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Travels in the Congo

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3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  16 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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Jim
Aug 08, 2011 Jim rated it it was amazing
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
Jan
This is not a mere travel book. Apart from the mostly dull and sometimes somewhat poetically floating observations of the Central African nature, this travellog documents the way the colonial administration treated the local people: structurally hardly human and without respect for their culture and traditions. The last aspect has led, via Gide's report to the French government, to discussions in the French House of Representatives and an international conference in Geneva about Gide's accusatio ...more
Nathaniel
Aug 15, 2007 Nathaniel rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa, nonfiction
“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
Jamila
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
Fatimah
Mar 03, 2017 Fatimah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
روح الرحالة المُشبعة بكتابات الآخرين والمُفرّغة لبواطن نفسها ، لذاتها وشهواتها في محيطها. اسوء ما يصفُ شمال إفريقيا!
Bunza
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
Stéphane
Nov 09, 2013 Stéphane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
K.E. Page
This was enjoyable both as travel writing and as a historical document. Gide writes poetically about the scenery, the people and animals that he encounters. He documents the abuses of the colonists with no little despair and he is never less than fair in his dealings with the Africans. It is interesting to look at the map at the front of the book and consider how different its countries are from a modern map and also how different our politics are. Given the attitudes at the time, it is even mor ...more
Jeffe
Dec 20, 2007 Jeffe rated it liked it
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.
Jamie
Jul 20, 2011 Jamie rated it really liked it
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.
Mabrouk
نصوص مختارة من كتابات الفرنسي الحائز على نوبل للأدب أندري جيد من ترجمة :محمود عبد الغني يتغنى فيها الكاتب بجمال وسحر الشمال الإفريقي واصفا مختلف الأماكن التي زارها من تونس مرورا بالجزائر و وصولا إلى المغرب بلغة أدبية راقية وأحاسيس فياضة قويةhttp://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...#
David Bachmann
Apr 27, 2014 David Bachmann rated it liked it
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.
Judith
Dec 16, 2011 Judith rated it liked it
Fascinating information about the old Africa, unfortunately mixed in with a lot of boring stuff that should have remained in a private diary.
Tinck
Jan 09, 2008 Tinck rated it liked it
Shelves: read-and-own
I read it in Slovene...good itinerary.
I also own a copy of this book in Slovene.
David
Feb 04, 2015 David rated it really liked it
terrible translation but well worth the read. The edition I read was published by University of California/Berkeley press 1964.
Juwana Al-Tabish
Mar 12, 2016 Juwana Al-Tabish rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
مني مصدقة اني حقول كدا لكن رحلات انيس منصور كان وصفو فيها امتع واحلى دا خلاني ما ابغا اروح للجزائر
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Apr 16, 2012
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Aug 02, 2012
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Elkin Ortega rated it it was ok
Feb 08, 2017
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Apr 21, 2010
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Jon Sullivan rated it it was ok
Oct 25, 2013
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Oct 05, 2015
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Dec 29, 2015
Jason Ryan
Jason Ryan rated it liked it
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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
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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.” 1 likes
“Moins le blanc est intelligent, plus le noir lui paraît bête.” 1 likes
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