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Haunting rendition of a young woman s last terrifying moments Oates comes at those moments from a variety of angles, and somehow it s enough to create an entire novella out of it in a way that seems natural.Black Water is a bit like water how apropos circling around a drain, getting faster and faster as it nears the inevitable end. Compelling and desperately sad, I read this in one sitting, and am now left feeling suffocated and horrified It s an oppressive and repetitive book, which I think will stay with me for a long while. Black water , Joyce Carol OatesKelly Kelleher is an idealistic, twenty six year old good girl when she meets the Senator at a Fourth of July party In a brilliantly woven narrative, we enter her past and her present, her mind and her body as she is fatally attracted to this older man, this hero, this soon to be lover Kelly becomes the very embodiment of the vulnerable, romantic dreams of bright and brave women, drawn to the power that certain men command at a party that takes on the quality Black water , Joyce Carol OatesKelly Kelleher is an idealistic, twenty six year old good girl when she meets the Senator at a Fourth of July party In a brilliantly woven narrative, we enter her past and her present, her mind and her body as she is fatally attracted to this older man, this hero, this soon to be lover Kelly becomes the very embodiment of the vulnerable, romantic dreams of bright and brave women, drawn to the power that certain men command at a party that takes on the quality of a surreal nightmare in a tragic car ride that we hope against hope will not end as we know it must end One of the acknowledged masters of American fiction, Joyce Carol Oates has written a bold tour de force that parts the black water to reveal the profoundest depths of human truth 2017 1385 154 9643692809 1387 1389 157 33 2012 3 The firs time I heard about the so called Chappaquiddick incident was in college It was right after Ted Kennedy died, and we were talking about it in one of my classes, and we got around to the various Kennedy scandals, and then my professor remarked, you know, everyone on the news keeps talking about all the good things that Ted Kennedy did during his life no one s mentioned how he was responsible for a woman s death Here are the facts on the night of July 18th 1969, Ted Kennedy left a pa The firs time I heard about the so called Chappaquiddick incident was in college It was right after Ted Kennedy died, and we were talking about it in one of my classes, and we got around to the various Kennedy scandals, and then my professor remarked, you know, everyone on the news keeps talking about all the good things that Ted Kennedy did during his life no one s mentioned how he was responsible for a woman s death Here are the facts on the night of July 18th 1969, Ted Kennedy left a party held on Chappaquiddick, an island near Martha s Vineyard In the car with him was Mary Jo Kopechne, a young woman who had worked on Robert Kennedy s campaign On their way to the ferry, Ted Kennedy accidentally drove the car off the road and into Poucha Pond The car landed upside down underwater, and although Kennedy was able to escape the car, Kopechne was not Kennedy claimed he tried to swim to the car several times to help her, but was unable to reach her After that, he walked away from the accident site, and the car was discovered the next morning by fishermen who then called the police.Here are the creepy facts and suspicious circumstances After trying unsuccessfully to reach the car, Ted Kennedy went back to the party, got several of his friends, and they returned to the site and tried to reach the car When this didn t work, Kennedy took the ferry to his hotel and went to sleep At no point during these events did he ever contact the police to tell them what had happened When Kopechne s body was finally retrieved from the car, she was found in the backseat, hanging onto the seat with her face tilted upwards suggesting that there was a pocket of air inside the car after the crash According to John Farrar, the diver who retrieved her body It looked as if she were holding herself up to get a last breath of air It was a consciously assumed position She didn t drown She died of suffocation in her own air void It took her at least three or four hours to die I had no idea that this happened, much less that this woman was trapped in a car underwater for at least two hours Nightmare doesn t begin to describe it You can see how it would make a good subject for a novella what was going through this woman s head as she was trapped in the car, dying slowly, hoping to be rescued And what better person to tackle this sensitive and terrifying subject than Joyce Men Are Bad and Will Hurt You Carol Oates If you ve read Blonde, you have a good idea of how this story is going to go Oates goes for the obvious and most sinister explanations possible of course her Kopechne stand in, Kelly, is a wide eye and naive idealist with a hefty dose of daddy issues and little romantic experience Of course her sex life gets described like this She d cried out, short high pitched gasping cries, she d sobbed, she d heard her voice distant, wild, pleading reverberating out of the corners of the darkened room, Oh I love you, I love you, I love love love you, their bodies slapping and sucking hot clammy with sweat, hair plastered to their heads with sweat, you know you re somebody s little girl don t you don t youand this since girlhood, kissing and being kissed, Kelly Kelleher had always felt, not her own, but the other s, the male s, desire Quick and galvanizing as an electric shock.Feeling too, once she caught her breath, that familiar wave of anxiety, guilt I ve made you want me, now I can t refuse you Joyce Carol Oates, you are exhausting.And of course Ted Kennedy aka the Senator is an aging, predatory creep who takes full advantage of Kelly s daddy issues Of course he s not only drunk when he drives Kelly to the ferry, but is actually drinking a cocktail as he crashed the car And of course he not only leaves Kelly behind in the car, but actually kicks her away in his haste to escape.Oates has this gift for inspiring outrage on behalf of the supposed villain of her historical retellings In my review of Blonde I was furious at her one sided portrayal of Tony Curtis, who was by all accounts a total douchebag, but something about Oates s version of him seemed so deliberately evil, so patently unfair Black Water was like that Could we have a little ambiguity, please Some sliver of goodness in the Senator, something about Kelly to suggest that she sthan just some wide eyed innocent trapped in the older man s web No, we can t the Senator is a bad, bad man and Kelly was a good, good girl and that is that, thank you In fact, as I read, I started to beinterested in the Senator s side of the story There are so manyquestions there when he tried to swim down to the car, did he think Kelly was alive How, when he was walking back to the party, did he not see any lights from nearby houses and try to call for help there Why did he call his friend first and not the police Why didn t he call the police at all What was going through his mind after he had escaped the car I wanted to read that story, I realized Kelly s story was terrifying and sad, of course, but the Senator s was where the real mystery was All Kelly did was drown WELL that s the most horrible sentence I ve ever typed in my life Alternating viewpoints going back and forth between Kelly and the Senator before, during, and after the accident would have been muchinteresting, and would have meant a fuller experience and a longer book Ultimately, this story succeeded because it made me really want to readabout the actual Chappaquiddick incident, but not because I appreciated Oates s take on the event By now, I ve learned that when it comes to retelling historical events, she can be extremely one sided and sensationalist A brilliant little book. Cautious interwinement of different time modes and perspectives held a lot of promise Parts of the plot were carefully strung into a captivating, fight for breath whole Along with the lack of misplaced words and clutter, it was what made the flow neat and tidy, but also what opened the possibility of its pitfall By definition, stringing pieces in a sequence involves staying within the narrow line and connecting similar components The same happened to the story the auspicious start did not Cautious interwinement of different time modes and perspectives held a lot of promise Parts of the plot were carefully strung into a captivating, fight for breath whole Along with the lack of misplaced words and clutter, it was what made the flow neat and tidy, but also what opened the possibility of its pitfall By definition, stringing pieces in a sequence involves staying within the narrow line and connecting similar components The same happened to the story the auspicious start did not progress and evolve, but only invoked a complementary platitude.The purpose of books based on true stories, is to give us a possible narrative behind the bare facts Instead of plausible interpretation and deeper understanding this one delivers onlycliches and pompousness It felt as if the author had mistaken an image of an all American gal, with unresolved daddy issues and girl power ambitions, for a person The protagonist and her relations had no uniqueness that would make them convincing, but remained the manufactured products waving from the billboard, that one sometimes wants to get to know, but never can Yellow pages of an artsy journal would have as much effect Life can be but a series of coincidences and its end a peak of absurdity, but at least it has some moments of significance, which is a fact this book desperately tries to avoid Oates inexplicably squanders her gifts in this dreamlike, stream of conscious exploration of a young woman s state of mind, her attraction to a powerful older man, and her eventual doom The writing is poetic, evocative, and certainly challenging which is to be expected from a novelist of Oates caliber Unfortunately, despite the attempt to give the characters an almost mythic stature, the ideas on display are rather pedestrian and are certainly not helped by the very basic, near formulaic Oates inexplicably squanders her gifts in this dreamlike, stream of conscious exploration of a young woman s state of mind, her attraction to a powerful older man, and her eventual doom The writing is poetic, evocative, and certainly challenging which is to be expected from a novelist of Oates caliber Unfortunately, despite the attempt to give the characters an almost mythic stature, the ideas on display are rather pedestrian and are certainly not helped by the very basic, near formulaic rendering of a Na ve Idealistic Young Woman and All Too Fallible Father Figure Although the Chappaquiddick incident was before my time, Kennedy hagiography wasn t Still isn t That myth of Camelot stuff I hate it If I d moved up to Massachusetts any earlier than I did, Ted Kennedy would have been my senator Although I am a Democrat and agreed with a lot of the work he did, I don t know that I could have voted for him I reflexively vote against all Kennedys, always Because of stuff like Chappaquiddick and its aftermath.It s a case where there was probably never going Although the Chappaquiddick incident was before my time, Kennedy hagiography wasn t Still isn t That myth of Camelot stuff I hate it If I d moved up to Massachusetts any earlier than I did, Ted Kennedy would have been my senator Although I am a Democrat and agreed with a lot of the work he did, I don t know that I could have voted for him I reflexively vote against all Kennedys, always Because of stuff like Chappaquiddick and its aftermath.It s a case where there was probably never going to be justice and where I don t know what justice might have looked like The closest we re probably going to get is this book, which is fiction, and which echoes the central events But only echoes it s set in a different time, with different people.I have mixed feelings about Joyce Carol Oates I like the stories she chooses to tell, and I like her dreamlike attacks on and explorations of the ways we socialize or suppress female sexuality At the same time, I find her prose prosaicso when she s trying for poetry and think that her universal archetypes if we can call them that flatten and limit my experience of my own humanity That s not me in there.Do I like the recasting of the Chappaquiddick story as an allegory for the power imbalances between older men in power and younger women out of power, the ways in which the women are doomed sacrifices Do I feelpowerless after reading the book, as though Oates is complicit in taking away the agency of a woman who in real life was clearly motivated I don t know I do think the book is worth reading and talking about.One thing I can say is it made meaware of the way we tell crime stories and scandal stories through the eyes of the aggressor Yes, the victim isn t there to tell their side, but the perp usually isn t telling either I ve thought before about whether we re re victimizing the victims by treating them as objects sometimes of veneration, sometimes not to protect ourselves from existential angst who wants to self identify as dead but this book brought home the emotional truth of it along with the possibility that as they re fighting for life, some of them are already starting to absorb a sense of themselves as inherently passive yet still culpable I only set myself a few reading goals this year and one is to read the books I actually own This is the second of those I ve read this author off and on, she is so prolific I will probably never read all of her works This was a quick read, a thinly veiled take on the Kennedy, Kopeckni tragedy It was just okay for me, a stream of consciousness style with much repetition Still I love how this writer always tackles new things, her books are never the same, at least those I have read. `Ebook ☘ Schwarzes Wasser ☠ Die junge Kelly Kelleher trifft auf einer Party einen einflu reichen, charismatischen Politiker, der Senator Abends brechen beide gemeinsam auf, um die Nacht miteinander zu verbringen Der Senator ist angetrunken Er verliert die Kontrolle ber seinen Wagen, das Fahrzeug st rzt in sumpfiges Gew sser Nur der Mann kann sich retten Die Parallelen zu Edward Kennedys Unfall in Chappaquiddick sind un bersehbar Joyce Carol Oates richtet aber ihr Hauptinteresse nicht auf den ber hmten Politiker, sondern auf das Opfer, das damals in der ffentlichkeit wenig Beachtung fand