WHY ARE WE SO BLEST? by Ayi Kwei Armah


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They who are blest are those fortunate enough not to have to read this melange of warmed-over existentialism (a la Sartre's -- you guessed it -- Nausea) and revolutionary mumbojumbo. It parades as a novel but is actually an extended reverie of a Portugese-educated African in an East African revolutionary colony on being and nothingness, the search for significance, the paralysis of African intellectuals and their self-destructive love-hate affair with members of the white race. Solo's first-person monologues are interspersed with excerpts from the notebooks of the Harvard-educated African Modin and his white Cliffie girl friend, Aimee, who are defeated both in their attempts to join Congheria's revolution and in their personal relationship (he is killed by whites and she ends up calling Solo ""nigger""), all of which form a nice parallel to Solo's ex-relationship with a white Portugese chick. The style is resonant, rhetorical and empty -- like the book.

Pub Date: March 17th, 1972
Publisher: Doubleday