted confession is a chilling look at life through the eyes of a serial killer, a seriously deranged man His rebellion was nothing than a wild killing spree without any other real purpose They killed at least 10 men, 14 women, and 31 infants and children His name should go down in history along side the likes of Hitler, Jim Jones David Berkowitz nut job murderers.Unfortunately, Styron s fictional account tends to excuse many of Turner s actions even shows him in a heroic light I don t see how this obviously intelligent charismatic man Turner could have so badly bungled a true rebellion His confession to Gray tells us that he was directed by the holy spirit toward some sort of judgment day It reads nothing like a man who wanted his physical freedom he d escaped come back on his own, unlike his father who escaped never returned but like a deranged man aiming for a baptism in blood.Reading some history on the reprisals that took place after this rebellion makes for even chilling reading The immediate executions beatings were horrible, but the effects on the anti slave movement were devastating Turner managed to destroy the growing sentiment that Jefferson had worked so hard to bring about finally seemed to be coming to fruition in VA.


  6. says:

    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 him to the decision to lead a rebellion that, by design, resulted in scores of murders I must admit that I found my interest flagging at the point in the story where the revolt was actually launched I found much compelling the tale of how a man of the cloth could be brought to the conclusion that mass killing is the only viable solution What series of events, what sequence of circumstances ultimately leads a person or people to conclude that killing is the solution This book seeks to answer that question, among others.The crushing dehumanization of the slave system is placed on vivid display by Styron here but the indomitability of the human spirit is the novel s true lodestar Certainly, one of the most controversial aspects of the story is Styron s treatment of the love that exists between Nat and a slaveholder s daughter In Shakespearean fashion, he draws the lines of a socioeconomic system that stripped an entire class of people of their humanity and, in the process, unavoidably diminished humanity itself.He describes a scene, late in the book, where Turner is in a position of power over a slave master and Turner realizes with some shock that it is the first time he s ever looked into the eyes of this man he s known for over a decade Such moments punctuate Styron s work here, along with Turner s thoroughgoing meditations on why a just god would allow such a system in the first place The author manages to thoroughly address the two fully intertwined, yet independently dangerous, subjects of Christianity and slavery, while conducting a searching exploration of our individual humanity when faced with a patently immoral system Though a painful read at times, this is a hauntingly beautiful novel and I guess I come down in the camp of people, such as Styron s friend, James Baldwin, who felt it was a work that needed to be done, regardless of the writer s race In Baldwin s own words, Each of us, helplessly and forever, contains the other male in female, white in black, and black in white We are part of each other


  7. says:

    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 Virginia, and most especially not on Virginia s ruling elite, who were all well meaning and decent people of the highest social breeding The real tragedy is not that blacks suffered under slavery, but that the wise, tolerant, and truly enlightened Virginia elite were never allowed to end slavery in their own way Blacks were too impatient for freedom and acted irresponsibly, egged on by the fanatical agitators of the North Are you convinced I m not But William Stryon really wants to believe this stuff So what he does is to give us the Nat Turner he can live with Not merely a weakling, a physical coward and a fool, this so called rebel is an almost comically enthusiastic cheerleader for Old Virginia He boasts that his first master hosts lavish parties for guests with names like Byrd and Cartwright Oh, boy All the upper class Virginians are well meaning, sensitive, educated It s only the poor whites and meddling Yankees who cause all the trouble Nat Turner is a terrible liar He blames all the wrong people for slavery And he keeps saying that God is absent What he means is that he wants God to take the rap for slavery Now, something tells me that it s Styron who s looking for someone to blame for slavery The real Nat Turner knew who to blame, and acted accordingly This is a terrible book Yet it s so full of despair and pessimism that in a sense you get the impression that writing it was its own punishment Styron was a deeply troubled man and he collapsed artistically after writing this book Almost as if he knew it was all lies, and knew that he was going to be judged for what he d done.Just like all the other slaveowners.


  8. says:

    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 to reading this novel, thanks to my GR group, On the Southern Literary Trail.


  9. says:

    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 handful of books Too, he suffered a very long decline as a writer in his later years, with his fourth and final novel, the celebrated Sophie s Choice, appearing in 1979 from then to his death in 2006 he published very little other than a brief memoir of his struggles with depression, Darkness Visible, and a brief collection of stories, A Tidewater Morning Both these books were published in small formats with large print and wide margins in an obvious attempt to make them look substantial than they were In fact, neither was really book length even with all the formatting tricks, Darkness Visible still only runs 85 pages While both Darkness Visible and A Tidewater Morning contain powerful and even beautiful writing, it s fair to wonder what in the world happened to William Styron Offhand the only similar fade to silence I can think of from a major artist is that of the composer Sibelius, who released no new music in his last thirty years, though rumors of another symphony were always rife just as rumors of a new William Styron novel it was to be called The Way of the Warrior were too.I discovered Styron at the tail end of what turned out to be his heyday This would have been in 1985, when I was a student at the College of the Redwoods in Arcata, California I d heard a great deal about the novel Sophie s Choice, and even about the movie, but was unfamiliar with either Burning to know about this writer, part of my favorite generation of American literary figures I was already deeply immersed in Capote, Vidal, Baldwin, and Mailer , I went to the school library only to discover that the single copy they had of Sophie s Choice was checked out But they had another Styron title It was called The Confessions of Nat Turner I took it home and read it in, I think, two days flat, awed by the power of its theme and language Styron immediately soared to the top of my must read list, and I quickly devoured everything else the man had ever published He remains a key writer in my life The Confessions of Nat Turner was controversial from the beginning In the novel Styron chooses to write in the first person voice of Nat Turner himself, perhaps the greatest rebel slave of the nineteenth century the man who led a band of Virginia slaves in 1831 to murder over fifty whites Styron s choice of first person may not seem like an issue today, but it s important to realize that the book was published in 1967 at the very height of the Civil Rights movement, and at virtually the very moment the movement began to harden and become militant with the rise of Black Power While the novel was an enormous commercial success and won the Pulitzer Prize, some in the black intellectual community were angered by it to such a degree that a kind of counter commentary, William Styron s Nat Turner Ten Black Writers Respond was published in 1968, the sole purpose of which was to attack, denigrate, and ridicule the novel and Styron himself in any way possible, reasonable or not.Reading a historical novel from another era results in a kind of double vision On the one hand we can admire Styron s gorgeous evocation of Virginia in 1831 his prose is as sure footedly lyrical as Capote s or Baldwin s on the other, we can t help but see how this narrative is very much a product of a 1960 s white man s imagination Styron is masterful at depicting Turner s mental anguish at being enslaved this book marked what was surely the first time most white readers had ever seriously contemplated the horror of the idea This was, remember, ten years before Roots seared its way into the national consciousness Styron s Nat Turner is a brilliantly conceived character, and his inner turmoil is fully convincing on its own terms.But it must be admitted that some of those terms are, read today, a bit odd Styron s Nat Turner often seems preoccupied with sex than liberation, and in a crucial move that brought down much of the black critical ire on him, the author invented a tension filled, love hate relationship not a love affair, as some claim between Turner and Margaret Whitehead, the lovely young belle who was, according to the historical record, Turner s only actual victim the only person he himself killed I find the several scenes between them powerful and even painful to read, with Margaret s nascent humanism struggling to overcome her lifetime s teachings about the worthlessness of black people But these scenes are also easy to misinterpret, to read merely as another Birth of a Nation like depiction of a black man lusting after a white woman Styron also left himself open to criticism by eliminating most of the black influences in Turner s life although the historical record indicates that Nat Turner was close to both his parents as well as his grandmother, Styron all but eliminates these figures from his story, instead focusing almost exclusively on Turner s relationships with his various white masters I can t help but wonder how conscious this decision was on Styron s part it may simply have been that he felt comfortable depicting scenes between blacks and whites than in trying to imagine black family relationships.In 1968, Styron published an essay, O Lost Etc bemoaning the fact that the reputation of one of his literary heroes, Thomas Wolfe, had sunk so low Poor Wolfe, he wrote, if not dead is certainly moribund, and the matter of his resuscitation is certainly in doubt Little did William Styron know that within a few years of his death, much the same could be said of his own literary legacy In any event, The Confessions of Nat Turner remains an admirable attempt to bridge the racial divide a divide that in 1967 surely seemed like an endless chasm It s the book that first sparked my interest in American slavery, an interest that led to my teaching a course on the subject for some years as well as, eventually, writing a collection of poems about a different historical event of the slavery period see my book The Weeping Time For those reasons, I can only give The Confessions of Nat Turner whatever its flaws five stars.


  10. says:

    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 for the problems and prejudices that haunt urban African Americans today But, with this, is it necessary to add his own altering of the actual history of this slave rebellion Here are some of the true facts Styron presents either directly or indirectly 60 white persons killed, 17 perpetrators hung, 12 sent to Alabama to die in slavery, and 131 free and enslaved Americans killed by a mob With 220 dead and America s laws at the time becoming increasingly harsh think of the Fugitive Slave Law , how much latitude does Styron need to express his point With such a novel that uses an actual person and event, how much responsibility does Styron hold to historical accuracy Many would say that he holds none at all There is, indeed, the anonymously written Primary Colors, among others, that takes its own version of history and tweaks it for entertainment appeal So let s consider Styron s purpose Is it entertainment In the book s afterword, Styron writes that the real Nat Turner was a person of conspicuous ghastliness and a dangerously religious lunatic So what does Styron want to do He wants to change this person of demonic fanaticism with one of stern piety Thus Styron wants to alter this man s personality With this, the story becomes one of a tortured man who feels that being cut off from God is a fate worse than death Throughout all his brutal and grotesque violence, he claims himself in the fictional parts of this novel to be a man of God Has Styron acted responsibly in doing this More importantly, does this alteration make it easier to swallow this historical event, and should that even be a consideration This event is just a small slice of the over 60 million slaves whose lives were lost What if these and other figures were altered in other historical events What if the numbers and events were altered regarding the over 12 million lost in the Holocaust What if authors decide they want to take some authorial license over the recent events in Rwanda, Cambodia, and Kosovo I do not discount the fact that the actual historically accurate circumstances regarding Nat Turner are of great significance today But can readers benefit from a story that claims to present important history and yet is not wholly accurate In a book entitled Ten Black Writers Respond, the title persons say that both they and their white counterparts would have better benefited from an unbiased assessment and chronicling of history as it is truly presented In fact, in one of the most obvious historically accurate omissions of Nat Turner being married with at least two children, activists and black writers accused Styron of adding firewood to the white racist view that black men are obsessed with white women.By taking liberties with the story and the man, Styron seemed to brush off the fact that slaves lives were actually worsened by Nat Turner and his rebellion The fact that Turner seems almost as prejudiced against field slaves as well as masters is soon overshadowed by the fact that he later becomes a champion of slaves nationwide Styron overlooks the fact that the real Nat Turner had a wife, and that his last few masters were actually relatively kind in a system of slavery that did not afford many kindnesses These overlooked historical facts could have only added to the human complexity that Styron was aiming for Noting all of these fallbacks, it seems the author was seeking a preposterous self aggrandizement by claiming unabashedly that his novel is a complete meditation on history As a historical novelist, Styron did not do what historical novelists should do i.e., investigate the facts Therefore, Confessions is not an accurate portrayal of Nat Turner, and dangerously takes a controversial figure of race relations and distorts him Only by presenting true accounts can historical novelists hope to honor and understand the complexity of the past and present this importance to their readers.


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The Confessions of Nat Turner download The Confessions of Nat Turner, read online The Confessions of Nat Turner, kindle ebook The Confessions of Nat Turner, The Confessions of Nat Turner 048087ccc224 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 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