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Volume 2 Issue 12

December 2016

Vanishing into the Terra Incognita: A Reading of Paul Theroux’s Dark Star Safari
Ms. Meera B, 
Department of English, 
University of Hyderabad, 
Hyderabad, Telangana, India
The Anglo-American travel writer Paul Theroux’s 2003 travelogue Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town, as the title itself suggests, is a record of the writer’s journeys from Cairo to Cape Town over land covering several countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. Theroux had been to Africa 38 years ago when he worked as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Malawi and taught in Uganda for 4 years. The return to Africa, Theroux explains, is motivated as much by the desire to re-discover the Africa he left behind as the desire to become unobtainable and invisible for a while, Africa being “one of the last great places on earth a person can vanish into” (4). In this paper, I argue that while Theroux’s take on Africa reveals certain unpleasant truths about contemporary Western society, in his attempts to relate Africa’s problems to the so-called ineptitude of its people and his refusal to engage with the colonial guilt, he merely reproduces the old stereotypes about the continent.
Travel Writing; Africa; Postcolonialism.
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Progressive Publishers is a novice publishing enterprise located at Tranquebar, Tamilnadu, India. It primarily publishes university text-books for efficient English language learning and an online scholarly journal entitled Literary Quest. Its primary goal is to promote progressive, secular, socialist and egalitarian thoughts among academicians, researchers and students of English literature. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Social Justice are the ideals upon which the whole enterprise rests.