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African epiphany

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 08.50.31Dalrymple recalls a simple experience after which he would ‘never laugh again at the taste of people of limited means to make a comfortable home for themselves’. He describes his moment of understanding that ‘rejection of bourgeois proprieties and respectability’ is ‘shallow, trivial, and adolescent’. Moreover,

my rejection of bourgeois virtues as mean-spirited and antithetical to real human development could not long survive contact with situations in which those virtues were entirely absent.