African Prose Can Be Given A Beginning With The Publication In Of The Novel Batoualaits Sensitive Portrayal Of African Life, With Its Evocation Of The Natural Environment, Could Not But Make A Profound Impression Upon Its African Readers And Offered A Vivid Example Of What An African Novel In French Could Be Abiola Trailer ↠´ Batouala PDF by ↠´ René Maran Irele We are only taxable flesh We are only beasts of burden Beasts Not even that Dogs They feed them and they care for their horses Us We are for them less than those animals we are lower than the lowest They are slowly crushing us.
I d highly recommend reading the Edward Hayes article, On Reciprocity Ren Maran and Alain Locke it s in the book The Practice of Diaspora alongside this text Much of the historical context and significance is lost and so it seems to at first be a rather insignificant text In fact, that this text won the Prix Goncourt and claimed to give readers direct access to the African mind and way of life as a v ritable romain n gre had significant impact on the novel s reception and the reader s understanding of the presentation of its characters.

Many most people are well aware of the masterpiece Remembrance of Things Past by Proust the winner of the 1921 Prix Goncourt, yet many of those same people are unaware of Batouala, the 1922 winner I only learned of this book a few months ago It is an exceptional book capturing life in 1920 s colonial Africa from the perspective of Batouala, an African Chief In addition to being an exceptional story, the book has a cultural significance as the first great novel about Africa by a black writer In fact, according to Donal Herdeck from Georgetown University, the author of the book s introduction, this book played a major role in initiating the half century of protest that led to African independence and it influenced numerous African writers of the important negritude school.
I m not sure what to make of this book None of the characters were consistently sympathetic, and overall it seemed so pedantic in tone But I can see for the time it was written it was startling in it s open portrayal of anti colonialism among Africans And there are moments when the characters thought processes are amazingly clear, taking me inside someone else s thoughts and fears.

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