Ambiguous Adventure

Ambiguous Adventure

eBook - 2012
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The celebrated classic by a groundbreaking figure in African literature addresses a critical contemporary issue'the collision of Islamic African values and Western culture. Hailed by Chinua Achebe as one of the greatest African novels ever written, this long-unavailable classic tells the tale of young Samba Diallo, a devout pupil in a Koranic school in Senegal whose parents send him to Paris to study philosophy. But unknown to Samba, it is a desperate attempt by his parents to better understand the French colonial forces transforming their traditional way of life. Instead, for Samba, it seems an exciting adventure, and once in France he excels at his new studies and is delighted by his new "marvelous comprehension and total communion" with the Western world. Soon, though, he finds himself torn between the materialistic secularism and isolation of French civilization and the deeper spiritual influences of his homeland. As Samba puts it: "I have become the two." Written in an elegant, lyrical prose, Ambiguous Adventure is a masterful expression of the immigrant experience and the repercussions of colonialism, and a great work of literature about the uneasy relationship between Islamic Africa and the West'a relationship more important today than ever before. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: New York : Melville House, 2012.
ISBN: 9781612190556
1612190553
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Summary: The celebrated classic by a groundbreaking figure in African literature addresses a critical contemporary issue'the collision of Islamic African values and Western culture. Hailed by Chinua Achebe as one of the greatest African novels ever written, this long-unavailable classic tells the tale of young Samba Diallo, a devout pupil in a Koranic school in Senegal whose parents send him to Paris to study philosophy. But unknown to Samba, it is a desperate attempt by his parents to better understand the French colonial forces transforming their traditional way of life. Instead, for Samba, it seems an exciting adventure, and once in France he excels at his new studies and is delighted by his new "marvelous comprehension and total communion" with the Western world. Soon, though, he finds himself torn between the materialistic secularism and isolation of French civilization and the deeper spiritual influences of his homeland. As Samba puts it: "I have become the two." Written in an elegant, lyrical prose, Ambiguous Adventure is a masterful expression of the immigrant experience and the repercussions of colonialism, and a great work of literature about the uneasy relationship between Islamic Africa and the West'a relationship more important today than ever before. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Aug 10, 2016

Although its under-written, and is bit awkward at several points in the book (mostly from poorly introduced characters), this book has some really great moments, almost all of them occurring in dialogue. Although its touted as about immigrant experience and colonialism, its hardly about that at all: all of the tension and insight comes from the characters struggling with their faith and what they call "the West". What is frightening is that they simplify and stereotype "the West", and don't see that the same things that they struggle with, culminating justifying oneself before God on the day of judgement, is what usually is called 'finding the meaning of life', in "the West". Its frightening because some of the same issues are discussed in the same way today (judging from English language online newspaper columns, a few TV discussions, and some blogs I've read); its so frightening because this book was published over fifty years ago: there has been that little progress.

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