DEVIL ON THE CROSS EBOOK
by Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Chinua Achebe. One of the cornerstones of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s fame, Devil on the Cross is a powerful fictional critique of capitalism. It tells the tragic story of Wariinga, a young woman who moves from a rural Kenyan town to the capital, Nairobi, only to be. Devil on the. Cross () by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Digitalized by. RevSocialist for. SocialistStories. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. Page 8. Ngugi, the Bible and Devil on the Cross. myavr.info myavr.info Ngugi, the Bible and Devil on the Cross. Malebogo Kgalemang.
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Devil On The Cross By myavr.info DOWNLOAD HERE. Ngugi, the Bible and Devil on the Cross myavr.info Devil on the Cross by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Buy Buy the Ebook: . Devil on the Cross argues quite convincingly—so convincingly that, for a moment, I became a . The great Kenyan writer and Nobel Prize nominee's novel that he wrote in secret, on toilet paper, while in prison—featuring an introduction by Namwali Serpell.
On the other, new flocks were gathered for religion and for the pope. Of all the fruits that the newly discovered land could yield up, to Pero Vaz de Caminha it seemed the finest would be the salvation of indigenous peoples.
In Caminha's text, spreading the Catholic faith appears to be the monarch's great desire: "to do what Your Highness so desires, that is, expand our holy faith! It has become a commonplace to state that religion furnished the ideological means for justifying the conquest and colonization of America, masking and camouflaging the atrocities committed in the name of faith.
This was undeniably true. But if so much has been said about the relations between infrastructure and superstructure, almost no efforts have been made to dissect the complex world of religiosity. It never hurts to remember that the close of the Middle Ages and dawning of the Early Modern age were typified by a deep, zealous, angst-filled religiosity. Therefore, while material objectives were not minor, Christianizing was indeed an integral part of Portugal's colonizing program for the New World.
Moreover, it was an important part, given the weight of religion in the lives of sixteenth-century people. The Portuguese were sincerely convinced of their missionary role.
The example of missionary zeal came from above, from the king: "All kings are of God, made by man: the king of Portugal is of God and made by God and for this he is more His," said Vieira.
But the example also came from God Himself above, who had elected the Portuguese from among other peoples, in a kind of repetition of the history of Israel.
The question of faith was not separate from the issue of the overseas enterprise: the faith would be spread, but lands would be colonized as well. Portuguese caravels were vessels of God, and missionaries and soldiers sailed in them together, for "not only are the missionaries apostles, but so too are the soldiers and captains, as all go in search of heathens to bring them to the light of faith and to the congregation of the Church.
Friar Vicente do Salvador justified the colonizing endeavor on the basis of religion. Among the products raised in the colony were bread and wine, required for the holy sacraments. Gandavo proposed to engage colonists in the exploitation of maritime riches until mines of precious metal could be discovered inland. It was up to the settler to discover the land's riches and also to enrich the heavens, converting souls. There seems to have been a flow of reciprocity, a kind of balancing of accounts: Providence's benevolence, affording the discovery of silver and gold, should be repaid in souls.
By the same token, the more souls that were sent to heaven, the more benevolent the Creator would feel toward the colonists. The other part of the world, "no less agreeable," had lain bereft of paradise, patriarchs, the divine presence, the light of faith, and salvation for 6, years.
At the end of this period, "the order was given for this new and hidden world to appear"; the Portuguese were made God's arm and charged with spreading the faith to these new parts.
Once more, here is the idea that God provided for everything, determining that the Portuguese should discover lands in order to colonize and Christianize them—again, the idea of a "kingdom of God by Portugal. Furthermore, as masters of the new colony, the Portuguese had the duty to make it produce material wealth by exploiting nature and spiritual wealth by recovering souls for the divine legacy.
The discovery of Brazil—a divine action—unveiled to the Portuguese the paradisiacal nature that so many would liken to the Earthly Paradise. Within the storehouse of their imagination, they searched for elements of identification with the new land. Associating fertility, lush vegetation, and the pleasant climate with the traditional descriptions of the Earthly Paradise made this faraway, unknown land seem closer and more familiar to the Europeans.
The divine presence could be felt in nature as well; elevated to the divine sphere, this nature once more reinforced the presence of God in the universe. In a famous passage, Rocha Pitta describes the passion-fruit flower and associates it with Christ's passion: "mysterious creation of nature, which from the same parts that composed the flower shaped the instruments of the holy passion. Each time he recalled the image of that new world, "the serenity of the air, the diversity of the animals, the variety of the birds, the beauty of the trees and the plants, the excellence of the fruits, and, in short, the riches that adorn this land of Brazil," he remembered the cry of the Prophet in Psalm O Seigneur Dieu que tes oeuvres divers Sent merveilleux par le monde univers O que tu as tout fait par grand sagesse!
Bref, la terre est pleine de ta largesse. Fortunate were the peoples dwelling there, he concluded—but with this caveat: "if they know the author and creator of all these things.
What other craftsman could fashion such a perfect work? In this context, the specific lends evidence to the varied and the multiple found within divine will and action. God thus exists, for He makes what is beautiful and makes what is different. Incorporating these ideas, he read the colonial world through a religious prism in which Catholics and Protestants ended up converging. If the European imagination shifted its projections to the New World and if spreading the Christian faith and colonization went hand in hand, it was no surprise that the discoverer of America would be its first "edenizer" as well.
As a Soldier of Christ, Columbus was concerned with the salvation of souls. In order to justify the need for Christianization, the New World's "indigenous" peoples had to be denigrated—and by denigrating them, slavery was justified. Columbus therefore inaugurated the double-edged movement that would last for centuries in American lands: the edenization of nature and the denigration of men—barbarians, animals, demons. This tendency to associate the men of the colony with animals or demons would later be accentuated; but in Columbus there is an inarguable display of ceaseless interest in examining nature and a disinterest in the men who reaped its benefits.
The singing of the small birds is such that it would seem that a man would never willingly leave this place. The flocks of parrots darken the sun. Birds great and small are of so many kinds and so different from ours that it is a wonder," the discoverer was to write. Ever since his first voyage, based on analogies between what he saw before him and what he had read in authors like Mandeville, Columbus would endeavor to prove that he had reached the environs of the Earthly Paradise.
Like him, countless authors would make repeated reference to the presence of paradise in American lands, in the literal or figurative sense. Friar Vicente do Salvador stopped short of expressing the idea that paradise lay there, but he did unreservedly state that "Brazil has a greater abundance of provisions than all lands that there are in the world, for in it are found the provisions of all the others. Making no reference to the Earthly Paradise, focused much more on describing people than landscapes, Caminha said this new land was "so generous that, desiring to profit of it, everything shall grow in it, by virtue of the waters it hath.
How did the earth look to Caminha? It is well worth citing the passage where he defends this position, for it lists all the paradisiacal features thereafter to be repeated ad infinitum in Brazil's national anthem as well : In no other region does the sky appear so serene, nor does the dawn awaken more lovely; in no other hemisphere does the sun have such golden rays, nor such radiant nocturnal reflections; the stars are the gentlest, and appear always joyful; the horizons, be the sun rising or be it dying, are always clear; the waters, drawn from springs in the fields or from aqueducts within settlements, are the purest; Brazil is, in short, the earthly paradise discovered, where the greatest rivers are born and flow; a wholesome climate prevails; gentle stars have influence, and the gentlest zephyrs breathe, although, since it lies beneath the torrid zone, Aristotle, Pliny, and Cicero would doubt and consider it uninhabitable.
Brazil—"remarkable, delicious, and rich portion of the great America"—had for a long time remained "hidden from the news of human discourse. Healthy air, fresh breezes, a mild climate, fertile earth, all cloistered by two precious keys: one of silver, demarcating its southern part; the other of gold, defining its northern. Alluding to the Prata and Amazonas rivers, which delimited Brazil's lands, the author thus sought to liken Brazil to the Earthly Paradise. The beauty of this perspective—the natural world—reinforced the idea of an Earthly Paradise: "Peaked mountains" and "extensive valleys" filled with lush, fruitful trees, covered with "pomes at any season of the year"; joyous, multihued flowers, growing "with no more care for their raising than that of nature, and of time," capturing one's eye and stimulating one's sense of smell; birds that both "entertained the eye with the variety and sheen of their feathers" and "satisfied the taste with their tantalizing and appetizing meat," in addition to delighting people with their sweet songs—in short, a New World, where the Creator sought to repair some of the Old World's imperfections.
Citing an unnamed author, he exalts the qualities of Pernambuco—the most "flowering, fertile, and rich" of the captaincies. Knivet, a sixteenth-century Englishman who sailed with Thomas Cavendish, left some interesting images of Eldorado that reveal what a strong influence the European imagination wielded in views of the New World.
Like Gandavo and Gabriel Soares, Knivet beheld the Resplendent Mountains: "We came into a fair Country, and we saw a great glistening Mountain before us, ten days before we could come to it, for when we came into the plain Country, and were out of the Mountains, the Sun began to come to his height, we were not able to travel against it, by the reason of the glistening that dazzled our eyes.
What is interesting about them, however, is that they lent new hues to this edenization, reiterating the notion that the edenic character is restructured and transformed during the process of colonization. Nature is prodigious, generous, friendly—so long as transformed by humans.
These humans may even be the poor expropriated fellows from the metropolis or banished undesirables, for nature, with its bountiful positive features, is greater than human pettiness.
For these two authors, who wrote in and , respectively, colonization became an indispensable prerequisite to the edenization of nature.
The land is "very delicious and fresh," all "cloaked in very tall and thick trees, wetted by the waters of many and very precious streams of which all the land has an abundant part, where the verdure always remains with that moderation of spring that April and May offer us here. Yet in very few passages is nature dissociated from humans. The province is "better for the life of man than each of the others in America. For this reason all who cannot find opportunities in Portugal should seek the new land; the colony serves to "correct" the metropolis's ills.
In the new land, "no poor walk from door to door begging as in this Kingdom [Portugal]"; and "all those who live in poverty in these kingdoms should not doubt in choosing it for their shelter. Even the Elysian Fields so celebrated by the Europeans fell far short of the Brazilian land; like "the fabulous paradise of the scurrilous Maphamedes," these fields were no more than "deceits.
Paradise is here, where exuberant nature native honey gushing forth joins with systematic work livestock, milk, butter. The happy marriage of nature and labor, initiated by colonization, made Brazil superior to Europe, Asia, or Africa. As in Gandavo, these efforts are attenuated by the presence of slaves a propagandizing tool?
The colonizing, re-edenizing process was thus superimposed on the already edenic nature of the discovered land, which revived images of the Earthly Paradise in the European imagination.
All the others—sugar, trade, cotton, crops, and cattle—presuppose the colonizing endeavor. Is there any room for doubt? In an enigmatic text, he shows the other side of the coin. Rich with its infinite treasures of metals, precious gems, and valuable drogas [tropical products such as cloves, pepper, and sarsaparilla], Brazil enriched the rest of the world with the fruit of its womb, "yielding itself up. His meaning is clear: the colonists do not reap the benefits of colonization, which bear fruit elsewhere: in Europe.
In the first place, this negative tone clashes with the author's positive formulations, where Brazil is always cast as having a great destiny to fulfill, favored as it is by the Creator's generosity. Even if this mystery cannot be deciphered, one can draw inferences from the passage. In writings on the New World—whether by European authors or by colonial authors, who belonged to the elite or shared its culture and therefore let themselves be influenced by projections of the European imagination—edenization rarely reigns supreme or absolute.
The specter that haunts it, sometimes more timidly, sometimes more resolutely, is the denigrating view of America, one that seeks to reinforce its negative aspects. Negative readings of the New World—works by its so-called detractors—multiplied, especially in the eighteenth century.
Hegel, he studied the polemics on America, focusing more on the negative than the positive current, however.
Something Torn and New
Edenic formulations were projected on America, erecting a bridge that drew the New World closer to the Old, made it part of its imagination, and filled the space formerly occupied by far-off lands that had gradually been unveiled.
In a way, edenizing America meant forging a kind of camaraderie with it, a complicity grounded in the imaginary world. Something was found here that had somehow already been conceived; people saw what they wanted to see and what they had heard said.
Yet as the new continent's unique features began to emerge, edenization was threatened: novel plants, strong winds, heavy rains, but above all, the most peculiar people and animals—others, different from the Europeans. It must be made clear that there was no orderly sequence between one tendency and the other, between edenization and detraction. Even the great edenizers of nature did not refrain from more or less pejorative observations about the New World.
Though the tendency toward edenization predominated in their case, it did not enjoy exclusivity. To gain a better understanding of this other side of edenization—detracting and even infernalizing as will be seen later —I believe it is worthwhile to remember Erwin Panofsky's analysis of the paintings of Piero di Cosimo, a Florentine artist born in the mid-fifteenth century.
A recluse who refused to eat hot meals and nourished himself on hard-boiled eggs, di Cosimo devoted a series of pictures to mythological motifs.
Panofsky views these as an expression of the "hard primitivism" of classical origin. Idealizing the world's primal condition, "soft primitivism" is in keeping with a religious concept of life—it is the time when Eve spun and Adam wove, "hard primitivism," on the other hand, is associated with materialism. From Panofsky's lesson, it can be understood that the Italian Renaissance presupposed two possibilities: revival of the myth of the Golden Age and, simultaneously, the negation of this myth.
There could thus be no pure and simple idealization of nature; ever since the classic era, its opposite had always been taken into account. In his opinion, the Renaissance was more pessimistic than optimistic. And in another passage: "Sadness and Renaissance: these two terms would seem mutually exclusive, yet they were often close traveling companions.
Gandavo, an edenizer par excellence and propagandist of the new land, deemed the place delightful and temperate albeit subject to deadly winds. Gandavo deliberately avoided discoursing about them, but nevertheless did so in one paragraph, where he endeavored to justify their existence and endow them with a certain inevitability: There are many other poisonous animals and creatures in this Province, with which I do not deal, of which there are so many in such abundance that it would be a very long story to name them all here and specifically deal with the nature of each one, there being, as I say, an infinity of them in these parts, where, because of the temperament of the land and of the climates that rule it, these could not but exist.
In his words: "It seems that this climate induces venom, for the infinite snakes that there are, as well as the many scorpions, spiders, and other filthy creatures, and the lizards are so many that they cover the walls of the houses and their openings. In compensation, "there is no want of cockroaches, moths, wasps, flies, and mosquitoes of so many kinds and so cruel, and venomous, so that when they bite a person the hand is swollen for three or four days.
Knivet tells of crab-lice. His group walked through mountainous lands so infested with these bugs that to get them off their skin and be rid of them, they had to take dry straw from the ground and scorch themselves, "as you would singe hogs. But, ethnologist avant la lettre, he introduced them as different, unique.
The Jesuits who were in Brazil from the late sixteenth century to the early seventeenth were wholly oblivious to the question of the New World's singularity. In the Luso-Brazilian tradition, they were the greatest representatives of miscomprehension of the colonial universe. More than the animal and vegetable world, people were the prime target of Jesuit ill-will. But creatures, plants, and lands also received their quota of detraction.
As if fleas were not enough, a cricket plague destroyed books and clothing. Although they killed "a great multitude every day," it was easy to reach out and grab forty to fifty; there was no end to them.
And the cockroaches? What "there was, one could not believe, for the altar, the table, the food, and everything was covered with them. And every day the father took a large number of them in his hood, and every day with traps we caught thousands and they always seemed to grow. In the mid-eighteenth century Georges-Henri Leclerc de Buffon was to state: "Let us then see why such large reptiles, such fat insects, such small quadrupeds, and such cold men exist in this new world.
The reason is the quality of the land, the state of the sky, the degree of heat and humidity, the location and elevation of the mountains, the quantity of running or still waters, the expanse of the forests, and above all the raw state in which nature is found. He explained to her that because of the quantity of rainfall the earth was made rotten and kept tree roots from penetrating deep into the soil.
Once again it is Buffon who systematizes the negative data on America, in his concern with explaining the reasons for the inferiority of animal species on this continent. It was sparsely populated, and most of the people lived as animals, "leaving nature in its raw state and neglecting the land. In Cornelius De Pauw would take Buffon's observations to their ultimate consequences: American nature, like American people, was decadent and decaying.
As the great discoveries took place, these peoples migrated from India to Ethiopia, to Scandinavia, and, finally, to America. In the precarious medieval world, it became necessary to name the unknown and make it incarnate in order to contain fear within bearable limits—monsters described by religion Satan ; monsters described in the world of beasts unicorns, dragons, ant lions, mermaids, and so on ; individual human monsters crippled people, fiends ; and monsters that inhabited the ends of the earth, resembling normal people i.
In the late Middle Ages, it had been St. Augustine who had established certain concepts about monsters—monsters had something to demonstrate. Isidore of Seville was to return to St. Augustine, classifying monsters in four large families: individual monsters, monstrous races, fictitious monsters, and human-beast monsters.
This classificatory labor represented the Westerner's desire and effort to "affirm his own normality, comparing it point by point with the deformity of imaginary races. Realizing their pedagogical value, medieval moralists made ample recourse to monsters, bestowing upon them a moral meaning and social dimension; the monstrousness of monsters was somehow depleted by their internalization. The cardinal wrote of peoples "whose customs had fallen away from human nature," of "anthropophagic wild men with horrible, misshapen features, at the two extreme regions of the Earth On January 8, , he saw three mermaids leap out of the sea and was disappointed, for they were not as beautiful as he had imagined.
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