Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Naipaul in us

Ikhide Ikheloa joins the many voices that seek to understand the what and why in Naipaul's recent offering, The Masque of Africa. Very powerful reflection:
"The writer V.S. Naipaul is at it again. He has just visited Africa and written about his contempt for that continent in his new book The Masque of Africa. He travels to places like Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Gabon and South Africa - to discover the "nature of African belief" according to a recent review of the book by Sameer Rahim in the UK Telegraph. Rahim gives the clear impression that this book does not improve upon the silence. It is the same tired, stereotypical garbage about Africa and civilisations of colour. You wonder if at 80 years of age, he is finally losing it. In Gabon, his legs give way and someone attempts to transport him in a broken wheelbarrow. Give me a break! Why the drama?"

It is easy to get mad at Naipaul for dismissing most African beliefs as naive. It is perhaps also easy, if not easier, to get mad at yourself for ever taking any of the Christian/Islamic beliefs seriously. Oh, humanity, idiocy is thy name!

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