L’ANGE AVEUGLE

At times I am a bit doubtful if a book should be part of this books from and about Africa. This book has been written by Tahar ben Jelloun, he was born in Fez (1944) so his place of birth is no problem. He lives in France and the content of this book is about crime-life in southern parts of Italy. I havbe read other books by ben Jelloun and these books had a closer link with Africa. I will give this book with a clear conscience the benefit of the doubt.

In this book the writer tells that he was offered a job to write articles about organized crime in southern Italy. An Italian newspaper thought it worthwhile to enlighten its readers about these violent and  oppresive issues. In these fourteen stories in this book we find a mixture of fact and fiction, ben Jelloun has favoured a literary approach and he has done so in a beautiful way. 

The titel of this collection refers to an innocent young victim of violent crime, who helps people as an angel. Ben Jelloun writes about old people in a world that has been corupted by violence and the threats of violence and extortion.  He writes about young people, about the dubious role of the church and about women in this masculine world. He writes about crimefighters, about people who stand up to violence, but have to leave in order to save their life.

Crime does not bypass anyone. It absorbs a whole society. It ruins a whole society. It ruins each and every man and woman and child. It has infiltrated the bone and marrow of society. Corruption and violence has become society. It has become the end of society.

Tahar ben Jelloun – L’ange aveugle – 1992 

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