Abstract | Abstract
This paper studies the American perception of a lack of modernity in the postcolonial world. As usual, the lack of modernity allows for an idealized, romanticized vision of a simpler life without the ugliness of modern, Western life. A large aspect of Theroux’s thesis concerns the need for Africa to “return” to its “traditional” ways, as a simple land, and cast-off the failed attempt at colonial modernization enforced by the Europeans. As a travelogue, Theroux is also a tourist. Therefore, this work returns to the typical motif of the search for authenticity. Here I investigate Theroux’s approach to “finding” the real Africa as well as how his Africa is shaped by the experience he wants to find.