Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Book Review: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

I think I'm going to need a litte directon from my professor on this one...
It's hard to classify this book. It's not mythology exactly, and I resist the term "primitive" that some ascribe to its style. We wouldn't call Lewis Carroll primitive for writing
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and that is the comparison that came to my mind as I read the tale of a boy running away from men with guns who stands under a tree, eats two fruits and suddenly finds himself in the "bush"--a place inhabited by all manner of ghosts, vile and disgusting creatures, most of whom are out to eat him or use him for their own profit. Throughout his adventure he is transformed into various animals, he is trapped inside a log, inside a pitcher...
I'm sure this book has been interpreted in numerous ways, but I'm not certain of the author's intent in writing such a story. It reads like one's account of a very vivid and involved dream (again, like Alice). There are hints that the ghosts may represent vile and disgusting aspects of the colonizer or slave-trader--at one point the boy remarks (while chasing a ghost that he finds so ugly he has to see her ugliness to his satisfaction) that "this will be a great surprise to everybody to hear that I see something which is more interesting for me than the 'death' which is coming behind to kill me."
Please stay tuned for an update to this review. I need more info!

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