the music is in the words: reading jazz

After a few weeks of hiatus we are back. Over that time I had the pleasure of enjoying a book I had an exam on, Toni Morrison’s Jazz. This piece of American beauty was intricate, engaging and overwhelming all at the same time.

The novel engages with a variety of characters who all have overlapping stories. In some ways this became difficult to follow as just as you felt you understood or connected with one character you were thrown off course and began focusing on a new one. Although unsettling at first, this became a really beautiful aspect of the novel.

After about the third bout of confusion and backtracking, I gave up trying to remember and identify the connections and the book became significantly easier and I found I was able to connect with the characters more.

This also happened with many of the sentences. The aim of the piece is not only to tell the story of the characters and explore the themes of love, loss, abandonment and human relationships, but is also to explore the lyricism of the Jazz movement and the musical genre. This is best presented through the language Morrsion uses.

Some of the sentences became a little nonsensical and confusing, needing two or three re-reads to make sense of. The best way again was to forget about it, go with the flow of the book and try and listen to the lyricism of the words. In both the literal and figurative sense, the music of the piece is in the words.

This book is inevitably one of those stories that every time you pick something new up you drop something you had before. It is also one that is open to many readings, every new perspective promising a new outlook and understanding of the characters and story.

I think this is one of the American novels that will stand the test of time and became a classic among the ranks of the Fitzgeralds, Harper Lee and J.D. Salinger.

A final note on housekeeping. Due to our busy schedules, Curiosity and I are struggling to read a book a week meaning we are going to drop the blog back to one post a week on alternate Fridays. We are however looking into many new exciting projects that we will keep all our readers updated on. For the best way to keep up with us, head over to our Facebook page,, as that is where we keep our little updates and fun things we find during the week.

From your internet friend who is starting to feel a little like margarine,

The Cat



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