Review of L'Homme rompu

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Editor: Janet Witalec
Date: 2004
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Book review; Critical essay
Length: 737 words

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[(review date autumn 1994) In the following review, Cooper calls L'Homme rompu a "remarkable novel" and praises the work's suspense, imagery, and narrative structure.]

In his prefatory note the Moroccan author Tahar Ben Jelloun states that L'Homme rompu is meant to be a writer-to-writer homage to Pramoedya Ananta Toer, an Indonesian author now living in Jakarta under house arrest and unable to publish. Pramoedya was the author of Corruption, a 1954 novel known in France through Denys Lombard's translation, published by Editions Philippe Picquier. Ben Jelloun in L'Homme rompu, set in his native country, "burglarizes" reality as he did in his 1992 collection of short stories, L'Ange aveugle, set in Italy. L'Homme rompu denounces bribery as a calamitous way of life affecting many countries, North and South alike. It is indeed a universal plague, since "L'âme humaine, quand elle est rongée par la même misère, cède parfois aux mêmes démons."

Bribery is presented here as "parallel economics" and "a disguised form of taxation." It is "a subtle form of compensation" without which, apparently, there is no survival, a new law of the jungle....

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|H1100053111