Today, I finished 1958’s Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (The entire audiobook is free on YouTube). The book got me.
During the listen, I thought about how village traditions and stories reminded me of the magical realism popular to Latin American authors. Then I felt somewhat ashamed to carve out the soul of a people’s culture and call it magicial realism like a faux-literary snob. The error of my snobbery got MUCH worse, when a white missionary showed up at the village and also described the traditions as magical and western christian traditions as spiritual. It’s sad that I read the lives of traditional peoples no different than the tone-deaf missionary.
I just wanted everyone to know I knew some cool literary term, now I’m an accomplice in the destruction of the people.
Things Fall Apart is a story of destructive masculinity that foreshadows the destruction of a people.- a reasonable and imperfect people.
It was an important book to read, because in recent years I have said, “Things fall apart” along with “C’est la vie” and “So it goes” with stoic indifference feigned across my thick-eyebrow-ed façade of wisdom.