Tuesday, January 20, 2009

At loss for words? Mémoires de porc-épic by Alain Mabanckou

Just finished this interesting book, Mémoires de porc-épic by Alain Mabanckou. Hard to know what to say. The story is very straightforward. What I see in some of the online commentary is "aventures rocambolesques." A man and his porcupine double "eat" the residents of the village. People who live in Africa for any length of time are familiar with the idea, a favorite topic of anthropologists (is it real? false consciousness? me?). The people in Africa who I like best, as you may know, are the ones who say, "I have no time for such mysteries." The style and voice are more important than the text. No sentences, instead each short chapter is a long fluid paragraph. And I will say they are quite interesting here, but I do not know if my French is subtle enough to capture it. So I'm at loss for words.

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