Pretty early on in reading this Allan Quatermain novel I considered stopping. More than any of the other Quatermain adventures I’ve read, Marie is rife with racism, both in the characters’ dialog and the overall narrative.
This was not simply racism of Europeans against Africans (although there was certainly plenty of that!), but of different ethnicities of the same color. The French hate the English, the Dutch hate the English, the English hate the both of them, and all them hate—or at least mistreat—the Africans. There is even a jab at Jews—even though there aren’t any Jewish main characters to be seen!
Is it right to read a book with racism in it? Or does it seep into one’s thoughts and attitudes? On the other hand, does pretending that racism doesn’t exist leave one open to ignorance? Is it possibly helpful to read a book one doesn’t agree with, to mentally argue with it, and thus sharpen one’s mind and feelings against occurrences of racism in the real world?