HyperCultura (May 2014)

Mother Nature Pays Back Curiosity and Rapacity

  • Valeria Dumitrescu Micu

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3, no. 1
pp. 1 – 14


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Abstract Curiosity has helped people discover vast areas of this world, wild at the beginning, tamed, populated and helpful afterwards, when fairly dealt with. Literature mirrors plenty of negative, painful examples of the process of “exploring” Africa along the centuries, much of it being skilfully revealed in J. Reader’s Biography of Africa. The current paper argues that in spite of the fact that some writers have drawn the audience’s attention to the unfairness of such intrusions, as Joseph Conrad did with his novella Heart of Darkness, the situation has worsened dramatically, affecting its people and its environment. My focus is on Tim Butcher’s Blood River, a colorful and vibrant account of what life is like nowadays in the same place on the African map where Mother Nature has challenged the humans ever since H.M. Stanley, well known explorer and journalist, made important discoveries in Africa, then started to establish the first trading stations in the Congo. All through the book, Butcher keeps looking for an answer which is still bothering him at the end of the journey, as well as many other people who are worried for the Congo. Rodney is one of the African scholars who attempt a plausible answer.