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Fordlandia

by Eduardo Sguiglia

This comes heavily billed as in the school of Conrad and Kafka. Well, I didn't find that brooding sense of menace and doom. It's deceptively easy to read and only afterwards did I find that bitter taste of a complex character in the narrator. There's a shade of anti-capitalism in the portrait of Henry Ford, but also enough to enable some pity for a very powerful man surrounded by yes men.

Extract

Early in the morning the noise of fish jumping in the water startled me, as if I had heard gunshots. I tried to go to sleep lying on the deck. I was half asleep, my head resting on my arm, when I heard Enéas and Roque talking. 'This guy is completely mad. After what he did at the post we are going to have problems. That's for sure,' Roque said. 'I don't think so. I think he did it to prove he has guts. All foreigners need to prove that here. Although I think he really is brave,' Enéas answered.
Translated by Patricia Duncan

Parallels

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
The Comedians by Graham Greene
African Queen by C S Forester
 

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