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V.S. Naipaul
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The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief
 
 
Author
V.S. Naipaul.
Publisher Knopf  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches
ISBN 9780307270733
Pages/Publication Date 241/2010
Daedalus Item Code 31060
This item is not available.
Description
Like the Nobel Prize winner's other "travel" books, The Masque of Africa encompasses a much larger narrative and purpose: V.S. Naipaul estimates the effects of belief (in indigenous animisms, the foreign religions of Christianity and Islam, or the cults of leaders and mythical history) upon the progress of civilization itself. "The older world of magic felt fragile, but at the same time had an enduring quality. You felt that it would survive any calamity," Naipaul writes. "The diviners everywhere wanted to 'throw the bones' to read the future, and ... body parts, mainly of animals, but also of men and women, made a mixture of 'battle medicine.' To witness this, to be given some idea of its power, was to be taken far back to the beginning of things. To reach that beginning was the purpose of my book."

"This beautiful and humane book is less Olympian than some of Naipaul's earlier travel narratives, though the idea that underpins it is so basic that it achieves a kind of majesty. Cruelty to animals and to nature will destroy men too. 'The ground around the abattoir goes on and on. When sights like this meet the eyes ... there can be no idea of humanity, no idea of grandeur'."Harper's Magazine

 
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Douglas Newton, intro.
Studio: Metropolitan Museum of Art/Yale.   Format: paperback. ISBN: 9780300119411.  Daedalus Item Code: 21936
Sale Price: $7.98
 
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