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Book Title: Het uur van de rebellen|
The author of the book: Lieve Joris
The size of the: 366 KB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: 2006
ISBN 13: 9789045700588
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 2095 times
Reader ratings: 3.4
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Although writers from the Lowlands are perfectly capable of being inspired by their own countries, they travel well. Writers on history and culture and politics, like Geert Mak and Frank Westerman and Joris Luyendijk, and poets and novelists like Toon Tellegen and Otto de Kat have travelled and written. The travel writer Lieve Joris' book, The Rebels' Hour (trans. Liz Waters), is in this tradition; written from personal experience, vivid in explaining the complexities of nations and individuals. Her subject is the relentlessly disputed lands in and around the Congo.
Using the cowherd turned rebel leader Assani as a CCTV camera, The Rebels' Hour pieces together The Congo's contemporary history. The narrative cuts backwards and forwards: the High Plains in Eastern Congo in the 1960s, nearby Rwanda in the 1990s, capital city Kinshasa in the early 2000s. A brief chronology allows the reader to at least grasp at The Congo's story (King Leopold II of Belgium's private property in 1885, Mobutu's `reign' from the 1960s, the Democractic Republic of Congo by 2006) and a cast-list gives the backstory to key historical figures. And two maps - absolutely vital to understanding the story - remind readers of just how vast and distant is this heart of the African continent, described by one character as `a black hole into which everyone falls'.
Of course, there are no `characters' in The Rebels' Hour: these are real people, whether they are known historical figures or the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children who find themselves drifting or running or fighting their way from one corner of The Congo to the next. By describing the tins of Fanta that are drunk, the fine detail of the destruction of a railway system, the shine on the cloth of a uniform ironed beyond crispness, so many details, Lieve Joris releases the humanity of the years of violence that have overtaken The Congo.
And what violence. Child soldiers, rebels, generals; complex, sophisticated, troubled men (and some women) always about to break camp; being led, led, led, then leading, then dead. The turns of fortune are Shakespearean; every man holding the sword onto which every other man is running himself. Assani remains the centre of The Rebels' Hour, but he is hard to get a grip on; so clearly dedicated to a cause but that cause remaining so unclear, becoming more opaque at every advance and set-back. To say that this is a fascinating book is to underplay its importance; it explains, in part, a country whose recent history looks almost inexplicable. A good reader: not taxing, although there's nothing wrong with tax.
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Read information about the authorGodelieve "Lieve" Elisabeth Achiel Micheline Joris is een Vlaamse schrijfster van reisverhalen.
Lieve Joris in de Nederlandstalige Wikipedia
Lieve Joris in de Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren
Lieve Joris bij "Schrijversgewijs"
Godelieve "Lieve" Elisabeth Achiel Micheline Joris is a Flemish writer of travel stories.
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