Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Idea of Africa (African Systems of Thought)
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
About the Author
V. Y. MUDIMBE is the R. F. DeVernay Professor of Romance Studies and Professor of Comparative Literature and Anthropology at Duke University. His books include The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy and the Order of Knowledge, Fables and Parables, and The Surreptitious Speech.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
In "The Idea of Africa," Mudimbe explores the origins and development of this negative conception of Africa. His approach is unique in that it attempts to synthesize a diverse body of sources, including Greek histories, 20th century primitive art, contemporary African artists and the structuralist theory of Michel Foucault.
The reliance on Foucault is a warning that we're headed into the murky realm of postmodern philosophy. In his preface, Mudimbe writes that he hopes to tackle the "simple issue" of how he would explain the idea of African otherness to his two "Americanized" children. This presumption of simplicity highlights the sheer unreadability of this otherwise interesting work. Mudimbe's writing is so cluttered with flashy jargon and inscrutable theory so as to be practically inaccessible, even for readers who are comfortable with his topic. As one academic reviewer put it, "Mudimbe has produced a work that is as ambitious in concept as it is impenetrable in style." Even when Mudimbe's ideas are strong, they are obscured by his plodding style and pedantic tone.
If you value clarity of writing and unambiguous statements that one can discuss and possibly disprove, drop it.
There is a scholarly review by Kenneth C. Wylie at [...] which I recommend before you embark into reading this book.