SOUTH OF THE MOON by Blaine Littell


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Blaine Littell made tracks ""On Stanley's Trail through the Dark Continent."" He did not venture quite so far, did not go down the Congo River (""One doesn't risk lives for a whim""), but he traveled from Zanzibar to Kindu before he called it quits. He traced the tangled threads of ""the plot"" in Tanzania, watched Guzman unsnarl it; he witnessed the failure of a Kenya land scheme because of a fall-out of tribes (Stanley: ""Each tribe, with rage and hate in its heart, remains aloof from the other""); visited pastoral Rwanda and Burundi, a witch's brew of tribal hatreds. He made his way into the Congo by lake steamer, had a pleasant stay in Albertville, felt the nostalgia of the graveyard in Stanleyville. He met people, had experiences, headed into movements, heard of atrocities. But mostly he was there, recording in a peculiarly personal way. (""A fly explored the old man's furrowed forehead and settled in a corner of his right eye. In the distance a male baboon, with a rocking motion like a hobby horse in a child's nursery, leaped across a clearing."") He has not taken the color out of Africa: it is a kaleidoscope lifted to the eye for amusement, and yes, musing. For a journalist's joyride, his parting words are somber: he sees Africa as returning slowly, inevitably, to the bush, giving back to the native the superiority the white man deprived him of. Out of Africa, a light?

Pub Date: July 20th, 1966
Publisher: Harper & Row