Hierdie is die LitNet-argief (2006–2012)
Besoek die aktiewe LitNet-platform by www.litnet.co.za

This is the LitNet archive (2006–2012)
Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za


 
Menings | Opinion > SeminaarKamer | Seminar Room > English

English


<< 1 2 3 4 5 >>

We object: I join other South African writers in feeling alarmed
Damon Galgut - 2010-08-20


We object: To make this stand, stand.
Ingrid Wolfaardt - 2010-08-20
Has this country not fought? Paid in blood and life itself for the following? To live with a critical conscience, to live with honesty and truth and to have the freedom to do so and the expression thereof in all its parts? This is not only our challenge but the challenge across borders, across centuries, the calling to ordinary men and women for a life that encompasses all people. That is real community, that is real nation-building, where allowing another to be allows me to be too, allows...

We object: Is it possible to prevent what seems to be coming from coming?
Mike Rands - 2010-08-20
I used to produce content for the SABC and constantly dealt with people known as “commissioning editors”. I soon learnt that they were in fact nothing more than government agents. Quality of programming was not on the agenda. What mattered was the government. What mattered was the ANC. I learnt to bite my tongue, but I became increasingly agitated. I had conversations with people in which I admitted that I was becoming part of something rotten. Then we made an insert about artists...

We object: The internet and globalisation of the media have actually made the debate redundant
Jaco Botha - 2010-08-20
How sad it is that an organisation with a proud liberation history such as the ANC is now trying their utmost to put measures in place to muzzle the free press. What do they want to hide? What “untruths” published about them are they unable to defend in public or in a court of law? Whom are they protecting? Yes, having worked for those arseholes at the SABC I know how the media can abuse their power for political purposes. I also know that very few media vendors stand truly neutral...

We object: Brave journalists shouldn't be intimidated
Hazel Woodward - 2010-08-20


We object: Regulating the Fourth Estate
Eugene Ashton - 2010-08-19
Oscar Wilde in his attack on journalists of his age famously wrote, “In old days men had the rack. Now they have the press. That is an improvement certainly.” Paranoia has set in. Between the lines of articles, politicians and career plunderers read of a conspiracy. The press, it appears, has jointly decided to attack corruption, theft, ineptitude and a whole host of other goings-on. Government argues that it is not in the public interest to publish stories on the irregularities...

We object: The rights dear to the heart of any writer
Imraan Coovadia - 2010-08-19
You can't think of the recent history of our country without thinking of the names of its writers, from Nadine Gordimer to Athol Fugard to JM Coetzee to Zakes Mda. But you also think of the names of its newspapers, from the Star and the Mail and Guardian to the Sunday Times and Independent and many others. That's because history is a kind of literature written in our eleven languages. And newspapers – and I mean free newspapers which can print whatever they see fit – are this country's...

We object: I believe we have reason for concern
Mike Nicol - 2010-08-19
There is every likelihood that the Information Bill, and the proposed changes to the Criminal Procedure Act, will end up in the Constitutional Court. There is every likelihood that their draconian clauses will be ruled unconstitutional. But while there are still legal means to fight these threats to freedom of speech, what do these measures say about the mind of the government? Does the retreat into secrecy not speak of paranoia? When the Orwellian-sounding media tribunal is added to the mix, does...

We object: South Africans should fight
Max du Preez - 2010-08-19
The Protection of Information Bill and the proposed Media Appeals Tribunal are a double-pronged assault on our democracy. Separately and combined they will without any doubt severely limit the information needed by the citizens of South Africa to make informed decisions about national, regional and local affairs. The Bill, if it becomes an Act of Parliament, will lead to over-classification of all kinds of information and documents (in terms of an extremely broad definition of "national security”)...

Big Book Chain Chat #6: Writing what you know
Michiel Heyns - 2010-08-18
Henry James wrote, in The Art of Fiction, (1884): I remember an English novelist, a woman of genius, telling me that she was much commended for the impression she had managed to give in one of her tales of the nature and way of life of the French Protestant youth. She had been asked where she learned so much about this recondite being, she had been congratulated on her peculiar opportunities. These opportunities consisted in her having once, in Paris, as she ascended a staircase, passed an open...

Big Book Chain Chat #5: The year of his birth
Kobus Moolman - 2010-08-10
He was born under the sign of the Ram. He was born in the Chinese year of the Dragon. (But unlike most other dragons, he could not fly.) It was the year after JFK. It was the year before Ingrid Jonker’s Rook en Oker. It was the year Martin Luther King became the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. It was the year of the Rivonia Treason Trial. The year that saw Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu and other senior leaders of the ANC receive life sentences in a...

Big Book Chain Chat #4: Writing my children’s country
Tiah Marie Beautement - 2010-08-06
Read the preceding contribution in the Big Book Chain Chat, Mike Rands’s “Crossing borders”.“Write what you know.” I tried that once. I took my undergraduate thesis, written at UCT, then listened to the advice. “Do you think the majority of your readers will be women?” “Yes.” “Then your main character must be female. Do you think the majority of your audience will be Americans, like you?” “Yes.” “Then even...

Big Book Chain Chat #3: Crossing borders
Mike Rands - 2010-07-30
My generation of South Africans was raised on the mantra that there was no difference between peoples and races. We were told that we should become blind to the colour of a person’s skin, that our blood was all green. We were told that our differences were minor and our similarities great. This philosophy undoubtedly had an enormous influence on me. So much so that when I started living in Japan as an adult I was quite horrified by the national attitude towards ethnicity and identity. For...

Big Book Chain Chat #2: The first time I died
Richard de Nooy - 2010-07-30
There was pandemonium at the bus stop. Shouting and crying children and parents crowded around a heavy truck that had stopped on the zebra crossing. Someone had been run over. There were lots of people in the way, so I couldn’t get a good look. Judging by the expressions of those who had, this was a good thing. So I turned and walked home. I must have been about six or seven. At school the next day I heard that the kid had tried to hang on to the side of the truck as it slowly trundled uphill...

Big Book Chain Chat #1: Introduction
Janet van Eeden - 2010-07-30
The ground was hard, the air was still, my road was lonely … I was a mile from Thornfield, in a lane noted for wild roses in summer, for nuts and blackberries in autumn, and even now possessing a few coral treasures in hips and haws, but whose best winter delight lay in utter solitude and leafless repose. If a breath of air stirred, it made no sound here; for there was not a holly, not an evergreen to rustle, and the stripped hawthorn and hazel bushes were as still as the white, worn stones...

South Africa on the Shelf: Boekehuis and local publications
Corina van der Spoel - 2010-07-15
When Boekehuis was established in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, just over a decade ago, it was hoped by its parent company, Nasionale Pers, that this bookshop would give Afrikaans books a more secure foothold as well as a new shop front in Johannesburg. Over the years it had become harder and harder to find Afrikaans books in the city. There were hardly any independent bookshops left and many Exclusive Books stores had relegated Afrikaans books to a shelf called Africana, or did not stock any Afrikaans...

South Africa on the Shelf: We need courageous booksellers
Marga Collings - 2010-07-07
Before 2004, South African publishers could only guess about market share: our own in comparison with that of our local and international competitors, but also the size of the market for the different genres. Together with booksellers we made wild estimates: according to conventional wisdom the book-buying public consisted of approximately 500 000 loyal bookshop customers, and three imported books were sold for every local one. All that changed in 2004, when Nielsen BookScan entered...

South Africa on the Shelf: Read South African, South Africa read – 10 tips
Tiah Marie Beautement - 2010-06-24
South Africa needs to read more of its own books, no matter what colour the reader or writer. The more South Africa's patriotism is invested in their words, the better the chance to beat the illiteracy problem. When you own it, you work for it. But the issue has become a Catch-22. The majority of the bookshops hide the local books. A dark dusty shelf, hidden in the back, where one can find Cry, The Beloved Country and Long Walk to Freedom and maybe, just maybe, a small handful of South African...

South Africa on the Shelf: South African books hold their own
Thérèse Herbert - 2010-06-24
Last year’s Nielsen’s Bookscan figures indicated that more than a third of all books sold in South Africa are published here. This speaks volumes for our home-grown market. There is clearly a demand for South African authors and South African content across all genres. Are these books getting enough exposure in our local bookshops? The top-selling titles and writers certainly are, but in these tough economic times, many booksellers are unwilling to risk backing lesser known authors....

South Africa on the Shelf: Independent booksellers are local literary heroes
Fiona Snyckers - 2010-06-24
It needs to be said that the dissatisfaction many South African authors feel about their placement in bookstores is limited to the large commercial retailers. We are very fortunate to have a number of highly active and passionate independent booksellers that go out of their way to promote South African literature. These bookshops have become the first choice for hosting any and all literary events, including launches, readings and panels. The staff are helpful and knowledgeable about contemporary...

South Africa on the Shelf: ''South African'' is not a genre
Eugene Ashton - 2010-06-23
Much is made of how things should be done in bookshops. Every publisher, every author, and I guess every customer, has an opinion (or should do) and expresses it gladly. As a career salesman I have opinions too. Mostly they are about wanting to sell more books of every description. When I walk into a shop I am often struck by the strange South African practice of segmenting books of national (note: not local) interests into a single canton. How odd not to shelve books in their rightful...

South Africa on the Shelf: Feeling gatvol in Foreign Books
Chris Marnewick - 2010-06-23
I open a new Moleskine and start the outline for the third novel in the series that started with Shepherds & Butchers and continued in The Soldier Who Said No. The Super14 final is on the television. “Why are you so quiet?” my wife asks. “What do you mean?” I counter. Women always want men to talk when we are quite content just to be with them. “You’re not swearing at the referee or the players,” she says. She knows me too well. I look...

South Africa on the Shelf: Who wins the turf wars on shelves and pages?
Frederik de Jager - 2010-06-23
Getting space for estimable books on the shelves of bookstores and on the pages of newspapers is a matter of more contention than what one might think, and the interests of publishers, authors, bookstores and the media may overlap less than what one might hope for. Authors and publishers, and by association booksellers, desire maximum exposure in the media, but the media yearn for maximum eyeballs. Eyeballs are the catalyst in this reaction. Where they go, there goes the money and consequently...

South Africa on the Shelf: Corporate booksellers and South African fiction
Louis Greenberg - 2010-06-23
It’s only in the past few years that I’ve got excited about South African fiction. I admit to having avoided it for most of my life. Now I’ve bought into this new phase, in which we’re writing entertaining, illuminating, unpretentious and thoroughly interesting stuff, hook, line and sunken teeth. Booksellers’ old logic that we need the remedial space of “African Fiction” to house our books, that we are a charitable duty, doesn’t hold in the face of...

Suid-Afrika op die rak: Oor die aandag aan die Afrikaanse boek
Louis Esterhuizen - 2010-06-23
Die opdrag is tweeledig: enersyds vra dit na die aandag wat die Afrikaanse boek in die plaaslike media kry en andersyds na die kwaliteit en omvang van die rakspasie wat in die plaaslike boekwinkels daaraan afgestaan word. Synde boekhandelaar begin ek met die tweede komponent, en hier kan ek nie anders as om entoesiasties te reageer nie, aangesien die opset die afgelope jare drasties verbeter het. Na die beste van my wete het al die vernaamste boekwinkels in die Wes-Kaap hul Afrikaanse...

Suid-Afrika op die rak: ’n Paar kinkels
Kerneels Breytenbach - 2010-06-23
Tot voor die koms van Nielssen-BookScan so drie en ’n bietjie jaar gelede was statistiek oor die Suid-Afrikaanse boekbedryf baie kosbaar. Enige inligting wat beskikbaar was oor verkope en omsette is gebruik om ’n geheelbeeld te vorm. Maar selfs dié was nooit volkome betroubaar nie. Uitgewers kon hul skattings oor hul markaandeel aanbied slegs met die voorbehoud dat dit ’n geskatte syfer is. Deesdae, danksy Nielssen-BookScan, is ’n juister blik op wat in die boekemark...

South Africa on the Shelf: Authors, publishers and social media
Mike Rands - 2010-06-23
In his TED lecture, Clay Shirky describes the birth of social media as a revolution comparable to the invention of the printing press. This is the beginning of a “prosumer” age, where in media terms, the technology that enables consumption is the same that enables production and distribution. As the world becomes increasingly accustomed to this new model of consumption, novelists must adapt to it. And many are doing so. There are numerous writers who use twitter, facebook and blogging...

South Africa on the Shelf: Shifts take time
Frankie Murrey - 2010-06-18
I must say that I share Colleen’s dream, where bookshops are dominated by local rather than international work. As she mentioned, there has been a shift, but as with most shifts, it is slow. That being said, there were three local titles in Wordsworth Books’s top 10 in May, and that has nothing to do with the Franschhoek Literary Festival. People definitely want to read local. What that means is that the entire range of reading interest has to be catered for by local authors. There are...

South Africa on the Shelf: Our writers deserve first-class treatment
Janet van Eeden - 2010-06-18
When I first started reviewing books I was given the occasional South African novel to review because no one else wanted to read it. That was more than ten years ago and the novels were mostly “worthy” takes on the “new” South Africa written by guilt-drenched writers. Slowly a change took place. As the years passed the novels became less obsessed with the damages of the past. Ordinary issues became matters of primary importance. Our political history formed only a backdrop...

South Africa on the Shelf: Local books are proudly South African
Helen Moffett - 2010-06-18
Imagine walking into a bookshop and seeing books by Salman Rushdie, Agatha Christie, AS Byatt, Jeffrey Archer, Jane Austen and Cathy Kelly standing side by side on a shelf – crime, chick lit, Booker Prize-winning novels and classics all thrown together under a label "British fiction". It might make an entertaining collection in someone’s home, but in a bookshop the combination would be laughable. Why, then, is this what I see every time I enter a local chain bookstore – but under...

South Africa on the Shelf: Relegated to the ghetto
Jassy Mackenzie - 2010-06-14
There are a few fantastic bookshops in this country that give shelf space at the front of the shop to South African authors, and display their books proudly among the international works. To all those bookshops – thank you. I cannot tell you how much we all appreciate your efforts. However, all too often, South African fiction is relegated to the "ghetto" – the African Fiction section. Many buyers don’t even know that this exists, or where to find it. It is beyond frustrating to...

South Africa on the Shelf: South African writing – a matter of perspective
Ingrid Andersen - 2010-06-14
The first time it happened to me was with a song. It was one of those songs that reaches in and possesses you – I kept hearing it in my head. I had no idea whose it was – I knew only the words of the chorus, so I googled them. My jaw hit the desk. It was South African. It outshone everything else on the playlist: it was catchy, clever and very memorable. When I went to the music store, I found it, not in the South African music section, but in the Dance section. Since then, that has...

South Africa on the Shelf: Accepting local literature
Fiona Snyckers - 2010-06-14
I think most writers would gladly acknowledge that our local media are immensely and endlessly supportive of South African writing. I can only speak from my own experience, but I think it reflects that of many local authors. Our TV talk shows make a point of iniviting South African authors on to the set for interviews, as do our radio shows, to an even greater extent. South African newspapers and magazines give priority reviewing space to local books. As a female author I have also been profiled...

South Africa on the Shelf: We have to take risks
Colleen Higgs - 2010-06-14
What I dream of as a small South African publisher is the day when I walk into any bookstore in the country and the way books are displayed shows that the staff and the store managers value our own home-grown authors and books. There is such vitality and brilliance at present in South African books. I look forward to the day when our local magazines and newspapers review and showcase almost completely South African or African writers in their books pages and features pages. There has been a shift...

South Africa on the Shelf: More active in-store promotion
Richard de Nooy - 2010-06-14
When my first novel won the UJ Prize for Best First Book in 2008, I thought sales would rocket. Because that’s what happens in Holland when books are shortlisted or win awards. Silly me. I soon discovered, via online discussions with fellow writers and publishers, that Exclusive Books and other bookselling chains do little to promote award-winning titles or South African books that have been in the news or recently reviewed. During those discussions I suggested that booksellers might create...

FIFA World Soccer Cup is here!
Jameson Maluleke - 2010-06-10
Time and again, we South Africans fail to transform our society into a great nation with its own passion and ambitions that surpass the American dream. Why do we keep on failing to do the obvious? Has somebody cast a spell on us? Is it a curse from the gods? Perhaps it is because we don’t listen to the advice of the knowledgeable, but insist on groping our way around like blind men. Well, we are not a bunch of failures or a lazy lot who await miracles and expect gifts. And we have neither...

Which side of the human rights battle we are on?
Christina Engela - 2010-06-10
When I think about political correctness, I tend to think in the context of being a transsexual woman and facing the potential hate speech and discrimination out there which on occasion makes headlines in South Africa and internationally. I often hear of many examples in real life which, due to people’s fears of further repercussions, are never reported or taken further. What is political correctness? Well, in the context of my particular social group it is considered rude and offensive if...

Ppolitically correct
Christina Engela - 2010-06-10
When I think about political correctness, I tend to think in the context of being a transsexual woman and facing the potential hate speech and discrimination out there which on occasion makes headlines in South Africa and internationally. I often hear of many examples in real life which, due to people’s fears of further repercussions, are never reported or taken further. What is political correctness? Well, in the context of my particular social group it is considered rude and offensive if...

Decorations with fancy, military ranks amidst high crime rates
Jameson Maluleke - 2010-05-28
What we did when we entered the new South Africa was permissible. It was permissible to decorate our prestigious democracy with the aid of whatever alterations we could find. It was permissible to change everything from the name of a one-year-old baby to the name of a dam so as to drift along with the roaring storm of the democratic revolution. But it is no longer permissible, in the light of what we know now, to change everything in the hope that we will get rid of apartheid from our mindset, partly...

Political correctness: Bullard, Maas, Qwelane and the origins
Cobus Fourie - 2010-05-27
There are quite a few misconceptions about political correctness. Some have the preconception that it stifles public debate. Some say it infringes on their right to freedom of speech. One-word response: fallacy. Political correctness doesn’t stifle debate, just as much as the criminalisation of homicide doesn’t promote debate by preventing you from literally silencing your opponent. Political correctness has its roots in the rejection of Imperialism/Colonialism and the Patriarchy....

Decorations with fancy, military ranks amidst high crime rate
Jameson Maluleke - 2010-05-25
What we did when we entered the new South Africa was permissible. It was permissible to decorate our prestigious democracy with the aid of whatever alterations we could find. It was permissible to change everything from the name of a one-year-old baby to the name of a dam so as to drift along with the roaring storm of the democratic revolution. But it is no longer permissible, in the light of what we know now, to change everything in the hope that we will get rid of apartheid from our mindset, partly...

Missing the next level: Zef and Die Antwoord
Carlo Germeshuys - 2010-05-25
It is difficult to write anything meaningful about the zef-rap phenomenon now, when it has ceased to be interesting. This is a pity, since Die Antwoord and Jack Parow are the first remotely relevant white South African pop acts in over twenty years. For a while, it seemed as if these two acts possessed the one element most lacking in pop music: the potential to be subversive. Unfortunately (and leaving Jack Parow aside for the present), Die Antwoord have reached what will no doubt be the peak of...

The red herring of race: Bok en die Swart Gevaar
Adam Haupt - 2010-04-29
LitNet asked a couple of experts to respond to the controversial music video of Bok van Blerk’s “Tyd om te trek?”. Bok van Blerk’s recent music videos, “Tyd om te trek?” and “Die Kaplyn”, offer us more of the same of that winning formula that made “De La Rey” such a big hit. Bok is fast becoming one of the kings of catchy choruses and dramatic music videos with very high production values. In “Tyd om te trek?”, music fans...

Eugene Terre'Blanche: Reconciliation is our beloved country's only hope
Jameson Maluleke - 2010-04-21
The tragic death of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugène Terre’Blanche and ANC Youth League President Julius Malema’s racial overtones have forcibly brought us to our dim senses – that the fuse of South Africa’s age-old racial problem has been reignited. For many years now we have been brooding on a racial time bomb which we vehemently refuse to acknowledge, hoping that one day we will wake up to find it defused. The upheaval of the past weeks has proved...

Eugene Terre’Blanche: The meaning of Eugene Terre’Blanche’s death
FM Lucky Mathebula - 2010-04-08
The "death", "murder" or "killing" of Eugene Terre'Blanche will continue to court controversy, scorn and political grandstanding for the foreseeable future. The central role this incident will be playing in the emerging race-charged political discourse, with its famous epicentre being Julius Malema, cannot be underestimated, irrespective of what the political pundits want us to believe. It is in the accompanying silences (especially those of class, race and...

Of passion and patriotism: one group’s quest for racial harmony and tolerance of others
Jameson Maluleke - 2010-03-17
Driven by the impulse of the ages and by the spirit of non-surrender, a group of twelve white compatriots have declared an all-out war on racial intolerance. Despite their beaming faces in one of the leading Sunday papers, members of the group expressed their concern about deep-seated racial hatred in our motherland. They formed the group because they are convinced that “in public discourse, the white voice is not strong enough in its stand against racism”. Despite their good intentions...

Dialoguing semantics: Sharing peanuts with fellow translators
Jameson Maluleke - 2010-02-17
Introduction In his brilliantly written contribution to LitNet's online seminar on literary translation, Russell H Kaschula bemoans “the lack of appropriate terminology or cultural/linguistic equivalents in the target language”, which he rightly claims to create “cultural/semantic gaps or blanks”. Semantic gaps or voids are defined in the paper as “[t]he non-existence in one language of a one-word equivalent for a designatory term found in another”. By way...

Polygamy: an outdated practice
Chris Mokolatsie - 2010-01-18
“The practice of polygamy is an outdated practice that degrades women and is a danger to public health efforts to reduce the spread of HIV.” The lack of serious public scrutiny and the public spectacle made of so-called polygamous marriages every time one take place show just how much sexism is entrenched in our society. The huge media focus on the glamour and on “what a daring man so and so is" often blinds us and diverts our attention from seeing how oppressive and...

Biblical perspective on marriage
Theunis Botha - 2010-01-13
Before addressing any moral issues one first has to determine what morality is. The Oxford dictionary defines the relevant concepts as follows: Moral – concerned with principles of right and wrong behaviour Ethics – A system of moral principles or rules of behaviour. The question is, who establishes the systems and who determines the rules? In secular-humanist societies, as in South Africa and elsewhere, morality, according to the socialists, should be determined by politicians,...

Polygamy, Christianity and hypocrisy
Christina Engela - 2010-01-13
I find it quite odd that many indigenous peoples in Africa - and particularly South Africa – still cling to cultural manifestations of things which clash fundamentally with their adopted Christianity. Of these, the most striking two are ancestor worship and polygamy. It's even more surprising to note that most of these folks don't even see that they clash in any way. After all, ancestor worship is about as far removed from Christianity as you can get, as is polygamy. Yes, it...


<< 1 2 3 4 5 >>