Review Mary of Nazareth

Sabtu, 17 Maret 2012






Mary of Nazareth

by Marek Halter

"Adakah orang di muka bumi ini yang mengabaikan keberadaan Maria? Dialah peletak perubahan spiritual terbesar sejak munculnya monoteisme. Kaum Evangelis telah meringkasnya dalam beberapa ayat yang eliptis dan misterius."

Selama beberapa tahun menuliskan novel ini dan melukiskan profil "Maria-ku”, saya berusaha menggambarkan Maria de Nazareth , yang lahir di Galilea dalam kekisruhan Kerajaan Israel kala menentang penjajahan Roma. Apa hubungan wanita ini dengan perlawanan rakyat dan Barabbas, salah satu pemimpin pemberontakan yang paling populer? Apa kaitan Maria dengan Kaum Essene dari Damas, sekte para penyembuh? Juga dengan sepupu jauhnya, Jean Sang Pembaptis?

”Sejak kanak-kanak saya terpikat oleh takdir wanita Yahudi perintis Kristianisme ini. Setelah menelitinya sekian lama, saya dengan senang hati membagi kisah menggairahkan ini dengan Anda. " Setelah menulis trilogi mengenai tokoh-tokoh Injil, Sarah, Tsippora dan Lilah yang menuai suskes di Prancis dan telah diterjemahkan di 22 negara. Inilah Perawan Suci, novel Marek Halter yang paling menggemparkan, selain La Memoire d' Abraham. Pujian Terhadap Novel Ini:

"Layaknya sebuah kisah yang mengubah nasib dunia, buku ini mengandung kemegahan sejarah yang ditulis dengan intensitas mengagumkan sampai masuk ke dalam alam pikiran karakter-karakternya. Sebuah epik yang tak boleh dilewatkan."

Andrea Hirata, Penulis Tetralogi Laskar Pelangi


"Jasa besar sastra keagamaan terletak dalam pengetahuan yang diberikannya tanpa menggurui, sebaliknya bahkan menantang pemikiran, sehingga pengetahuan menjadi penemuan kita sendiri. Tanpa harus kehilangan sesuatu yang akan membuatnya disebut indah, seperti roman ini."

Seno Gumira Ajidarma, Novelis, Peraih Penghargaan Khatulistiwa Literary Award 2004 dan 2005

Imania 2011

Dhejan: cukup memusingkan dan banyak yang dipertanyakan. apakah Maary dan maryam itu sama?

Femmy: 2,5 bintang -- Virgin Mary sebagian besar berkisah tentang masa muda Maria. Selama ini saya membayangkan Maria dalam konteks ke-Kristen-an, agama yang menempatkannya sebagai orang istimewa yang mengandung Yesus sang Mesias. Novel ini mengubah pandangan saya, dengan menggambarkan Maria bukan sebagai orang Kristen, tetapi sebagai perempuan Yahudi, yang tentu memang demikianlah halnya. Cukup menarik juga mengetahui kehidupan masyarakat Yahudi pada zaman itu, yang terpecah belah dalam berbagai aliran, dan sedang dijajah oleh bangsa Romawi. Selain itu, kita juga bertemu dengan berbagai tokoh yang muncul di kemudian hari dalam kisah Yesus dalam kitab Perjanjian Baru, seperti Yusuf Arimatea, Barabbas, dan Maria Magdalena, yang dalam novel ini diberi latar kehidupan yang lebih besar.

Sayangnya, saya tidak menyukai cara Maria digambarkan dalam buku ini. Mungkin si penulis ingin menghadirkan sosok yang berpikiran maju di tengah masyarakat yang masih menomorduakan perempuan, sosok yang memiliki spiritualitas tinggi sehingga dapat dipahami mengapa dia yang dipilih sebagai perempuan yang mengandung Yesus. (Kenapa sih banyak novel sejarah yang menggambarkan tokoh perempuannya sebagai tokoh feminis yang menentang pandangan masyarakat? Bukankah tokoh perempuan yang khas zaman itu juga bisa sama menariknya, dan membuat kita lebih memahami masa tersebut?) Tetapi, saya malah merasa Maria ini keras kepala, egois, aneh, dan agak menyebalkan. Saya juga tidak bersimpati pada tokoh-tokoh lain dalam novel ini. Barabbas yang pejuang kemerdekaan terlalu berangasan. Yusuf Arimatea terlalu terikat peraturan.

Secara keseluruhan materinya sendiri menarik, tetapi karena penokohan yang kurang pas di hati, saya jadi kurang menikmati membaca buku ini.

Jennifer: What a fascinating read! I always wondered what more is there to the story of Mary who was the mother of Jesus. I mean, if I was God, I would pick the best woman or young girl out there to bear my son. She would also have the character and the strength to guide him and face what God must have known was ahead of both mother and the child.

The Bible fails miserably at painting the portrait of this important woman. Maybe the most important woman in history! She is stubborn, feisty, rebellious, and faithful. She knew, from her girlhood, what she must do, even against the directions of her "betters." I love the portrait of Mary Marek paints in his book and especially appreciate the inclusion of the Gospel of Mary. It's a gospel I have always wanted to read.

I would recommend this book to anyone. It's not for the religious, but a good study of an important historical figure. I'm not sure it's for everyone who is really into religion. Some Christians might find certain aspects of this book highly offensive (I'm a Christian and I found those passages highly enlightening). And I would definitely read it again.

Mel: I'm a big fan of Marek Halter. I was looking forward to reading this one. It's a good story about a woman living in Biblical times. It has strong characters and a good plot.

However, I found myself having a hard time believing this was Mary of Nazareth's story. I was expecting a story either filling in the blanks on the story in the Bible or an alternative explanation for how she became pregnant. Halter's version takes so many liberties with the original story that I found it hard to believe this was the same Mary. His Mary is an unconventional woman who speaks directly to male superiors, is educated, and freely moves about wherever she wants to go.

I think I would have enjoyed this more if it were a story about any woman from the Biblical era. I found Halter's version of Mary's story as a little too far fetched

Marvin: A translation of a novel by a Polish Jew who has written best-selling novels about several women from the Hebrew Bible. An epigraph from David Ben-Gurion says, "Jesus is the most radiant figure in History. But although everyone now knows that he was a Jew, no one knows that his mother Mary was also a Jew." She's certainly a Jew here, but one who rebels against the Jewish strictures on women. This story imagines her life mostly BEFORE Jesus, except for an odd, disingenuous, perhaps dishonest, epilogue. I'm inclined to say that it's an anachronistic, unbelievable portrayal of Mary, but perhaps that would be my Christian blinders speaking, not allowing her to be an activist Jew, rather than a passive receptacle for the Son of God. More intriguing to me were the ways the author fleshed out other people who play small but important roles in the Gospel narratives, especially Barabbas, Joseph of Arimathea, & Mary Magdalene (the latter of whom is portrayed VERY differently here than she usually is in fictionalized accounts). I don't know what to think of this novel: It's occasionally melodramatic, sometimes overly didactic, and, in its feminist perspective, probably anachronistic, but it's also unfailingly interesting

Fertina: if you wanna know better about history of christianity, you may read this book.. after i finished it, i have many perception.. and the most, i think that every religion teaches everyone about kindness.. and it's the most important to live in this world..this book will make you aware about kindness, other people around you and the place where you live.. so save our planet and be kind with other people even though they have different skin, the color of eyes, hair, languages, country and religion !! ;)

Kate: Very interesting input on who may be the woman who bore Jesus. As with all historical fiction novels, it's fiction in the authors eyes. I liked Mary or Mariam as she is called. She's a powerful woman. I enjoyed how the character's all fit in togeather but at times it was missing something near the end and the end of Jesus' life went by very fast.
Now the end of the book has me confused and questioning still.. it's not an idea i havent heard before and i know where the author was going but still...

Caroline: I love the way Marek Halter writes his characters in such a way that they come alive. I feel like I am right in the middle of the story, as a casual observer.

The issue I had with this book was the extreme liberties taken with the story of Mary. In this version, Mary is educated, outspoken, reckless and stubborn that borders on disrespectful. Involved in vigilante raids? Married to Barabbas? This is too much of a stretch for me. I nearly threw the book away when Halter rewrote the truth of the death and resurrection of Christ. Dude. Really?

Krista: So this book won me a 3, possibly even more as a very fictional character from a few years B.C., not so much a match to Mary of Nazareth, but I went along with it for the fun of the story and plot which was good. HOWEVER, the last chapter or so was so blasphemous and such a foul interpretation of a sacred relationship that I was very put off. There's much better literature to spend your time on than this one.