the power of the poor

He [Petr Chelcický] saw war as a conspiracy in which the poor were duped into fighting to defend the privileges of the rich. If all poor people refused to fight, he argued, the rich would have no army and there would be no war. (from Kurlansky, Nonviolence, p51-2)

This is reminiscent of Aminata Sow Fall’s Beggar’s Strike, in which the poor deprive the rich of essential blessings made by giving offerings to the poor – that doesn’t do it justice; I recommend the book, it’s clever and subversive.

my dubious popularity among African students

In March of 2008, I published a short review of the Senegalese classic novel, The Beggars’ Strike, by Aminata Sow Fall.  A number of the comments on that post have suggested that the book is assigned reading somewhere:

  • i am a student i realy realy enjoy the play (feb 2009)
  • Hi, please i need urgent help on my project topic IRONY OF FATE IN AMINATA SOWE FALL “BEGGAR’S STRIKE”. Will be very happy if anyone can help me with relevant materials to aid me in writing my final year project. Thanks alot!!!!!!!!. (may 2009)
  • please i urgently need help on writing on discussing the general setting of the beggar’s strike in relation to the writer’s handling of the theme. thanks (july 2009)
  • can i please know how dose the setting of the book relates to its theme? (july 2009)
  • hi, i need the summery of the novel the beggars strike please kindly send it to my mail box which is –. thanks in anticipation. (july 2009)
  • sir the book has really tells us africa background, however sir i want to know the theme of oppression in the novel (july 2009)
  • I love this novel but i need to know if it is totaly a satire (nov 2009)
  • pls can u summarize the entire book (dec 2009)

and much more!  I only wish I could be of more use.  Maybe I could post a couple of sample term papers based on the book?  Alas, mine is a paltry little review…