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


 
Menings | Opinion > SeminaarKamer | Seminar Room > English

English


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In the name of the other – poetry in self-translation
Antjie Krog - 2010-01-11
This lecture was given at the Literarischen Colloquium (2008) in Berlyn: “Wie es ist, sich selbst zu übersetzen”. Other sessions included discussions about the self-translations of Hannah Arendt, Vladimir Nabokov and Samuel Beckett. Nabokov, for example, wrote an English version of a Russian experience, and then translated it back into Russian. The concept of the colloquium was formulated by Marie Luise Knott. My English text was translated during this lecture.Hierdie bydrae...

‘‘Its survival is my survival’’: Imke van Heerden in conversation with Xitsonga-translator Jameson Maluleke
Jameson Maluleke - 2009-12-09
Jameson, you are a translator by profession. What is it about the act of translation that you find appealing? For me, translation is both a profession and a passion. Creativity in translation is like Kentucky Fried Chicken: a source of finger lickin’ goodness! Above all, translation overwhelms me with pride in that it transforms me into a link in a chain, a kind of bridge which allows for a free flow of new ideas and literary wealth between languages. Where did you receive your training?...

Translating cultural voids: conversing cultures
Russell H Kaschula - 2009-12-08
Denise Godwin (1991:109) correctly points out that Translation has a valid role to play in giving access to the literatures of languages and cultures other than one’s own, and for a continent as polysemic as Africa, it is indispensable. But literature carries with it identity and consciousness. The real challenge is to accurately convey a message from one language or literature into another. It would seem that to a large extent South Africans have been involved in what could be termed “functional...

“Taken apart”: Imke van Heerden in conversation with Elsa Silke on literary translation
Imke van Heerden - 2009-12-02
Elsa, you’re a professional translator. Do you have a specialty? My specialty is literary translation – in a very broad sense. I translate from Afrikaans into English and vice versa. However, I find myself translating chiefly into English, simply because there is more work available. I think publishers argue that Afrikaans readers are generally capable of reading English, while the opposite is not necessarily true. Are you translating a specific text at present? If so, tell us...

Literary translation: work for hire or contract work?
Michiel Heyns - 2009-11-26
The translator traditionally, in this country at least, has been the near-invisible, near-anonymous worker-behind-the-scenes. Often informally approached by the author, and usually indeed paid by the author, the translator has been expected to deliver the goods and then disappear. The British publishers of my translation of Marlene van Niekerk’s Agaat, for instance, were clearly not interested in any thoughts I might have about the translation and their tampering with it; as far as they were...

Once more, with feeling: The practice of literary translation
Leon de Kock - 2009-11-24
This is an edited version of a guest-of-honour speech delivered at the South African Translators’ Institute awards event, University of Johannesburg, October 2009. As a prelude to writing this essay I translated the last poem in a cycle of lyrical verse which I adapted into English for the Pretoria poet Cas Vos. The poem cycle is based on the Abelard and Heloise saga, a story of doomed but undimmed love, love in an eternal present tense, love always hauntingly alive in the memory of its loss....

Afrikaans as a language of reconciliation, restitution and nation-building
Neville Alexander - 2009-10-06
Paper presented at the Roots-conference held at the University of the Western Cape, 22-23 September 2009 Prof Neville Alexander, Director of the National Language Project, PRAESA Introductory remarks It is by no means axiomatic that a language which has in at least two significant phases of our history been an apple of discord can under changed circumstances become a language of reconciliation and nation-building.[1] Yet it is as such that I wish to present the future of Afrikaans within the...

Experts of our time: in keeping with the ancient Greek occupation of sophistry and soothsaying
Jameson Maluleke - 2009-09-16
In recent years, our society has been overwhelmed by a mushrooming of "analysts" in every field of knowledge. As a result, the audience or the readership of the analysts’ message find it difficult to identify the more acceptable viewpoints from a maze of pronouncements. Their devotees call them by fancy names, like experts, opinion-makers, commentators or spokesmen and spokeswomen. You see and hear them speak on the television and radio. Then you may read their views in newspapers...

The triumph of liberalism over the forces of evil
Jameson Maluleke - 2009-08-17
Introduction It is a fact that almost all 48 million of South Africans subscribe to the liberal doctrine. Unfortunately some do it cautiously, as they think they might lose their social standing or even their jobs. Others are unaware that the social system they have adopted as their own is, in fact, liberalism. The abuse of democracy by ignorant and greedy despots in previously colonised countries is a typical instance of the unawareness in question. The reason behind the pandemonium is partly...

The patriarchy, the religious right and the threats to human rights
Cobus Fourie - 2009-08-07
In 1993 the 4 Non Blondes had a huge international hit with their song titled "What’s up?". Linda Perry, the vocalist and songwriter, sings in the first phrase, “I realised quickly when I knew I should that the world was made up of this brotherhood of man for whatever that means …” The song’s chorus further asks the pivotal question: "What’s going on?" The question is obviously rhetorical but is, moreover, a statement of discontent. ...

Un-freedom of speech in South Africa
Cobus Fourie - 2009-07-29
Americans often laud themselves on their Constitution and its over-glorified First Amendment. In essence the First Amendment is a free-for-all get-out-of-jail card which causes the country (and world by proxy) much harm. Bigots use it to incite hatred against their imaginary cultural war foes; they use it freely, without restraint and in the worst way possible. Lies, deceit, propaganda and defamation are virally spread through mass media with the fervour that you will not encounter in any...

The need for liberalism
Jameson Maluleke - 2009-07-22
Before I begin, allow me to make my own public confession. I am a liberal, not because I am "an Anglophile and a hater of my own", 1 but because liberalism is my opium. I am a liberal, not because I have been motivated by my own selfishness, but “because I can’t find it in me to call myself anything else". 2 I am a liberal because the spirit of Ubuntu and humanism are intertwined with my conscience to be a tolerant and a patriotic South African. I am a liberal, not...

Authenticity denied: the tale of a non-melanistic black youth – a reading of Langston Hughes's 'Passing'
Phil Ndlela - 2009-06-18
Freedom is tragic because it is conscious both of its necessity and of its boundaries. "I do not hope for victory", writes Kafka. "Struggle in itself is not blissful, except in the measure that it is the only thing that I can do … Perhaps I will finally surrender, not to the struggle, but to the joy of the struggle. – Carlos Fuentes In this paper I want to argue that the strategy adopted by the narrator in Hughes's epistolary piece "Passing" is fundamentally...

Towards promoting African languages in a multilingual context
Sandile Gxilishe - 2009-05-06
Abstract The article traces the history of marginalisation of African languages, including South African languages. It highlights some of the challenges facing attempts to develop African languages in respect of literature, language and linguistics. We further discuss the prevalent preference for English and other colonial languages as languages of communication and instruction by the present rulers of Africa. This is done to the neglect of African languages spoken in these countries. The paper,...

A history of saints and the lure of a presidential throne
Jameson Maluleke - 2009-03-26
When Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu handed over the national leadership to former President Nelson Mandela soon after the latter's release from a prolonged imprisonment in 1990, the whole nation was stunned. Nobody had ever imagined that the courageous cleric would decline an opportunity to serve the country as a cabinet minister, or a deputy president for that matter. Tutu had gone through hell and damnation at the hands of the oppressors during the struggle. The whole nation...

John Higgins and the pitfalls of underdetermination
Kelwyn Sole - 2009-03-26
(A response to John Higgins, "The sole measure of poetic value") My recent article on South African poetry to which John Higgins has responded had several levels of intention.1 Firstly, through a discussion of post-liberation State economic policy and its effects on civil society, it sought to show how the everyday life of many South Africans is still pervaded by a sense of lack that can be in part traced back to global neo-liberal policies and the present government’s implementation...

The State of Election Address: The Anatomy of the Presidential Address
Jameson Maluleke - 2009-02-25
Both President Kgalema Motlanthe and his minders must have been stunned to realise that his State of Election Address has generated a great deal of hopelessness and despair in almost all South Africans regardless of the phrase "a journey of hope and resilience" being one of the main themes. Rightly so – people are concerned about the insecurity, political instability, the effects of the global economic meltdown, and above all, they are worried about the reputation of the present...

People first: shortage of public toilets, the cholera epidemic and other stories
Jameson Maluleke - 2009-01-28
Most rural towns and some of those attaining city status, particularly in Limpopo, are developing at an alarming rate. Vast spaces of the meadowlands, once a paradise for grazing cattle, are now cluttered with high-rise buildings and motorways heaving with different makes of vehicles. Country shops whose owners were affectionately called general dealers have given way to big shopping malls where people shop until late hours of the evening. Despite all these new developments, despite being...

Fifteen years of (mis)education: High rate of matric failure and other stories
Jameson Maluleke - 2009-01-14
Abstract This paper seeks to reveal that our education system, for all its being an import and a prestigious system, is neither a sound nor a rewarding system. Fifteen years ago it was proclaimed as the flagship to transform the country’s old education system and to usher our school children into the birth of the new era. Sadly, the much acclaimed system does not only contaminate and corrupt the mind of our young ones, but is also instrumental in promoting abject poverty. The absence...

I speak of murder, rape, armed robbery and car hijackings …
Jameson Maluleke - 2008-12-19
As the global recession deepens its fangs into the South African economy, violent crimes will not only install transformation, but will create chaos and general instability as well. In the midst of the festive season, many of us innocent and defenceless South Africans feel threatened by bands of criminals prowling the neighbourhood condemning people’s lives to hell and damnation with impunity. Nobody can deny that our diligent policemen and policewomen spend sleepless nights trying to...

Africa's obsession with its famous son, Barack Obama
Jameson Maluleke - 2008-11-27
Introduction: Obamania One should be forgiven for thinking that Senator Barack Obama is Africa's president elect. The jubilation which swept across the entire African continent over Obama's recent election to the US presidency, virtually snatched him from the American people. Millions of Africans celebrated joyously across the continent in honour of their great son (of the soil). The rich were glued to the television to witness every bit of the historic election, while the have-nots beat...

The age of national conventions, new political formations and realignment: New challenges in nation-building
Jameson Maluleke - 2008-11-11
South Africa is currently passing through a period of uncertainty in which civil war or everlasting peace may result, depending on the ANC's adoption or rejection of the ANCYL president Julius Malema's battle cry, "Ready to kill for Zuma".1 This is the era which will go down in history like the one vividly captured and penned down by Dickens's literary genius: 2 It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,...

Of xenophobia and cover-ups: ethnic cleansing in the name of democracy
Jameson Maluleke - 2008-10-21
I used to detest my black friend for being a racist pig plagued by self-hate and lack of self-respect.My friend contends that we blacks have not yet moved out of Hobbes's State of Nature despite the modern education some of us received from Harvard, Oxford or Cambridge University. Like all racially prejudiced thinkers of our time, my friend believes that we blacks behave like children in front of whites and turn around to kill one another when we are left alone.I find these utterances coming...

Death penalty revisited
Jody Kollapen - 2008-06-20
Crafting effective societal responses to serious crime and violence continues to pose significant legal, moral, philosophical challenges to most democracies, ours included. Balancing the need to identify and respond to the underlying causes and the pathology of serious and violent crime, while at the same time constructing a criminal justice system that can engender public confidence in its ability to respond effectively to the phenomenon of serious crime has remained high on the public agenda in...

Body parts as a means of communication among amaXhosa
Sizwe Satyo - 2008-05-06
Body parts as a means of communication are not a preserve of the imbongi (praise poet), as some people would think, because of its spontaneity and dramatisation. In his performance, he or she exploits them to complement what are referred to as audio-oral texts in some analyses of modes of crafting different types of texts, like poetry, izibongo (praise poetry), etc. Body parts, as a mode of communication, preserve and pluralise cultural values of a community. AmaXhosa do this by exploiting...

The Body Public
Leon de Kock - 2008-04-24
The way I see things – and my intuition has been instructed in this regard by the Chilean biologist and ethical philosopher Humberto Maturana – the very matter of living is as an act of "languaging". In this view, the practice of everyday life is an expressive performance in which one’s entire body, in all its complexity, its positional and responsive relation to its perceived world, takes on a communicative dance, a fluid signature of biocentric response involving...

On writing crime fiction
Mike Nicol - 2008-04-22
When I look back, as one shouldn’t, I suppose my move into writing crime fiction was inevitable. After all, in the previous novels there’d been a foray into diamond dealing, into outlaws engaged in human trafficking, into gun-running and the arms trade. So it was probably just a matter of time before my resistance wore down. And certainly in those years after the publication of the arms-dealing novel, The Ibis Tapestry, this happened. Suddenly I was adrift with no direction, trying to...

Not like a dog: A new reading of Lucy, a new reading of Disgrace
Dinie Schoorlemmer - 2008-04-17
Abstract This article focuses on Lucy Lurie, daughter of the main character David in JM Coetzee’s Disgrace. At first glance Lucy seems to accept the humiliation of a gang rape because it may be the price a white woman has to pay for staying on in post-apartheid South Africa. However, following the track of intertextuality with reference to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter (1850) and combining it with an analysis of Lucy’s focalisation from a gender point of view,...

A quest for a King Solomon in Polokwane: ANC 52nd national conference
Jameson Maluleke - 2007-12-14
The ANC is about to hold its 52nd national conference in Polokwane, yet leaders nominated as presidential candidates seem to have nothing to offer in terms of prophetic vision, insight and policy to guide the country to a prosperous future. People are subjected to the candidates' vacuous platitudes as they cast aspersions on one another, and the shout of "Umushini Wami" and other revolutionary slogans intended to gain political mileage. While parties do have their own policies, this does...

Poor Africa!
Jameson Maluleke - 2007-10-03
It is intriguing that nearly all analysts and commentators who are bold enough to tackle the titanic question, Why is Africa still poor?, have the same findings: slavery, colonisation, corruption by despotic leaders, civil wars, refugees, self-genocide, coups, terrorism, draught, starvation … the list is never ending. While I have no qualms about the veracity of the findings, in that they can be tested, the repetition, similarity and simplicity which characterise the findings belittle the...

Pride and prejudice – challenges in hugging the beloved country*
Jameson Maluleke - 2007-06-26
Introduction With the most radical Constitution (which compares only with that of France and the US) a romantic coat of arms, a colourful flag, and legendary leaders such as Madiba and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South Africans should be the most patriotic nation on earth. We South Africans should be proud of our velskoene, biltong, potjiekos, Mashangaan Wors and Mashangaan Mieliemeal. We should boast of our computers, micro-ovens and DVDs. We should be proud of our knobkerries and assegais, Bayete...

Nationalism and democracy
Ivor Chipkin - 2007-06-21
Ivor Chipkin spoke on his new book Do South Africans Exist? Nationalism, Democracy and the Identity of "the People" at the Cape Town Book Fair. The discussion took place on 18 June 2007, in Room 1.44 at 15:00. The talk was titled: Do South Africans Exist - Debate. This article formed part of the discussion. Click here for the article Suren Pillay presented at the event. In a recent opinion piece Christine Qunta slipped in a simple phrase that speaks volumes of the relationship between...

Remove Robert Mugabe: Appeal for a worldwide reading on September 9, 2007
Uli Schreiber Elinor Sisulu - 2007-06-13
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends The International Literature Festival Berlin is requesting authors to sign the appeal for a worldwide reading against Robert Mugabe - see our previous worldwide readings which took place on March 20th of 2006 and 2007 – the Anniversaries of the Political Lie - at www.peter-weiss-stiftung.de. The following have already signed: Edgardo Cozarinsky, Argentina; Ariel Dorfman, Chile; Ingrid de Kok, South Africa; Nuruddin Farah, Somalia/South Africa; Enrique Fierro,...

Of past events and passing shadows - Falsification and distortions of South African history
Jameson Maluleke - 2007-06-05
Introduction Explaining how Steve Biko identified the need for black South Africans to document the lives of fellow black South Africans in her moving autobiography, Ramphele (1995:67) bemoaned “the scarcity of black researchers and social scientists which made blacks vulnerable to becoming the objects of other people’s studies …” More than thirty years have passed since Ramphele lamented the lack of black historians in the 70s. This was the era when the repressive system...

Some of the challenges for Africa and countries of the South
Carl Niehaus - 2007-05-30
Friday 25th May was Africa Day. On this day every year we celebrate the birth of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on 25th May 1963. This article is an edited version of a lecture that I delivered at the Institute for Social Sciences in The Hague, The Netherlands. I send it to LitNet as my contribution to what I believe to be a critical debate that is necessary about the future and place of Africa as part of the “South” in our globalised world. I write this article as...

A Balancing Act1
Nèlleke de Jager - 2007-05-15
Years ago, I was working as an underling to Charles Fryer, for years a formidable fiction publisher in the Afrikaans book industry. The last book he edited was the original Afrikaans edition of Islands by Dan Sleigh, which was later translated into English by André Brink, and beautifully published by Secker & Warburg a couple of years later. In many ways Charles Fryer was the epitomy of old-style book publishing in this country. He was midwife, mother, father and bank manager...

On Freedom Day we celebrate ... and also remember the place of suffering we come from ...
Carl Niehaus - 2007-05-03
My friend Franz Marx told me the following story out of a bygone time in the history of our country. A time when, for a short while, the Republic of Lydenburg existed. This Republic was no more than a small town founded by the trekker leader Louis Trichardt, who called it Lydenburg (literally meaning “place of suffering”), because so many of his followers fell ill with malaria and died on their way there. On one of the farms of this rag-tag Boer Republic a love triangle played itself...

“Go hang!” or gang ho?
Carl Niehaus - 2007-04-26
I am not one of those who think that bashing President Robert Mugabe is the way to show how "progressive" you are. Fortunately I am just old enough to remember the excitement and pride so many of us felt when the freedom fighter Robert Mugabe took over from the repressive and racist minority regime of Ian Smith. I also remember with respect the tough and principled manner in which he negotiated the liberation of his country as compared with the shameful sell-out performances of the likes...

Why is crime in SA so violent?
Thembelani Ngenelwa - 2007-04-25
Crime is a global problem and is common to all societies, but South Africa stands out for all the wrong reasons. It is the violent nature of crime that makes the South African situation worse. There is a serious lack of regard for human life. The moral fibre has lost its meaning. What should be pointed out is that it affects both black and white, rich or poor, young and old. Violent crime is not really new in South Africa, especially in the townships. Criminals nowadays will kill you for no reason,...

WOENSDAG, 25/04/07, EERSTE UITGAWE
Melt Myburgh - 2007-04-25
Vanoggend het ek besluit om die sambok in te lê. Ja-nee, so kan dit nie aangaan nie! My Sta-Soft is al op en dis nog nie eens die einde van die maand nie.Hier is hopeloos te veel van ‘n slegsêery en ‘n moddergooiery op SêNet. Om nie eens te praat nie van die rassistiese en seksistiese ondertone wat elke derde skrywe ten grondslag lê. A nee, a!Kan ons nie ‘n bietjie probeer om sinvol te debatteer nie? Kyk bv vandag na Fransie se briewe (in hierdie en die tweede...

NALN is not only a national resource
Peter D McDonald - 2007-04-19
I am very grateful to Rudi Venter for alerting me to this discussion about the future of NALN. As I understand it, the current situation raises a number of large and difficult questions about the institutional location of the archive, the funding arrangements that sustain it, its status as a "national" resource, and its significance in relation to the constitutional guarantees regarding South Africa’s many languages. As I am not familiar enough with the state of the debate...

Rehearsed postures of conviction
Sam Raditlhalo - 2007-04-06
I Now and again I come across an article that I read and reread, if only to understand why I am uneasy as I read it. Michael Titlestad's "The pitfalls of literary debut" (Sunday Times, 25 March 2007) reminds me of Fred Khumalo's "Free at last, but slow to fly" (Sunday Times, 21 August 2005). While coming from disparate positions, they essentially argue from a similar vantage point by implying that the relative success of post-apartheid black writing is deceptive. And...

The rainbow blues of ''De la Rey''
Loammi Wolf - 2007-03-30
The storm that has broken loose about Bok van Blerk’s rock song “De la Rey” might be an indication that the smoke is starting to come out of the South African volcano again, signifying that the transformation of society after the rainbow revolution was not all just magic. The scars of the past are still there and the process of transformation has definitely not been concluded. It is understandable that after the many years of violence and coming very close to the edge of a civil...

“De la Rey”: a distracting side show ...
Carl Niehaus - 2007-03-21
It took me quiet a while to take the upheaval around the "De la Rey, De la Rey" song in the Afrikaner community, and eventually in broader South African society, seriously. In fact, long after many of my Afrikaner contemporaries were already hotly debating the merits and demerits of the song, and why it became such a mobilising force in certain Afrikaner circles, I hadn’t listened to it and I had no idea what the lyrics even hinted at. Then I had an interview with Sunday Times journalist...

From Voëlvry to De La Rey: Popular music, Afrikaner Nationalism and lost irony
Andries ''Roof'' Bezuidenhout - 2007-02-28
I The scene is Stilbaai, a predominantly white and Afrikaans holiday town, in the year 2006. A crowd has congregated for a rock show. Zinkplaat, a band from Stellenbosch, plays before the main act, Bok van Blerk. According to an eyewitness the crowd pelted Zinkplaat with bottles. They wanted to hear Bok van Blerk sing his hit song "De la Rey". Before he gets on to the stage they sing "Die Stem", the "national" anthem of apartheid South Africa of yore. When Bok van...

''De la Rey - no cause for alarm'' says Sandra Swart
Sandra Swart; Albert Grundling - 2007-02-20
City Press asked Dr Sandra Swart and Prof Albert Grundling the following question: "Should there be a cause for alarm by these kind of developments, ie could this kind of music prove to be the catalyst for the revitalisation of the far right that still reminisces about their perceived loss of power or longing for the good old days or is just an innocent song with a catchy tune?" This answer was received from Dr Swart after her discussions with Prof Grundling: "There...

Is Afrikaans music the biggest ''rassedeurbraakmedium''?
Adam Haupt - 2006-12-05
I presented this brief paper at the Jakes Gerwel Gesprekkereeks (Die Suidoosterfees) earlier this year. The question that all participants were meant to answer read thus: Is Suid-Afrikaanse musiek, spesifiek Afrikaanse musiek, wel die grootste rassedeurbraakmedium? This is pretty much what I had to say (and I think my response speaks to some of the issues raised by David Kramer in this discussion). South African music is a significant means through which racial boundaries have been transgressed,...

Koos Bekker: Best SA Entrepreneur for 2006
Koos Bekker - 2006-11-21
Koos Bekker, chief executive of Naspers, delivered this speech on acceptance of the South African Ernst & Young and Rand Merchant Bank Best Entrepreneur for 2006 award on November 15 at Summer Place in Johannesburg. Ladies and gentlemen, folks I am greatly honoured that you should think me an entrepreneur worth giving a gong to. I discovered that I liked media and business quite by accident – I studied law and most of my family saw businesspeople as smouse. Rather surprisingly I found...

Women are writing and their words are resonating
Jane Ranger - 2006-11-08
I’d like to put forward a few thoughts on women writers and writing, and publishing in general in South Africa. As an avid reader of fiction, and more importantly, in my editorial capacity at Penguin South Africa of signing writers of fiction to our South African list, I find myself in an exciting position. True - a lot of the fiction (and non-fiction) being published currently in South Africa is written by white women, but it’s the quality of the writing and the freshness of the...

The death of PW Botha
Mike Nicol - 2006-11-03
One of my favourite opening scenes in the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez has vultures pecking at the screens on the windows of the presidential palace and breaking in to release "the warm soft breeze of a great man dead and rotting grandeur". Thus starts The Autumn of the Patriarch, and in so many ways the death of PW Botha brought that image to mind. At last the "stagnant time" and the "lethargy of centuries" had ended as, with his death, an era ended. Of course the...


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