December 06, 2010

I listened painfully for the concealed weapon in the voluminous folds of that laughter

Anthills of the Savannah, Chinua Achebe

"That afternoon he was punished most dreadfully at the beach and he laughed to his pink gums and I listened painfully for the slightest clink of the concealed weapon in the voluminous folds of that laughter." (p.37)
- I really liked the way "voluminous folds" sounded

"Going up to it now with the great shimmering expanse of the artificial lake waters stretching eastwards into the advancing darkness on your left and the brightly lit avenue taking you slowly skywards in gigantic circles round and up the hill, on top of which the Presidential Retreat perches like a lighthouse, was a movingly beautiful experience even to a mood as frayed and soured as mine that evening." (p. 67)

"'Nations,' he said, 'were fostered as much by structures as by laws and revolutions. These structures where they exist now are the pride of their nations. But everyone forgets that they were not erected by democratically-elected Prime Ministers but very frequently by rather unattractive, bloodthirsty medieval tyrants. The cathedrals of Europe, the Taj Mahal of India, the pyramids of Egypt and the stone towers of Zimbabwe were all raised on the backs of serfs, starving peasants and slaves. Our present rulers in Africa are in every sense late-flowering medieval monarchs, even the Marxists among them.'" (p.68).

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