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


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He was the strongman
Ingrid Wolfaardt - 2006-11-02
I didn’t know the man. Not the way a friend does. I cannot tell you much about his likes and dislikes – what he ate for breakfast or his favourite song or whether his children remember him with affection. I didn’t know this man called PW Botha, but I know that he was part of my life, shaped it in ways he would not have known because he never knew me. When I went off to Maties as a 17-year-old girl he went off to the Prime Minster’s office as a middle-aged man. I remember...

Revisiting identities/positionalities in a changing South African socio- and geopolitical climate
Wandile Goozen Kasibe - 2006-11-01
This paper was delivered at the Race and Identity Seminar held at the University of Cape Town, African Studies Gallery 02 September 2006 Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Before we start off with our programme I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Harry Crossley Foundation for being the strong financial pillar behind my fine art and new media postgraduate studies here at UCT. I would also like to thank the speakers for their positive response to my invitation –...

Book reviewing: A personal account
Michelle McGrane - 2006-10-25
Nine o'clock on Saturday morning; I'm sitting at my desk. Through the window, the boughs of the lemon tree below, heavy with bright gnarled fruit, stir in the breeze. Pale avocado blossoms scatter to the grass. Dark flecks of ash float and dive on air currents. Something is burning. Firebreaks, perhaps. I feel rising excitement. A match strikes, flares. Lit up: this is how I feel when I'm reviewing a book. The quickening begins when I receive, from the bored man with the gravy-stained shirt behind...

The agent's view
Isobel Dixon - 2006-10-25
As is so often the case with the newspaper reports about literature, Celean Jacobson's article totally oversimplifies the matter and in some cases simply misses the mark. For one thing, she mentions only white English women writers in South Africa, as though the whole lively Afrikaans publishing scene did not exist – despite the fact that acclaimed and best-selling authors like Marlene van Niekerk, Marita van der Vyver and Ingrid Winterbach are translated into English as well – and she...

Women’s writing
Janet van Eeden - 2006-10-18
I have so many responses to the questions which were posed by Rosemund J Handler at the Cape Town Book Fair in response to the article by Celean Jacobson that I have found it very difficult to know where to start expressing them. I am especially aware of trying not to rant! My work as a playwright, journalist and screenwriter over the past ten years has always been at the mercy of male producers, male reviewers, male editors, and only occasionally female critics, editors, producers and self-styled...

He wants me to say
Stacy Hardy - 2006-10-18
I follow his eyes. I nod my head. I smile. I raise my hand toward my chin. A series of small gestures repeated over the hour. His next question follows on from his last question. He says, “Why do you always write about sex?” I know what he wants me to say. I can see what he’s gunning for – his intent. The way he lays down his sentences, accentuates certain words. The interview is for a piece he’s doing on women’s literature in the new South Africa. A post-apartheid...

The state of South African writing
Kelwyn Sole - 2006-10-10
Handler’s and Jacobson’s pieces are timely. However, while I find myself agreeing here and there with points made by both of them, the questions they raise bear on more fundamental issues which, while underlying both pieces, come into view too briefly. I would like, therefore, to point towards some of these and highlight the manner in which they affect the corpus and direction of South African literature at present. A great deal in Jacobson’s structural analysis of the shape...

Van Riebeeck’s Hedge
Ken Barris - 2006-10-10
What strikes me about the parts of this seminar I’ve read so far is that although certain of the contributions are impressively cogent, relevant and insightful, little has been said that is entirely new. I don’t mean to be dismissive, because the questions that have been raised are important and should be discussed. However, there remains much rehearsal of old positions (about marginalised communities in relation to writing, about the old war between aesthetic freedom and politically...

A writing culture of our own
Gabeba Baderoon - 2006-10-10
Reading the entries of this debate, I feel a greedy pleasure. I have been waiting a long time to have as interesting a discussion as this about the character of our literary culture. On the other hand, we can short-circuit such necessary conversations with defensiveness and knee-jerk reactions. “Who the fuck is Celean Jacobson when she’s at home?” That was the heading of an email that was forwarded to me recently, but with the fuck replaced with those exclamation marks and asterisks...

Simão Kikamba on women writers and the real issues
Simão Kikamba - 2006-10-10
How seriously are women writers taken in this country? You don’t catch a snake by its tail … This question does not address the real issue. It may make for excellent women-empowering, gender-equality rhetoric, but it does not strike me as a constructive way to tackle the real debate that we writers face in this country, such as how to deal with the walloping decline in book reading that could turn us, writers, into some endangered species. If no one reads our books, if book sales continue...

The state of South African writing
Kelwyn Sole - 2006-10-03
Handler’s and Jacobson’s pieces are timely. However, while I find myself agreeing here and there with points made by both of them, the questions they raise bear on more fundamental issues which, while underlying both pieces, come into view too briefly. I would like, therefore, to point towards some of these and highlight the manner in which they affect the corpus and direction of South African literature at present. A great deal in Jacobson’s structural analysis of the shape...

Sam Raditlhalo answers Rosemund Handler's questions on the state of South African writing
Sam Raditlhalo - 2006-10-03
"Leading on from Jacobson’s article, the real questions that should be posed – and debated – are these:"* How seriously are women writers taken in this country? It depends on who is supposed to be “the ideal reader” of the writers themselves. To the extent that we routinely attend book launches, we choose which authors to admire. Ingrid de Kok recently launched her fourth collection of poems, Seasonal Fires (Umuzi, 2006) in Muizenburg. It was clear...

A call for more destructive criticism
Henrietta Rose-Innes - 2006-10-03
As a recently reviewed author (with mixed results), I’d like to talk about book criticism in South Africa. I feel we lack a tradition of really robust reviewing. Although we do have a few excellent book critics, a good deal of “criticism” consists of mundane plot summaries, and a good number of “author interviews” are light quizzes along the lines of “What’s your favourite colour?” But even where the reviews are thoughtful and incisive, I often...

A Whiter Shade of Pale
Ashraf Jamal - 2006-10-03
While I do not agree fully with Celean Jacobson’s viewpoint, I most definitely take my hat off to her. Not only has she demonstrated the killer instinct that’s sorely lacking in SA journalism, but the piece is well researched and extremely well positioned to create exactly the huff-and-puff it has produced amongst the plaid and blue-rinse brigade. But before clinging to Jacobson - as one would to another thinker: for dear life! – let me just say that I am in my own petulant way...

It's all about YOU, or Tenzing Norgay's Revenge
Diane Awerbuck - 2006-09-18
There are a number of disparate issues raised (though not invented) by Handler. I'm not going to bother addressing Jacobson's article, seeing as how she got both the title and the most basic premise of my novel wrong. Call that juvenile, but if these - the simplest - features were mangled, I can only imagine what else ranks low in the truthiness stakes. Let's talk about me before anyone starts getting hissy about moral bankruptcy and who I think I am. I speak here as a tertiary lecturer...

The Reviewer’s Dilemma: Some responses to Rosemund Handler
Michiel Heyns - 2006-09-18
Rosemund Handler poses some challenging questions relating to women’s writing and its reception in this country, but I don’t really want to engage at length with that aspect of her article other than to note in passing that, as a reviewer, I don’t think of a novel as gendered. There are indeed women’s novels, as there are men’s novels, and both categories are the weaker for their narrowness of focus.   As a reviewer, do I take women’s writing seriously? I hope not, if that means that I have to...

A rigged weft: The state of South African writing
Andries Walter Oliphant - 2006-09-18
The first decade of democracy saw the slow but steady reorientation of writing in South Africa. Freed from the contortions of colonialism, writers began in a myriad ways to engage with the actualities of a changing society, producing work which enlarged the themes and registers of local writing to give it finer and more differentiated texture. These achievements were crowned by the inaugural Cape Town International Book Fair which took place from 17 to 20 June and saw hundreds of publishers and writers...

The state of South African writing
Rosemund J Handler - 2006-09-18
This discussion took place between Finuala Dowling and Rosemund Handler on Sunday 19 June 2006 from 16h00 to 17h00, at the Cape Town Book Fair, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The topic was writing in South Africa. The subject – the state of South African writing – wasn’t easy to do justice to at bustling Book Fair. But what Rosemund wanted to concentrate on, was a little about South African women’s writing, but more importantly, to pose some questions...

Superficiality: Self-fulfilling prophets of superficiality?
Mike van Graan - 2006-08-09
A few years ago, when I first entered Green Man Flashing into the PANSA Festival of New Writing, the prevailing wisdom among the audience who saw the staged reading was that while it was ground-breaking in raising important contemporary political, social and moral issues, there really was no audience for this kind of work any more. As if to confirm this sentiment – emanating largely from a theatre-literate audience – a “lighter” piece walked off with the Audience (“popular”)...

Superficiality: The superficiality of food and eating
Paul Murray - 2006-08-09
Slow food is a counter to fast food. Eating fast food is not superficial. The food itself is. It was once said, “Image is the undisputed language of the new millennium.” The taste and senses that accompany regional cooking is a testimony to this saying. Slow food does not mean you eat slowly or even that the food is prepared slowly, although the nature of slow food is that time is taken to grow the natural produce and traditional recipes are used to prepare food in the way of the regional...

Editing Leipoldt, an interesting and versatile person
Paul Murray - 2006-07-21
(Not for citation) 1 Introduction C Louis Leipoldt (1880–1947) is the well-known Afrikaans writer canonised in Afrikaans literature as a major poet (Viljoen 1996:1). His first piece that was published he wrote when he was eleven. He continued to write as a journalist to his last days for both local and overseas journals. He was not only a prolific journalist, but also an author. PJ Nienaber referred to Leipoldt’s Die Heks (1923) as “die eerste volwaardige drama in ons taal”...

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