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Desert Divers by Sven Lindqvist
ISBN: 1862075077
ISBN13: 978-1862075078
Author: Sven Lindqvist
Book title: Desert Divers
Other Formats: txt doc docx mobi
Pages: 144 pages
Publisher: Granta UK (April 1, 2002)
Language: English
Size PDF version: 1676 kb
Size ePub version: 1499 kb
Size fb2 version: 1920 kb
Category: Writing Research & Publishing Guides

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Desert Divers - Sven Lindqvist
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Desert Divers - Sven Lindqvist
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Desert Divers - Sven Lindqvist
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This book follows the author on a personal journey into the Sahara and examination into the racist assumptions of those writers who have gone before him. Taking as a metaphor the divers who cleaned out desert wells, Lindqvist drags to the surface the story of colonial slaughter and sexual exploitation which contaminate his boyhood idols.

Books reviews
One hundred terse chapters in not many more pages. Lindqvist has packed a memoir together as challenging as the desert itself. It presents in much the same manner as its companion piece, 'Exterminate All The Brutes,'in a pace rather like air stirring from the baked sand soon after the sun has set. It's a deceptive pace,as it has been slowly generated from a sustained meditation on the literature of French colonialisation, mostly in nineteenth century North Africa, and the way it issued a romanticism with the place (from the 19thC, via Pierre Loti, Isabelle Eberhardt, Andre Gide, de Saint-Exupery, & the author's own confessed romanticism). Lindqvist's research is as poetically pithy as his intermittent memoirs,and the direct, present-day observations during the field work as he traces his literary heroes. His own probing dreams unite the book until the final sentence, when he finds himself firmly gripping empty air. This tension between the received evidence of the literati,his research, and the evidence of his senses, is suitably chastening(though not as diabolically disturbing as colonial violence during the study of Joseph Conrad in 'Exterminate the Brutes'). He recognises that the writer's were, each in their own way, able to live out everything not socially accepted in their own countries & that spiritually, 'the colonies functioned as a vent, as an escape, a place to misbehave.'
Sven Lindqvist hails from Sweden, where is love for weight lifting, and literature are an odd combination. His fascination with the Sahara and the desolate landscape are captivating. Desert Divers is a brief look at Colonialism in present day Morocco through the eyes of various literary figures.

Lindqvist unobtrusively weaves into his travel narrative a subtle polemic tone regarding liberty, economy, and personal freedom. He links the various dreams he records in the text to the outlying situation in Morocco.

Antoine de Saint-Exubery and Isabelle Eberhardt are two of the writers he reflects on when faced with the far reaches of the Sahara. Lindqvist juggles a multitude of variables in the text; history, colonialism, personal memoir, economic polemic, yet still manages to entwine the themes together to create a beaituful portrait of a barren land.
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