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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Binyavanga Wainaina: "How To Write About Africa"

By way of Nick Mamatas, this hilarious satire of the most tired, shopworn literary cliches about Africa:

Binyavanga Wainaina: "How To Write About Africa"

Choice quote (and I hope this upsets all the right people):
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Establish early on that your liberalism is impeccable, and mention near the beginning how much you love Africa, how you fell in love with the place and can’t live without her.

Africa is the only continent you can love — take advantage of this. If you are a man, thrust yourself into her warm virgin forests. If you are a woman, treat Africa as a man who wears a bush jacket and disappears off into the sunset. Africa is to be pitied, worshipped or dominated.

Whichever angle you take, be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed.

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