Travels in the Congo
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Travels in the Congo

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  56 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The Belgian Congo (now the countries of Congo, Zaire, and Central African Republic) has fascinated travellers for centuries with its mysterious and brilliant landscapes and its rich tribal cultures. While the area is investigated in the most minute detail, Gide is clear about his position as the responsive outsider. He does not claim cultural familiarity - rather, he treat...more
Paperback, 375 pages
Published July 1st 1994 by HarperCollins (first published 1927)
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Things Fall Apart by Chinua AchebeThe Poisonwood Bible by Barbara KingsolverHalf of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieHeart of Darkness and the Congo Diary by Joseph ConradCry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
489th out of 832 books — 694 voters
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In July 1925, French novelist André Gide, accompanied by filmmaker Marc Allegret, his lover, took a ten-month trip that encompassed the French Congo, touched briefly on the Belgian Congo, and then swung north to Chad, the territory of Ubangui-Shari, and coming back to the ocean via a long journey through the entire length of Cameroon. What with the tsetse flies, the ringworm, and strange jungle fevers which killed not a few of their party, this was not in any way deluxe travel. Although Allegret...more
“Travels in the Congo” is an artifact, a strange viewfinder showing hard to access parts of Central Africa circa 1925 from the perspective of a very oddly chosen “special envoy of the Colonial Ministry.” Andre Gide (a controversial, avant-garde French playwright) is shuttled around in a Tipoye (a porter-conveyed chair about which he is often wringing his hands with guilt, “As a general rule we use our tipoyes very little, as much because we like walking as to spare our wretched bearers.”), on ho...more
Compares favorably with Gide’s fiction and has an excellent eye for detail. Several other writers of Gide’s era who tried their hand at non-fiction did not pull it off so well nor age so gracefully. The somewhat misleading title ‘Travels in the Congo’ may sound better than ‘Travels in French Equatorial Africa’ but the latter is a more accurate description. The back cover of my Ecco Press edition manages to muddy the waters further by describing the Belgian Congo as now having devolved into the n...more
Dedicated to the memory of Joseph Conrad, this travel memoir explores the observations of Gide, who traveled to the Congo from 1925 to 1926. Gide's unique positioning in the Congo as a traveler "for pleasure" (his quotations) reveals the unstable relationship between the colonizer and the colonized. As one whose nationhood allows him the privilege of the observer, Gide takes part in the colonialist enterprise; yet, as one who is not in the Congo (at least not officially) to take advantage of its...more
Récit d'un long périple effectué par Gide au Congo (Brazzaville et belge) et au-delà vers l'Oubangui-Chari et jusqu'au Lac Tchad.
Un vrai récit de voyage mais aussi une dénonciation cinglante de l'exploitation de l'Afrique et des africains par les concessionnaires privés. Si Gide peut avoir une relative compréhension pour l'exploitation imposée par l'état - garant du bien-fondé des développements réalisés, par le biais de cette exploitation, pour la mise en valeur du pays - il expose que le seul...more
David Bachmann
Gidés Buch schwankt zwischen Reisebericht und kritischem Essay.
Interessantes Stimmungsbild von Zentralafrika, Kongo und Tschad in den 20er Jahren des letzten Jahrhunderts.
Manchmal etwas eintönig, hinterlässt aber beim Leser die Lust eine Abenteuerreise a la Gidé ebenfalls antreten zu müssen.
Andre Gide has a passion for humanity, nature, language and literature, as reflected in the diary of his nine month trip in 1925-26 across the Congo. He is quite forward thinking (for the time period) in his views on Africans, in his relentless pursuit of local justice and in his premonition of the future for the continent. How marvelous it would be to retrace his steps today, or at the least to speak with him.
This is an interesting document. It's a journal so you get a day to day account of traveling through the heart of French Congo in the Twenties, with the backing of the French Government. Problems with porters, local chiefs and sheiks, fevers, cooks and the French companies extracting rubber from the dirt poor peoples of the region. It also sheds a light onto the nuances of racism in the colonial world.
Fascinating information about the old Africa, unfortunately mixed in with a lot of boring stuff that should have remained in a private diary.
I read it in Slovene...good itinerary.
I also own a copy of this book in Slovene.
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André Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.

Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide exposes to public view the conflict and eventual reconciliation between the two sides of his personality, s...more
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“Tout l'effort de l'esprit ne parvient pas à recréer cette émotion de la surprise qui ajoute au charme de l'objet une étrangeté ravissante. Le beauté du monde extérieur reste la même, mais la virginité du regard s'est perdue.” 0 likes
“Moins le blanc est intelligent, plus le noir lui paraît bête.” 0 likes
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