The Black Haired Girl
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That said, in general terms this teacher might have a point. Often what one person calls 'black' another might call 'dark' or 'dark brown'. There are sometimes 'gray areas' no pun intended in terms of where one colour ends and another begins, even among speakers of the same language. There's a particular shade of dark brown which I insist is brown yet my wife insists is purple. The truth is we're both correct. In Welsh, they use the word 'glas' to mean blue, yet they also use the same word for the colour of grass, whereas most English-speakers would describe grass as green, not blue.
Some colours have particular connotations in certain languages, e. I understand in Russian yellow zholtee often has a dirty as in 'unclean' connotation, while in Spanish I understand 'verde' can mean lewd whereas in English we would say 'blue' as in a blue joke or a blue movie. Also, technically black is not a colour but rather the absence of colour, so strictly speaking no one has black hair under the microscope.
Have you tried entering "black hair" in our translator to see what it says? I don't really want to contradict your Spanish teacher but it is said as "pelo negro". Maybe you could say: El pelo es negro The hair is black. Here is an excerpt from a Spanish translation of the beginning of Snow White Blancanieves , where she is clearly described as having 'pelo negro'. I hope this helps. I've never heard this. Read this for some other surprising ways you can talk about hair color, like pelimorado.
Normally if you are talking about pure black hair, you will say pelo azabache but if it is just very dark you could say pelo moreno or pelo negro. I can't say that I blame them. With a title that conjures The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and blurbs and summaries that throw around words like "thriller" and "noir," it does seem to project the wrong image.
That enthusiasm did not last very long. Stone uses the aftermath of Maud's death to explore morality in both specific and broad terms. The novel's setting is a prestigious liberal arts college in New England, an academic institution whose motto, Lux in Umbras Procedet , or Light Will Go Forth Into Shadows , hearkens to a vainglorious past, its original mission to bring civilization and God's light to the wilderness.
Ironically, in its 21st century manifestation, it has become the place that creates shadows, a place of locks and barriers--no longer seeking to interact with the world, it seems to insulate itself from it. In its attempt to protect itself from outside influence, it's evident that its insular nature is destroying it from within.
It is a gray, dismal wasteland populated by the selfish and the insane. After Maud writes a scathing indictment although, from my perspective, a clumsy, rambling and ridiculously written diatribe that I cannot imagine anyone finding persuasive or brilliant of the hypocrisy of Christian right-to-lifers that is published in the school newspaper, the college becomes a literal battleground between the secular and the sacred as hundreds of protesters flock to the campus and some go so far as to physically threaten Maud. Many of the characters here seem to be in hell: Maud; her father, Eddie; the school counselor, Jo Carr; and Steve Brookman carry and create their own personal demons.
There are also lesser angels presented in the form of the dean's wife, Mary Pick, whose tragic past in Ireland seems to have only strengthened her faith, and Ellie Brookman, who routinely leaves the college to return to the Garden-like existence offered by her Mennonite community in Canada.
A woman of deep faith who believes her life to be firmly in the hands of God, Ellie serves as the embodiment of the platonic ideal for Brookman: a constant presence reminding him to do better and be better in light of his past. Discovering her pregnancy months after leaving their home to return to the fold of her family seems to remove her from the sordid sexual escapades at the college, making her pregnancy seem almost immaculate and her presence in Brookman's life divine.
So, yes, there's a lot going on here in terms of spirituality, repeatedly dancing at the edge of existential angst and then pulling back again.
There's some beautiful writing the scene depicting the reaction of Maud's father, Eddie, after he learns of her death is heart-wrenching. So what's the problem? Remember how I said Maud's editorial rant was rambling and clumsy? Ultimately, that's how I felt about the structure of the novel. The story isn't really about Maud's death at all, but splinters off into a dozen different directions, following secondary characters in such a hurried, abrupt way that the reader never finds resolution on any front. It's like Maud's death is a bare Christmas tree from which Stone hangs every vituperative, cynical, and nihilistic bauble he can find.
But then he stands back and thinks something is missing. So out come the garlands of devotion and piety as a counterweight. But still, it's not quite right. Maybe some twinkling obvious symbolism lights? The plot becomes so weighted under these conflicting and ponderous messages that I just lost interest. But the real death knell? The host of unlikable characters.
‘Death of the Black-Haired Girl’ by Robert Stone - The Boston Globe
Now, don't get me wrong--I'm not suggesting they should be likable in the sense that they should be good in fact, it is the intended saints in the novel that I find particularly obnoxious , but there should be something about them that I still find appealing. Not so here. Part of my complaint comes from the fact that the novel does far more telling than showing, so many of the characters seem two-dimensional. It doesn't help that these are self-centered, pretentious, beautiful people who are careless with the lives of others.
Surprisingly, the only sympathetic character is the one I thought I would loathe the most: Steve Brookman. Despite everything, there's the sense that he did love Maud in some way that went beyond lust. He doesn't come across as a lecherous Humbert Humbert in that what he loved and celebrated in Maud had as much to do with her intellect and her potential as her youth and beauty. In the end, I can only state that Death of the Dark-Haired Girl ultimately seems tedious and unnecessary despite its grander aspirations.
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Mar 25, Barbara rated it it was ok Shelves: challenge. Though there's a death in the story it's not a mystery as such, with detectives following clues, etc. It's more of a literary novel. The basic story: Maud Stack is a beautiful, bright co-ed at a prestigious New England college. Before it's published Maud drops the article off at Brookman's office, hoping to impress him with her writing. As it happens Brookman has just learned that his wife is pregnant with their much-desired second child and has decided to break up with Maud.
Thus, he doesn't read her article, avoids her phone calls, and doesn't respond to her text messages. Without Brookman to deter her, Maud's article is published. It garners enormous fury and blowback from the anti-abortion community, especially religious Catholics. This part is hard to buy into. Surely the editor of 'The Gazette' would nix publication of such an inflammatory piece. Maud, very much in love with Brookman, is devastated by the break up.
She shows up drunk outside his house one blizzardy evening and throws snow at the windows, screams at him, yells things about his wife, and so on. Brookman, wanting to protect his family, goes out to confront Maud - hoping to convince her to go home. Maud attacks Brookman, punching and hitting. Brookman tries to restrain the girl, and during the struggle a car hits Maud and she's killed.
Detectives investigate the incident. Did an anti-abortion protestor hit Maud? Did Brookman push her in front of the car? Was it a random accident? Was it the religious, stalkerish, estranged husband of Maud's roommate? Various 'witnesses' provide conflicting accounts of what happened and it's hard to decipher the truth. Stack got emphysema from the dust, became disabled, and retired. Stack loves his daughter, is devastated by her death, and is determined to get retribution. It's pretty horrifying to think that cops would steal from disaster victims but who knows if this is true or not.
Though some of this sounds like the stuff of mystery, the story doesn't really slant that way. In the end we do find out who killed Maud but this isn't the important part of the story. The book has interesting characters and situations but I found it hard to remain engaged in the tale, which seems to wander all over the place.
Thus, in the end, I didn't like the book much. Jun 18, Alison rated it it was ok. This is a perfectly ridiculous campus melodrama, written by a man who writes very well about drugs and violence and warzones and should probably just stick to that. And I could should just leave it at that, because that's true and it's hardly worth wasting type on a mistake of a novel. I couldn't stop reading it. It was a tota This is a perfectly ridiculous campus melodrama, written by a man who writes very well about drugs and violence and warzones and should probably just stick to that.
It was a total trainwreck.