Quotes for Friday from Ferdinand Oyono's Houseboy
Unlike Bessie Head's A Question of Power, this book does not contain enough aphorisms that could be quoted. Or perhaps I failed to see them. Whatever be the case I would serve you with the few that I found interesting.
Life, he says, is like the chameleon, changing colour all the time.
The elephant does not rot in a secret place
Sophie, Page 41
Ah, these whites, she burst out. The dog can die of hunger beside his master's meat. They don't bury the goat up to the horns. They bury him altogether.
Sophie, Page 44
They lamented 'the Martyr' as they called Father Gilbert because he died on African soil.
The river does not go back to its spring.
Truth lies beyond the mountains. You must travel to find it.
If I talk it is because I have a mouth. If I see, it is because I have eyes. The eye goes farther and faster than the mouth, nothing stops it...
Since when does the pot rub itself against the hammer?
Is the white man's neighbour only other white men? Who can go on believing the stuff we are served up in the churches when things happen like I saw today...
When will you grasp that for the whites, you are only alive to do their work and for no other reason. I am the cook. The white man does not see me except with his stomach.
The Cook, Page 87
It is the voice of wisdom ... outside his hole the mouse does not defy the cat.
Our ancestors used to say you must escape when the water is still only up to the knees.