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"I often wonder what would have happened to me if I hadn't made that decision. I suppose I would have sunk. I suppose I would have found some kind of hole and tried to hide or pass. After all, we make ourselves according to the ideas we have of our possibilities. I would have hidden in my hole and been crippled by my sentimentality, doing what I was doing, and doing it well, but always looking for the wailing wall. And I would never have seen the world as the rich place that it is. You wouldn't have seen me here in Africa, doing what I do."

- V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River
Dec. 30th, 2009 @ 10:40 am A teeny tiny pet peeve
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Why does it grate on me so much when people talk about how they 'fell in love' with Africa?

I just read this on someone's blog, and recently read it in an introduction to a book that I haven't had the heart to pick up and actually read.  

The latter is a history of the conflict in eastern DR Congo.  I want to read it, but first I have to get over my dislike of another white guy writing Africa's history, and then I have to get over his "love of Africa" or of Congo leading to his marrying an African woman.  I'm not saying it's not true or real, or didn't provide important impetus for his academic investigations or the production of a valuable book.  I'm just saying I don't know, because I haven't been able to bring myself to read it yet.