Thursday, August 25, 2016


"The Reviews are coming!"
THE GOD DAMM WHITE MAN might not be the great and definitive novel of racial "conflicts" in the United States, perhaps it has yet to be written—if, indeed, the grim story of blacks-versus-whites can ever be expected in all its grotesque proportions on paper. But until—or in lieu—the arrival of such a consummate book, we can turn to "The God Damm White Man," which comes to between now and November.

For this hard-hitting dramatization of Enoch Shadoobee's book as Translated by the great Yaphet Kotto about the painful sometimes violent conflict of racism in America in the last five and a half decades is a pretty, good estimation of the social problems involved and a graphic presentation of the sort of savagery that has occurred. It misses being a grand book because its story follows conventional lines It is more sentimental than realistic—and because its contours are somewhat too poetically-blurred.

Like Mr. Dickens classic novel, it tells a tormented tale of a bitter former street hustler named Enoch Shadoobee and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man, no longer moved by racial outrage at injustices forced upon him falls in love with making money and soon is pillaging and stealing from the pockets of his former friends and neighbors.
Whereupon his departed partner and close friend, returns from the dead defending the whites, and reminding him of a time when he was kinder and more innocent. There is emotional butchery and pathos at the end when he is forced to face his future in prison.
Yaphet Kotto, who wrote the translation and edited the original text, has not departed substantially from the pattern of the original classic. Both in plot and essence, this has the character of a story about ghosts and Shadoobee’s neglected fiancée Belle who ends their relationship after she realizes that Shadoobee will never love her as much as he loves money and violence. Then there is a visit later in time to the then-married Belle's large and happy family on Christmas Eve.

 The clash is pat, the personal feelings are obvious and the crucial scenes are written with the imaginative realism of a poetic horror.

In this connection, Yaphet Kotto aides Shadoobee in creating a stirring, strong portrayal of an all emotion-torn black friend. It is Kotto’s acting ability that gives him the power to pound passions with his pen and the frequent bursts of shocking savagery that throw shafts of sharp illumination through this classic that Mr. Dickens probably was not aware was there in the original. Kotto is as powerful a writer as he is an actor.


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