A wide-ranging conversation between two European intellectuals is brimming with enthusiasm
This book might have been intensely irritating. Two European intellectuals meet, and are encouraged by their “curator” Jean-Philippe de Tonnac to show off – for, if they do not put on an exhibition of erudite debate, what is the point of recording them? And show off they do, ranging in their talk from cave paintings to Italian neorealism, from hieroglyphs to computer code, from the 17th-century German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher to Dan Brown, from the teachings of Jesus and Buddha to those of cultists. Reading the jacket blurb, one is inclined to give a hand gesture associated with a four-letter word beginning with “w”. [Read the rest at the link below]
You might be forgiven for thinking they had turned out to greet Nelson Mandela. A huge noisy crowd, complete with dancers and drummers, gathered at the entrance of Abuja airport in the Nigerian capital at 0530 in the morning.
But not to greet a great statesman, nor even a rock star, but a 79-year-old writer: Chinua Achebe. Africa’s greatest novelist was returning home to Nigeria for only the second time in 20 years.
We had been warned about the rock star treatment. The last time he came, tens of thousands of people packed a football stadium to hear him speak.