Mhambi has been redeployed.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Trompsburg


Trompsburg
Originally uploaded by Wildebeast1.

Trompsburg is a peaceful little town in the Free State where a number of friends of mine bought this house for R250 000 (less than £15 000's or $30 000).

The town has one famous inhabitant, writer Karel Schoeman. I have only read one of his books, By Fakkelig, which was about the Irish struggle for freedom from the British, and an allegory for the Afrikaner but also black South African's struggle for freedom.

According to my friends, the best book written in Afrikaans the last couple of years is also one of Schoeman's books - Afskeid en vertrek. (Take leave and go)

In The New York Times George Packer described it thus:

" "I AM trying to keep a soul alive," says the dying narrator of J. M. Coetzee's novel "Age of Iron," "in times not hospitable to the soul." In the violence and decay of Cape Town, the setting of Karel Schoeman's "Take Leave and Go," the time is now and the times are the concern of the novel: how one can continue to live inwardly, love and create in a society that appears to be disintegrating."

Do even Afrikaners have a right to their Proust?

I was quite struck the last paragraph of Packer's review and what it shows about views of Afrikaners circa the 90's.

"Those readers of "Take Leave and Go" who expect some token of protest or guilt will be disappointed; perhaps even protest and guilt are assumed. Adriaan and his friends aren't ignorant, nor are they apologists. They're bewildered by the destruction going on around them; they neither approve nor disapprove, but find themselves painfully estranged from a country they once knew.

Do even Afrikaners have a right to their Proust? Do their inner lives, too, deserve autonomous treatment? I would have had doubts; I would have heard the passionate voice of Nadine Gordimer proclaim the unity of private and social destiny. But then I read Karel Schoeman."

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1 comment:

Lol101 said...

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