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Samir

Samir's Critical Corner

I love good writing. Samir's Critical Corner will have reviews on World Literature but you will also find reviews on various subjects like Mathematics or Tai Chi, and on specific niches like Nigerian writers.

Currently reading

South Sea Tales (Oxford World's Classics)
Robert Louis Stevenson
Progress: 122/289 pages
Sold as a Slave - Olaudah Equiano This short book is based on passages taken from the longer autobiographical work 'The Interesting Narrative'. The opening paragraph, by way of introduction, tells the reader that the 'famous opening section, dealing with life in Benin, is a fabrication' whereas the rest of the narrative about slavery is authentic. Talk about blending fiction and non-fiction! Publishers today would have a hoot with a made up section of an autobiography.

In any event, the narrative is just that, narrative. It's a good resource for anyone interested about slavery. As far as reading it for pleasure goes, it's a bit on the dreary side. It doesn't help either that the style is stiff and dry, which I'm not going to hold against a former slave who had to suffer and learn myriad number of skills to survive and please his continually changing white Masters. I doubt literary skills were one of the prerequisites for a slave or something a freed slave would have the time to develop.

In light of this, I have given the book 3 stars because it's still an important contribution to human history. Ignoring the boring style, the subject matter itself reveals its inherent horrors as usual, but there is nothing new in that. Yes, the horrors are horrible, even atrocious, but any well-read person knows this already.