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Mon Aventure dans l’Afrique civilisée

Monday 11 March 2019, by Paul-André Claudel

Mon Aventure dans l’Afrique civilisée, written in French and first published in Alexandria in 1933, follows the journey across the Mediterranean of a freedom-loving anarchist writer who flees prison in Italy to rebuild his life in Egypt. It is the story of a fugitive pursued by the secret police, who denounces the heavy-handed policing of the rebellious and the persecution of anarchists by the authorities, but is also an invaluable depiction of the world of journalism as it existed in Egypt at the beginning of the 20th century. Once settled in Cairo and Alexandria, the author chronicles his experiences in the colourful and chaotic milieu of expatriate European publishers. Inspired visionaries, hardworking printers, exiled artists, unscrupulous editors, professional blackmailers and career conmen rub shoulders in this richly woven memoire. Romolo Garbati skilfully shines a light into the murky margins of this community to reveal the dreamers and the adventurers, the short-lived newspapers and publishing flops. It is undoubtedly the best “group photo” that we have of the European-language press of Egypt in the first half of the 20th century.

Romolo Garbati (1873-1942), a newspaperman involved in anarchist and socialist circles on the island of Sardinia, was obliged to leave Italy in 1902 to avoid prison. He travelled the Mediterranean, making landfall in Tunisia and Algeria, before settling in Egypt. There, he worked as a journalist in Cairo and Alexandria, eventually becoming the editor of the leading Italian daily newspaper in the Middle East, «Il Messaggero egiziano».

Romolo Garbati, Mon Aventure dans l’Afrique civilisée, édition, notes et dossier par Paul-André Claudel, préface de Daniel Lançon, Alexandrie, CEAlex/CNRS, coll. “Littérature Alexandrine”, 2019, ISBN : 9782490128044

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À propos de l'auteur

Paul-André Claudel

Maître de conférences HDR en Littératures comparées

Le courant de la décadence et la littérature fin-de-siècle, Domaine français, domaine italien et méditerranéen

Courrier électronique : Paul-André Claudel

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