White men were not particularly welcome in Liberia when Graham Greene made it the object of his first journey outside Europe. Drawn by the evident seediness of a republic founded for released slaves and, above all, by the darkness and mystery which Africa has represented for some people in their unconscious minds, he travelled with a chain of ...
White men were not particularly welcome in Liberia when Graham Greene made it the object of his first journey outside Europe. Drawn by the evident seediness of a republic founded for released slaves and, above all, by the darkness and mystery which Africa has represented for some people in their unconscious minds, he travelled with a chain of porters from the border of Sierra Leone across the headwaters of several rivers and down to the coast at Grand Bassa.
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Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 256 p. Penguin Twentieth Century Classics.
I read Greene's "The Lawless Roads" before reading "Journey Without Maps," perhaps should have reversed the order. In "Maps" Greene maintains a careful, almost reporter-like distance between himself and the account of his trip through Liberia of the mid 1930's; in "Lawless" his prose is less formal and closer to his experiences in Tabasco and Chiapas. "Maps" is an amazing book because of Greene's beautiful writing and equal-opportunity respect and/or loathing for humans. If you like travel writing and would like to know some of the roots of Chatwin, Sebald, and even to some extent Frazier and Wheeler, "Maps" is a great place to start. Caveat Emptor: Like "Lawless", "Maps" is not precisely a happy book. If you read it when, for example, you are ill, such as with flu (as I read it), you will be in awe of the writing even as it intensifies your sense of illness! Greene is at his writing best when feeling his worst (or remembering the feeling), and he felt pretty badly walking the Liberian bush.
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