Tiny Bouts Of Contentment. Rare Film Footage Of Graham Greene In The Belgian Congo, March 1959


Graham Greene in the Belgian Congo

Graham Greene in the Belgian Congo

My purpose in this contribution is to present and contextualize the only film footage ever recorded of the novelist Graham Greene (1904-1991) in the Belgian Congo in 1959. The footage was filmed with an 8mm camera, which did not record sound. It belongs to Mrs. Édith Lechat (née Dasnoy;1932-) and her husband, the leprosy specialist Doctor (later Professor) Michel Lechat (1927-2014).

From 1953 through 1960, Dr. Lechat was head of the leper hospital and colony of Iyonda, a village and mission station some 15 kms south of the city of Coquilhatville (now, Mbandaka) in central-western Congo. Greene stayed a number of weeks in Iyonda and other mission stations in the region in search of inspiration, a setting, and material for a new novel. The novel, A Burnt-Out Case, appeared in 1960, and was dedicated to Dr. Lechat. Greene occupied a room in the house of the missionary fathers in Iyonda, but spent long parts of his days with the doctor and his family. The film reached me through the hands of Édith Lechat, who had it transposed to a DVD-playable format, and via my friend Hendrik (a.k.a., “Henri” or “Rik”) Vanderslaghmolen (1921-), who was a missionary in the region at the time. As he was one of the only Belgian missionaries there with some knowledge of English, he often accompanied Graham Greene during his trips from one mission station to another. Rik Vanderslaghmolen and the Lechats are still close friends today.

Much of the information I offer below stems from conversations I had with both Rik Vanderslaghmolen and Édith Lechat in July and August 2013. Regrettably, Dr. Michel Lechat’s poor health condition did not allow me to probe his memory, but an interview he gave for the Brussels-based weekly The Bulletin on the occasion of Greene’s death in 1991 is available (Lechat 1991), as well as a closely similar talk he gave at the 2006 Graham Greene Festival in Berkhamsted, published in the London Review of Books in August 2007 (Lechat 2007). Édith Lechat has given me the kind permission to share the film with the readership of Rozenberg Quarterly and to add the necessary contextual information on both the historical situation and the contents of the film.

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T.S. Eliot Reads: The Waste Land


Roz Kaveney – TS Eliot’s The Waste Land: the radical text of a wounded culture

Siegfried Sassoon once wrote a poem complaining about a concert whose audience listened to The Rite of Spring as if it were “by someone dead / like Brahms”, instead of rioting and yelling abuse. Indeed, most of the great works of 20th-century modernism have become part of the canon. People may still occasionally make disobliging remarks about Picasso, say, but we are used to TS Eliot’s The Waste Land – it is assimilated, and no longer regarded as an awful warning of the debased, degenerate way in which things are heading.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/waste-land

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Laghukatha – Het ZKV in de Hindi-Literatuur


BruntWas

Foto Lodewijk Brunt

In Nederland is de laatste jaren een nieuw literair genre van de grond gekomen: het zeer korte verhaal, oftewel ‘zkv’. In sommige literaire tradities buiten Nederland bestaat zo’n genre al langer. India is een voorbeeld: het zeer korte verhaal is hier terug te voeren op oude fabels en volksvertellingen, en komt in het Hindi voor vanaf de tijd dat het moderne Hindi is ontstaan (tweede helft 19e eeuw). Het zkv heeft zich in verscheidene tijdvakken en maatschappelijke constellaties weten te handhaven. Ten tijde van de Moghul-dynastie (van de 16e tot de tweede helft van de 19e eeuw) bestond in het Urdu (een zustertaal van het Hindi) een levendige traditie van schetsen en raadsels en cynische commentaren op het doen en laten van de machthebbers. In het midden van de negentiende eeuw bloeide de ‘caféliteratuur’, waaronder de poëzie, als nooit tevoren; aan het hof van de laatste Moghul-keizer Zafar in Delhi, maar zeker ook daarbuiten en onder ‘gewone’ mensen.[1] Read more

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Laghukatha – ZKV’s uit India. Terrorisme, Pepsi Cola, Vrees voor de toekomst, Klem


Terrorisme

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Yograj Prabhakar – Terrorisme 

Tenslotte schoot de politie de ongrijpbare terrorist dood en de inspecteur die hem had gedood, werd uitbundig geprezen om zijn moed en er werd bekend gemaakt dat hem een groot eerbetoon ten deel zou vallen. Ook zouden de media hem vandaag in groten getale komen interviewen. In verband hiermee kwam deze dappere inspecteur kijken hoe de voorbereidingen verliepen.
“Is alles klaar?” vroeg hij aan een ondergeschikte.
“Ja meneer.”
“Heeft iemand het lijk geïdentificeerd?”
“Nee meneer, het gezicht was zo verminkt dat het onmogelijk was hem te herkennen.”
“Is er iemand gekomen om het lijk op te vragen?”
“Nee meneer.”
“Oké. Wil iemand hier nog iets over vragen of zeggen?”
Op dat moment fluisterde een agent hem in het oor: “Wat doen we met z’n riksja, meneer?” Read more

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Making Books Is Fun!


Back before inkjets, printing was a time-comsuming laborious process, that took teams of people working together to produce just one book. Now days, any crabby person can sit at home and crank out stuff on a blog or even make internet video. This movie will make you happy as you watch others toil for ‘The Man’ under primitive conditions.

Ziptrivia: https://www.youtube.com/channel/

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