THE ANTHILL by Silles Daniel


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Africa- ""sun, blood, putrefaction, and always death...""- Africa- where the old tribal patterns have partially given way to the shape of things to come-is again an effective background for this small-scale drama of the black and white conflict in a village in the Belgian Congo. Once more the old incantation, doctor, Commissioner Settler, Chief, is personalized and the curtain rises here after Laurence Blommard, a not always benevolent colonial, takes the stick to two young natives who subsequently disappear and are found murdered. In the inquiry to follow which ultimately proves that the ""accident"" was a ritual sacrifice, Bloomard confronts not only the rancor and resentment of the natives, but the doubt and disapproval of others; of the petty District Commissioner; of the naive missionary with his ""frightful determination of virtue""; of the Polish doctor more interested in saving lives than souls; etc. Through force again in the ""Blue Bwana"" secures a confession, jails the offenders (the witch doctor, the chief), but underestimates the consequences. On the night of the farewell party for the young girl who has fallen in love with Blommard, the premonitory drums can be heard... A writer of incisive intelligence and satiric acuity, Gillles flays many of his characters and the insular colonial stance- both moral and political. This is not new in the (foreign) legion of writers which includes Rene and Ronald and Hardy, Gwyn Griffin, Robert Lait- an able company. Gilles is their equal.

Pub Date: May 10th, 1963
Publisher: Vanguard