A legless piano,
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This review is from: Monrovia Mon Amour: A Visit to Liberia (Kindle Edition)
As always the doctor casts a clinical and fresh eye on things that makes it difficult to disagree with his findings. It's extremely well written:
"One of them, a man is his early thirties, had a broad scar across his face, the result of some fearful gash, and eyes as dull as stones. When he spoke, no expression invaded his voice, he was neither friendly nor unfriendly, only indifferent to the very depths of his being. For him, all the world was an abattoir."
The depths of the tragedy is summed up for the doctor by the surgical like amputation of a piano, something other westerners found impossible to be concerned about when so many people had been killed. But the doctor is good at showing how misplaced many western imperatives and ideas are when projected onto the African situation.
At the end of this essay I felt I understood a little better the western misunderstanding of Africa. It was also a wonderfully entertaining journey to a country founded by ex slaves with western ideals that has descended into barbarity and played host to the clash of two world views. There are a number of memorable encounters with psychopaths and eccentrics as well as the ordinary everyday people who still manage to get on with their lives and hope for a better future.