Monday, November 24, 2008

Memoirs for popular reading

Had a nice chat this evening with Senegalese professor Babacar Fall, who was kind enough to give me a copy of a book he had published, Dialogue Avec Abdoulaye Ly, which is a transcription of a series of interviews done by Fall and some of his students, as part of an oral history project. Just had time tonite to read the introduction and skim through the contents... very nice job all around. Fall and I chatted about how much in demand memoirs are by the reading African public. I wish there were more of them. Oddly, last night in the hotel I could not sleep so I was watching Havana, with Robert Redford. Dreadful movie. But it got me thinking about what had happened to Fulgencio Batista, the dictator who fled Dec. 31, 1959. Turns out he went to Spain and wrote his memoirs! I love the title of one: To Rule is to Foresee. Hmmm. He surely must have been aware of how the title would "play"? Was it a work of self-criticism?

No comments: