Sunday, July 7, 2019

Review of "Compair Lapin and Piti Bonhomme Godron (The Tar Baby)" as written by Alcee Fortier in 1894

Review of

Compair Lapin and Piti Bonhomme Godron (The Tar Baby) as written by Alcee Fortier in 1894

Four out of five stars

 The American literature of the old south is in many ways an amalgam of two widely different cultures. There is the ruling class of white European heritage and the African slave heritage. Alcee Fortier was born in 1856 and spent much of his life writing about the folk tales that the imported African slaves passed down in a rich oral tradition to their descendants born in the Louisiana area of the United States.

 The slaves that passed these specific stories from generation to generation were originally from the Sene-Gambia river region in Africa and the stories feature animals from that region. The primary villainous character is a rabbit and he is, “Compair Lapin, the most famous rascal in the universe.” He is constantly stirring things up with the other animals that get very frustrated with his annoying antics. One of the main characters adversarial to Compare Lapin is Mr. Monkey, a doctor that is half wizard and half voodoo.

 The stories are a bit disjointed in their telling, the flow is often a bit rough. However, if you read them giving some slack regarding the origin of the stories, then they are entertaining. They follow the basic theme of the good critter(s) versus bad critter plot device, so there is a bit of predictability in the outcomes.

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