Weekend Reading

Recollections of books carried back and forth on the elevated train -- in a long-term, though belated, attempt to learn something about the world.

Monday, April 10, 2017

V.S. Naipaul Bend in the River


Written prior to "Half a Life" and "Magic Seeds", the novel covers the same territory: a ethnic South Asian man living in war torn Africa - possibly the Congo - compensating for his hopeless situation with sexual adventure.

He became a writer in order “to fill out my world picture . . . to make me more at ease with myself”. Seen through this prism, his tropes of African malaise appear more personal, less judgmental; an attempt to understand the follies of the colonial and postcolonial conditions (what he calls “colonial schizophrenia”) rather than a simply reflex rejection of their failures. -- Colin Murphy, reviewing the "Mask of Africa"