Saturday, January 29, 2011

Scribbling the Cat

I’m not sure what to make of this book.  On the one hand it shed light on a place I know next to nothing about, southeast Africa.  On the other hand I came away with the distinct feeling that the less I knew about that place the better.  What must that have been like for the author, traversing the roles of contemporary american housewife and…  travelogue reporter going through one of the shittiest places on earth?

I want to make fun of it, to point out that there is something profoundly off about an African travelogue where the only characters that matter are white.  But doing that misses a key point- the characters are aware of that very fact, are aware that their story is somehow contrived and displaced, they know very well that they are screwed.  They are who they are, and there isn’t much they can do about it. 

Sometimes living requires accepting uncertainty and contradiction, even in ourselves.  What are we but a reflection of a world we cannot hope to understand?

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