Monday, October 09, 2006

John Le Carre Says Congo Was Merely a Backdrop to Mission Song

John Le Carre in his latest novel says that he did not intend to write about the Congo. He noted that Congo was merely a backdrop to the central story. He goes on to state "But the novel isn't really set in the Congo at all - or so I had almost persuaded myself by the time I began my journey. It's a romantic satire, for Heaven's sake, written with both feet firmly off the ground! It's about Tony Blair's England, and good old-fashioned colonial exploitation, and political hypocrisy and shameless public lies, and other scores I had to settle. It's about the quest for identity in our multi-ethnic society, and New Labour's assault on our civil liberties, and a bunch of other similarly lofty themes!

The Congo is just backcloth, an abstraction, a symbol of perpetual colonial exploitation, slaughter, famine and disorder. To meet it face to face would only violate the delicate illusion - or so I had tried to believe."

Read the entire story of Le Carre's trip to the Congo!


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