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(Quartz)   Why all books about Africa have one farking tree on the cover   (qz.com ) divider line
    More: Fail, The Lion King, South Africa  
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11108 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 May 2014 at 3:34 PM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-12 01:50:14 PM  
i.chzbgr.com
 
2014-05-12 02:39:22 PM  
"In short," the post said, "the covers of most novels 'about Africa' seem to have been designed by someone whose principal idea of the continent comes from The Lion King."

My principal idea of the continent comes from the Toto song, sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-05-12 03:02:14 PM  
For the same reason all those stories about the cute dead white high school girl from Western Massachusetts used the same picture of her. It is visually appealing and readers understand what it means. If you show some horrible Third World city on the cover, people will not understand that it is Africa and/or they will not buy the ugly book.
 
2014-05-12 03:36:54 PM  
I thought they just all really liked the PBS show Nature.

www-tc.pbs.org
 
2014-05-12 03:38:51 PM  
I blame Pharrell.
 
2014-05-12 03:39:51 PM  
Because brothers are hung like tree-trunks.

They scan slap you in the head with 9 in. of limp d!ck if'n they want to.
 
2014-05-12 03:40:17 PM  
Because who gives a shiat about this, really?
 
2014-05-12 03:41:08 PM  

RexTalionis: I thought they just all really liked the PBS show Nature.

[www-tc.pbs.org image 520x390]


How wild!  How savage!  How African!
 
2014-05-12 03:41:52 PM  
"But right now, we're in the age of the tree," he says. "For that vast continent, in all its diversity, you get that one farking tree."


Thank you, Pat Mendelsund, associate art director at Knopf, gifted cover designer, and author of a forthcoming book on the alliances between image and text, for keeping it real and injecting some much-needed grittiness and passion into an otherwise mundane article on why the acacia tree is visual shorthand for Africa.
 
2014-05-12 03:43:19 PM  

jaybeezey: Because who gives a shiat about this, really?


Also this.
 
2014-05-12 03:44:47 PM  

sendtodave: RexTalionis: I thought they just all really liked the PBS show Nature.

[www-tc.pbs.org image 520x390]

How wild!  How savage!  How African!


Such wild! Much Savage! Wow!
 
2014-05-12 03:47:15 PM  

iheartscotch: sendtodave: RexTalionis: I thought they just all really liked the PBS show Nature.

[www-tc.pbs.org image 520x390]

How wild!  How savage!  How African!

Such wild! Much Savage! Wow!


img.fark.net
 
2014-05-12 03:47:16 PM  
Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.
 
2014-05-12 03:47:33 PM  
Sells more books than the truth...
www.afronline.org
 
2014-05-12 03:49:29 PM  

JackieRabbit: Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.


That's racist.

Compared to this sanitized "Lion King" tree-and-giraffe idea.  Which is also racist.

Basically, anything we say about Africa is probably racist, really.
 
2014-05-12 03:50:40 PM  

JackieRabbit: Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.



www.hmcwriter.com
 
2014-05-12 03:51:28 PM  

GoldDude: Sells more books than the truth...
[www.afronline.org image 350x207]


1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-05-12 03:51:37 PM  
Be grateful. Some parts of Africa can't afford a tree.

d.gr-assets.com
 
2014-05-12 03:52:12 PM  
The cover of every book about Canada has a reference to the maple, the cover of every book about Australia shows a kangaroo, and the cover of every book about France is solid white.
 
2014-05-12 03:52:33 PM  
People are lazy.  Once again, don't blame malice when you can blame incompetence.  Same as it ever was.
 
2014-05-12 03:52:57 PM  

sendtodave: JackieRabbit: Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.

That's racist.

Compared to this sanitized "Lion King" tree-and-giraffe idea.  Which is also racist.

Basically, anything we say about Africa is probably racist, really.



Naw. We just assume that because you're from Virginia.
 
2014-05-12 03:53:45 PM  
Went to South Africa and you know what? When you are out in the bush you see a lot of those trees and beautiful sunsets. It is, actually, a fair visual representation of what you will see if you ACTUALLY GO THERE!
 
2014-05-12 03:56:54 PM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: JackieRabbit: Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.


[www.hmcwriter.com image 795x600]


Lot of crackers in that photo...

But then, the ethnic Zulus tend to live inland from the harbor part of Durban.
 
2014-05-12 03:58:02 PM  
I'm pretty sure there are a hell of a lot more than 36 books about Africa.
 
2014-05-12 03:58:32 PM  

This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: JackieRabbit: Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.


[www.hmcwriter.com image 795x600]

Lot of crackers in that photo...

But then, the ethnic Zulus tend to live inland from the harbor part of Durban.



Its called gentrification. But, whats your point? White people can't live in Africa?
 
2014-05-12 04:00:05 PM  
"Based on 'The Lion King'", no. The stereotype existed long before The Lion King.

Also, all romance novel covers look nearly identical, all movie posters fall into one of a small number of specific styles, and all road atlases have a photo of an empty road winding through a picturesque mountain vista.
 
2014-05-12 04:00:24 PM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: JackieRabbit: Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.


[www.hmcwriter.com image 795x600]

Lot of crackers in that photo...

But then, the ethnic Zulus tend to live inland from the harbor part of Durban.

Its called gentrification. But, whats your point? White people can't live in Africa?


Depends, I suppose. Are Arabs considered white for purposes of the argument?
 
2014-05-12 04:01:48 PM  

nytmare: "Based on 'The Lion King'", no. The stereotype existed long before The Lion King.

Also, all romance novel covers look nearly identical, all movie posters fall into one of a small number of specific styles, and all road atlases have a photo of an empty road winding through a picturesque mountain vista.


Holy crap, even Iowa!

cdn.radioiowa.com
 
2014-05-12 04:02:09 PM  

Russ1642: The cover of every book about Canada has a reference to the maple [...]


Almost every book:

img.fark.net
 
2014-05-12 04:02:47 PM  
You tree-hater!
 
2014-05-12 04:04:13 PM  
This got me thinking about romance novels and now I've learned there is an entire series of NASCAR Harlequin romance novels.

www.blogcdn.com
Sometimes love calls for a risky maneuver.  I imagine that they're all just Days of Thunder ripoffs.
 
2014-05-12 04:04:39 PM  
Is it because they only have one tree left? I assume the rest were cut down to make spears and to roast chickens.

/spearchuckers love dem some chicken
//my mom says there are a lot of black people in Africa
 
2014-05-12 04:05:21 PM  

nytmare: Also, all romance novel covers look nearly identical,


Exactly.

i.imgur.com
 
2014-05-12 04:06:29 PM  
I asked Peter Mendelsund ... to help me understand how the publishing industry got to a place where these crude visual stereotypes are recycled ad nauseam.

He points first to "laziness ..."


Uh huh.  They're just being lazy.  That's a perfectly cromulent excuse, and inoculates any person who employs it as an excuse.

farking laziness is another thing that's killing this country.

And ...

d.gr-assets.com
 
2014-05-12 04:07:24 PM  

MagicBoris: Russ1642: The cover of every book about Canada has a reference to the maple [...]

Almost every book:

[img.fark.net image 425x566]


I refuse to believe there's not a sugar maple somewhere behind Anne of Green Gables there.
 
2014-05-12 04:08:19 PM  
This is where I developed my image of Africa:

media-int.takealot.com


/First soft-core movie I saw in a theater.
 
2014-05-12 04:10:40 PM  

MagicBoris: Russ1642: The cover of every book about Canada has a reference to the maple [...]

Almost every book:

[img.fark.net image 425x566]


That baseball bat is made from maple.

/maplelicious
 
2014-05-12 04:11:03 PM  
There's not even anything hanging from the tree!
 
2014-05-12 04:11:14 PM  

This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: JackieRabbit: Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.


[www.hmcwriter.com image 795x600]

Lot of crackers in that photo...

But then, the ethnic Zulus tend to live inland from the harbor part of Durban.

Its called gentrification. But, whats your point? White people can't live in Africa?

Depends, I suppose. Are Arabs considered white for purposes of the argument?



The only acceptable response to the highlighted question is "no". Whatever you're about to say is going to make you seem really stupid. Not a personal attack, its a warning.

/I'd reconsider
 
2014-05-12 04:12:44 PM  

pizen: nytmare: Also, all romance novel covers look nearly identical,

Exactly.

[i.imgur.com image 427x640]


Needs more cleavage.

And a bodice.  Bodices are good for ripping.

/Bodice ripper.
 
2014-05-12 04:14:42 PM  

sendtodave: Basically, anything we say about Africa is probably racist, really.


Don't even look at it!
 
2014-05-12 04:14:56 PM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: JackieRabbit: Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.


[www.hmcwriter.com image 795x600]

Lot of crackers in that photo...

But then, the ethnic Zulus tend to live inland from the harbor part of Durban.

Its called gentrification. But, whats your point? White people can't live in Africa?

Depends, I suppose. Are Arabs considered white for purposes of the argument?


The only acceptable response to the highlighted question is "no". Whatever you're about to say is going to make you seem really stupid. Not a personal attack, its a warning.

/I'd reconsider


Did you highlight the wrong line, or are you actually stating that it's ridiculous to argue that white people can live in Africa?
 
2014-05-12 04:14:57 PM  

Lee451: This is where I developed my image of Africa:

[media-int.takealot.com image 384x539]


/First soft-core movie I saw in a theater.


So, you went to a theater to watch a dirty movie with a bunch of other degenerates.  Hmm.  Lucky you didn't get shot in the head, like the guy who sat in front of PeeWee Herman.

And Lincoln, of course.
 
2014-05-12 04:23:19 PM  

This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: JackieRabbit: Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.


[www.hmcwriter.com image 795x600]

Lot of crackers in that photo...

But then, the ethnic Zulus tend to live inland from the harbor part of Durban.

Its called gentrification. But, whats your point? White people can't live in Africa?

Depends, I suppose. Are Arabs considered white for purposes of the argument?


The only acceptable response to the highlighted question is "no". Whatever you're about to say is going to make you seem really stupid. Not a personal attack, its a warning.

/I'd reconsider

Did you highlight the wrong line, or are you actually stating that it's ridiculous to argue that white people can live in Africa?



There you go.
 
2014-05-12 04:23:35 PM  

Russ1642: I'm pretty sure there are a hell of a lot more than 36 books about Africa.


Yeppers, this. Out of many books about Africa, some percentage have an iconic image unique to Africa. Oh my.

I can easily find 36 books about America that have the statue of liberty on the cover. That doesn't mean that book designers are ignorant of America. It means it's an easily recognizable iconic image unique to America. No evil agenda, or conspiracy of willful ignorance required, lol.

Ignorant asinine hand-wringing article was ignorant, asinine and unnecessary hand-wringing.
 
2014-05-12 04:25:42 PM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: JackieRabbit: Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.


[www.hmcwriter.com image 795x600]

Lot of crackers in that photo...

But then, the ethnic Zulus tend to live inland from the harbor part of Durban.

Its called gentrification. But, whats your point? White people can't live in Africa?

Depends, I suppose. Are Arabs considered white for purposes of the argument?


The only acceptable response to the highlighted question is "no". Whatever you're about to say is going to make you seem really stupid. Not a personal attack, its a warning.

/I'd reconsider

Did you highlight the wrong line, or are you actually stating that it's ridiculous to argue that white people can live in Africa?


There you go.


I'm sure that comes as a surprise to the Egyptians.
 
2014-05-12 04:27:01 PM  

ThrobblefootSpectre: Russ1642: I'm pretty sure there are a hell of a lot more than 36 books about Africa.

Yeppers, this. Out of many books about Africa, some percentage have an iconic image unique to Africa. Oh my.

I can easily find 36 books about America that have the statue of liberty on the cover. That doesn't mean that book designers are ignorant of America. It means it's an easily recognizable iconic image unique to America. No evil agenda, or conspiracy of willful ignorance required, lol.

Ignorant asinine hand-wringing article was ignorant, asinine and unnecessary hand-wringing.



www.thejerusalemconnection.us

Doesn't get much more iconic than that. Why isn't this on the cover of books about Africa?
 
2014-05-12 04:34:20 PM  

This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: JackieRabbit: Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.


[www.hmcwriter.com image 795x600]

Lot of crackers in that photo...

But then, the ethnic Zulus tend to live inland from the harbor part of Durban.


Yeah, about two blocks.  Where Dro's picture was taken there is the beach, then a row of street vendors, a road and then the tourist hotels and restaurants.  4-5 story residential apartment buildings start just after that.  And at ground level, the mix of ethnicities is about the same as you'd see anywhere else in the RSA.

/ I dipped my toes in the Indian Ocean there.
// Still have the Southern Ocean to go
 
2014-05-12 04:36:32 PM  

Russ1642: I'm pretty sure there are a hell of a lot more than 36 books about Africa.


And they listed Heart of Darkness twice.

They must really like Conrad.  (I know I do).
 
2014-05-12 04:38:47 PM  

This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: This text is now purple: DROxINxTHExWIND: JackieRabbit: Maybe we should include images of genocidal wars, starving children, kidnapped little girls, and greedy, corrupt dictators and and princes and people dying of AIDS by the millions. You know, the real Africa.


[www.hmcwriter.com image 795x600]

Lot of crackers in that photo...

But then, the ethnic Zulus tend to live inland from the harbor part of Durban.

Its called gentrification. But, whats your point? White people can't live in Africa?

Depends, I suppose. Are Arabs considered white for purposes of the argument?


My Iraqi friend was laughing when he was told to fill in Caucasian for race.  "Awesome!  I'm white!"
 
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