[PDF] Cruel City author Mongo Beti

Mongo Beti Ô 1 CHARACTERS

Cruel City

CHARACTERS º Cruel City Changing Africa and as he progresses the novel mirrors these changes in its style and language Published here with the author's essay Romancing Africa these texts signify a pivotal moment in African literature a deliberate challenge to colonialism and a new kind of African writi. Set in French colonial Africa in the mid twentieth century CRUEL CITY is the coming of age tale of a young man named Banda Banda is trying to please his dying mother and has worked hard to grow and harvest two hundred kilos of cacao beans He hopes to get enough money from the sale of his harvest to pay the bride price of a young woman in his village He knows that his mother would like to see him married before she dies Things do not go as he planned but he is able to learn and grow from the experience This novel originally written in 1954 by Beti and published in French in 1971 shows not only the character of Banda changing and maturing but the African culture itself The old traditional beliefs still hold sway in the outlying villages but in the cities where many of the educated natives now live a new culture is emerging and it is a painful and violent birth Beti lived and wrote of the world he knew and provides the reader with an unexpected perspective into another time and place The Girl on the Train Bookmarked Official Summary and Analysis Book 2 deliberate challenge to colonialism and a new kind of African writi. Set in French colonial Africa in the mid twentieth century CRUEL CITY is the coming of age tale of a young man named Banda Banda is trying to please his Billionaires Black Surrogate 2 dying mother and has worked hard to grow and harvest two hundred kilos of cacao beans He hopes to get enough money from the sale of his harvest to pay the bride price of a young woman in his village He knows that his mother would like to see him married before she Realities and Relationships: Soundings in Social Construction dies Things Tycoon do not go as he planned but he is able to learn and grow from the experience This novel originally written in 1954 by Beti and published in French in 1971 shows not only the character of Banda changing and maturing but the African culture itself The old traditional beliefs still hold sway in the outlying villages but in the cities where many of the educated natives now live a new culture is emerging and it is a painful and violent birth Beti lived and wrote of the world he knew and provides the reader with an unexpected perspective into another time and place

REVIEW Cruel City

CHARACTERS º Cruel City Pid urbanization of his country Banda the protagonist sets off to sell the year's cocoa harvest to earn the bride price for the woman he has chosen to wed Due to a series of misfortunes Banda loses both his crop and his bride to be Making his way to the city Banda is witness to a. banda is so stressful and irritatingloved this book and the narrative style post colonial writers ability to come up with these types of fictional cities will always amaze me

REVIEW Ò SMALL-HOUSES.RU Ô Mongo Beti

CHARACTERS º Cruel City Under the pseudonym Eza Boto Mongo Beti wrote Ville cruelle Cruel City in 1954 before he came to the world's attention with the publication of Le pauvre Christ de Bomba The Poor Christ of Bomba Cruel City tells the story of a young man's attempt to cope with capitalism and the ra. Opening Mongo Beti s Cruel CityVille Cruelle you are in for a treat you will find in this publication not only his first novel written in 1954 but also his 1955 essay Romancing Africa which represents the first ever published francophone African critiue of the contemporary literary portrayal of Africa by European and African authors Acclaimed Cameroonian writer and man of letters Alexandre Biyidi Awala 1932 2001 wrote the novel under the name Eza Boto yet became better known later under his pseudonym Mongo Beti The present edition makes both important texts available for the first time in English in the translation of and with an introduction by Pim Higginson Reading ROMANCING AFRICA in conjunction with CRUEL CITY will immediately raise interesting uestions as regards Beti s application of his ideas and perspective on a different kind of African literature The fundamental critiue however has not lost much of its relevance in fifty years when compared to the satirical essay How to write about Africa by Binyavanga Wainaina that won the Caine Prize for African Writing 2002 what will distinguish the African novelists contends Betiis less their ethnic origin than their distinctive temperaments their personalities Indeed it would seem in theory at least that only White writers would explore the folkloristic side of Black Africa whereas Black writers aware of their native continent s serious problems would use folklore only as a way of underscoring Africa s deeper reality Yet Beti recognizes that many contemporary francophone African writers also write folkloric novels who may find themselves in a conundrum of either write in the way preferred by the reader and get published or write what is needed and risk not being published Banda the hero in Cruel City is a young man with a dream who also carries many doubts about whether he will be able to succeed in its realization Raised in a village Bamila where elders continue to control daily life and young people are expected to follow the long held traditions the growing boy has come into conflict with every kind of authority Now Banda s greatest ambition is to move to the city the biggest city in the country and far away However he is deeply attached to his ailing mother and totally committed to fulfilling her sole wish before she dies to marry a girl of her liking In order to raise the bride price he has worked hard to harvest his first crop of cacao beans so that he can sell it to the traders in the nearby town of Tanga Tanga is a city divided by a river with the South representing the affluent European side run by the French colonial rulers assisted by local regional guards The North by contrast consists of a sprawling network of shacks and huts connected by alleyways and forest paths the Africa side of town There is a constant movement between the two sides during the day the South is full of life and action and in the evenings the South empties and life moves to the northern townships and villages in the forest beyond Most of the novel s events unfold over a period of two days in February 193 starting with Banda standing in line to have his two hundred kilo of cacao beans inspected for uality by the French controller ahead of meeting with a Greek trader uestion have arisen among the crowd as to the motivation behind these new rules as about half the growers harvests are declared too inferior for sale and the bean bags are piled high and apparently thrown onto a big fire While Banda waits for his turn his eyes observe his surroundings and his mind wanders far beyond the actions at hand In fact we can get a first impression not only of the young man s preoccupations but also a first colourful portrait of Tanga Banda starts the day full of confidence and hope yet both are dashed very uickly leading to a series of event that have the potential to change his life towards a very different direction Written extensively in Banda s own voice his inner monologue reflects the confused and worried mind of the young man repeated thoughts and self uestioning and doubt make reading sometimes a bit of a challenge even though the translation from French smoothed much of the writing I am sure Banda s voice is complemented a objective and neutral voice of a narrator who describes events and brings context as well as critical commentary to Banda s behaviour and the daily realities he confronts Beti s narrator touches on many of the political and social challenges of the time of writing His anti colonial stance is expressed in a way that his young hero could not have understood or been able to express Beti s intention with the book however is clear when you realize when it was written and read the present publication After reading and reflecting on Beti s essay ROMANCING AFRICA it will be up to the reader to assess how much Beti followed his own prescription Irrespective of the novel s resonance today however the novel remains an important document for its time and an admirable achievement for a twenty three year old author s debut novel I am grateful to Indiana Press for a review copy The views expressed here are mine