GIDE IN THE CONGO

Array ( [1] => anonymous user )
Zorgbibe Charles

by Charles Zorgbibe

2015-03-23
 
keywords:

“A youthful project achieved in maturity”. When he set off for Africa, André Gide was bold enough to compare himself with Curtius, the young Roman hero who sacrificed himself to the infernal gods by hurling himself, fully armed, into the abyss that had opened up in the middle of the Forum! In fact, he was fascinated by Joseph Conrad, whom he had met fifteen years earlier, at the instigation of Valéry Larbaud. He had translated Conrad’s story entitled “Typhoon”, the account of a violent storm in the Strait of Taiwan ….or rather of the effects of the heavy weather on the mysterious Captain MacWhirr and the two hundred Chinese coolies that he was transporting aboard his steamship, the “Nan–Shan”. Conrad’s style in “Typhoon” became an artistic imperative for Gide: on one of his first visits to the Congo Rapids, after crossing a branch of the Djoué in a dugout canoe and reaching the very bank of the river, he heard one of the European guests remark: “And to think that such a spectacle still hasn’t been painted!”. Gide experienced a sharp internal reaction: he would not be the one to respond to such an invitation! “Art involves temperance and rejects hugeness. A description does not become more moving by including ten instead of one. Conrad has been criticised, in “Typhoon”, for skirting around the worst of the storm. I, on the other hand, admire him for halting his narrative at the very threshold of horror and allowing the imagination of the reader free rein...”

You must have an account to view this content

From the same author

THE UN-AFRICA PARTNERSHIP

n°51 Second Quarter 2014

The panorama of Africa’s partnerships with the rest of the world would not be complete if we did not mention its relationship with the United Nations. A belated partnership: when the United...

IN FAVOUR OF A NEW BANDUNG

n°50 First Quarter 2014

The most important event since the Renaissance,” according to Léopold Sédar Senghor, an assembly of the “despised, insulted, dispossessed, oppressed of the human race,...

BRAZZAVILLE, 1988: THE END OF THE COLD WAR IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

n°49 Fourth Quarter 2013

What an astonishing destiny the “land of the Namas and Hereros,” a possession of Imperial Germany from 1884 to 1915, has had! To the west, a semi-desert territory, the Namib desert, one...

“HENRY OF ARABIA”: THE KISSINGER METHOD AND EGYPT

n°48 Third Quarter 2013

The special relationship between the United States and Egypt was born in 1973, during the presidency of Richard Nixon when Henry Kissinger was Secretary of State. It still exists today, forty years...

FROM THE PAN-AFRICAN MESSAGE TOWARDS A CONTINENTAL ORGANISATION

n°47 Second Quarter 2013

The African Union was born on 26 May 2001, one month after the ratification of its Constitutive Act by two-thirds — i.e. thirty-six States — of the members of the old continental...

African security: a new order ?

n°46 First Quarter 2013

Could it be that the consensus on the intervention in Mali is about to be broken in France, even though it is apparently being maintained as far as international opinion is concerned? The former...

The Emerging Powers and the International System

n°45 Fourth Quarter 2012

According   to   Paul   Robert’s   alphabetical   and   analogical dictionary, to emerge is “appear above the surface of the...

The Francophone world: a baroque orchestra?

n°44 Third Quarter 2012

The  novelist  Pierre-Jean  Rémy  compared  the  Francophone cultural space to a baroque orchestra, where each player has an equal role, corresponding to that of...

KISSINGER, CHINA AND THE WORLD

n°43 Second Quarter 2012

In Diplomacy, his written testament that is also a manifesto for the post-Cold  War  period,  Henry  Kissinger,  formerly  National Security  Adviser,  then...

BLOEMFONTEIN 1912: ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF THE ANC

n°42 First Quarter 2012

    The struggle of the Blacks against the South African political system began with the birth of the Union of South Africa: it was a long drawn-out struggle, using tactics of endless...

THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM: WHAT ROLE FOR AFRICA?

n°41 Fourth Quarter 2011

The expression “international community” now seems to have become established. It features in the resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly, in the rulings of the International...

FROM THE ARAB REVOLUTIONS TO THE INTERVENTION IN LIBYA: SOME CRITICAL REFLECTIONS

n°40 Third Quarter 2011

Like the Europeans in 1848 or in 1989, the Arab peoples are experiencing the decisive moment of acceptance of their desirefor dignity, as they abandon their fear of the established authorities. It is...

Julius Nyerere and the Demands of the Third World

n°39 January February 2011

December 1955: Bandung was lyrically hailed on all sides as “the most important event since the Renaissance,” according to Léopold Sedar Senghor and “a gathering of the spurned, the insulted, the...

Principles for France’s African Policy

n°38 October-December 2010

What principles should be used as the basis for defining and implementing France’s policy towards Africa? We shall suggest three that take into account both Africa’s position within the international...

The African Union and regional integration

n°37 July-September 2010

The African Union (AU) came into being as the new millennium began. Some thought that it would merely be the continuation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), with nothing more than a change...

Barack Obama and Africa

n°35 July-September 2009

There is a rumour spreading like wildfire from one organ of the press to the next that the first President of the United States with African roots does not care about Africa... But one has only to...

The Ambiguities of the right to interference

n°33 January-March 2009

Article 2, § 7, of the San Francisco Charter prohibits the United Nations from intervening in matters that essentially fall under the national jurisdiction of a State. In principle, that apparently...

The international criminal courts from the standpoint of the Charter of the United Nations

n°33 January-March 2009

When it adopted resolution 808 of 22 February 1993, the Security Council established the principle of the creation of an International Tribunal to try individuals presumed responsible for serious...

From Samuel Huntington to Barack Obama

n°32 October-December 2008

Barack Obama entered the White house just as samuel huntington left the stage: the author of The Clash of Civilisations died on 24 December 2008, at his home in Massachusetts, near harvard University...

Similar

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h1> <h2> <h3> <sup> <p><br />
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Use to create page breaks.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Comments