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He had to pass a sheep lorry, slowed down using his flickers like a law-abiding citizen, sped up again, leaning the bike into the turns where the road.

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Presentation on theme: "He had to pass a sheep lorry, slowed down using his flickers like a law-abiding citizen, sped up again, leaning the bike into the turns where the road."— Presentation transcript:

1 He had to pass a sheep lorry, slowed down using his flickers like a law-abiding citizen, sped up again, leaning the bike into the turns where the road twisted between the hills, aware of the landscape. Beautiful country this. Colourful. That is the difference, the major difference between this landscape and the Karoo. More colour, as if God’s palette was increasely used up on the way south. Here the green was greener, the ridges browner, the grass more yellow, the sky more blue. Colour had messed up this land. The difference in colour. The road grew straight again, a black ribbon stretching out ahead, grass veld and thorn bush. Cumuls clouds in line, a war host marching across the heavens. This was the face of Africa. Unmistakable. Deon Meyer, Head of the Hunter, 2003, pp. 227-8

2 Ingrid de Kok (1951)

3 Truth and Reconciliation Commission 1996-1998


5 Why still imagine whole words, whole worlds: the flame splutter of consonants, deep sea anemone vowels, birth-cable syntax, rhymes that start in the heart, and verbs, verbs that move mountains? de Kok, from Parts of speech, 2002

6 Body parts (2002) may the wrist turn in the wind like a wing the severed foot tread home ground the punctured ear hear the thrum of sunbirds the molten eye see stars in the dark the faltering lungs quicken windmills the maimed hand scatter seeds and grain the heart flood underground springs pound maize, recognize named cattle and may the unfixable broken bone loosened from its hinges now lying like a wishbone in the veld pitted by pointillist ants give us new bearings.

7 Joyce Mtimkulu holding what is left of her son

8 But everyone knows sorrow is incurable: a bruised and jagged scar in the rift valley of the body; shrapnel seeded in the skin, undoused burning pyres of war. de Kok, from What everyone should know about grief (1997)



11 Cape Town

12 Cape Town Morning (1997) Winter has passed. The wind is back. Window panes rattle old rust, summer rising. Street children sleep, shaven mummies in sacks, eyelids weighted by dreams of coins, beneath them treasure of small knives. Flower sellers add fresh blossoms to yesterday’s blooms, sour buckets filled and spilling. And trucks digest the city’s sediment men gloved and silent in the municipal jaws.

13 Atlantic Ocean / Indian Ocean

14 Cape Agulhas where Indian and Atlantic oceans meet

15 Yvette Christiansë (1954)

16 St. Helena

17 Floating (1999) He floats, face down out of nowhere, perhaps a sailor, perhaps a passenger bound for a different soil, perhaps a slave lifted quickly out of the hold before he contaminated the rest in one way or another – as if there is anything more contaminating than being lost over the rim of the world in the company of ghosts.

18 Floating in the skin of the sea. Arms wide. A sailor, dizzy over the side of his new ship, might think, ah a strange large bird flying on its back in the face of a blue-green sky no landlocked man has ever seen and this sky and bird must be why no woman can hold a man long enough.

19 From where does he surface? Floating so fine and calm. You will learn there is no name. No face. Only this, a floating out of the green nowhere that makes you grasp for breath like an asthmatic trying to wake enough, sit up into the dark to keep life in its place when all it wants, like a tide, is to ship out over the edge and splash into the place of gills.

20 Rocks and Stones (2009) Fire burns, smoke its beginning and end. We stare – these trees – hold ourselves tight. We know why limbs ache – the wind is an old vandal in this valley. Smoke rises. Ash collects. Still, we wait – hope has an edge. Should I dance, it would be along those wings above waves. I would gull and dive, and not even ash would be left behind. Then, surely, the wind would learn a new song.

21 Karen Press (1956)

22 Application for Naturalization (2000) Country. Could your mountainous days ever fold around my arrival? I wait in a room with blank walls that wait. I go out among the sea, the streets, the sky: they are too busy to make conversation. Country: must I become dust for your moonlight to drink? You don’t open my window. I lean against the glass, I hear you talking to the gulls all night. I am luminous, not transparent, a spell waiting to be uttered. Country, become my shadow, I will become your body.

23 Makhosazana Xaba (1957)

24 Summer (2008) This is the summer of things we can touch. Shaking queues that lead from farther than eyes can see to terminate at a ballot box, is summer. It is a summer of black children in buses and kombies, on avenues, paths, roads and streets, numerous like ants, going to school. A summer of RDP houses along major highways and a summer of women in high places, making meaning. It is a summer of songs composed in blood, tuned with guns and arranged in conversations. It is a summer of song I sing in swelling volumes. This is the summer of the things we can touch.



27 Reconstruction and Development Programme houses

28 Township shacks

29 Gabeba Baderoon (1969)

30 Vlei

31 Malika Ndlovu (1971)

32 Born in Africa but

33 L. Viljoen, Displacement in the Literary Texts of Black Afrikaans Writers in South Africa, "Journal of Literary Studies", 21:1-2, 2007 D. DeCaires Narain, Landscape and Poetic Identity in Contemporary Caribbean Women's Poetry, "Ariel" 2003 G. Baderoon, The African Oceans - Tracing the Sea as Memory of the Slavery in South African Literature and Culture, "Research in African Literatures" 2009 J.M. Coetzee, White Writing: On the the Culture of Letters in South Africa, 1988 Ch. Stander-H. Willemse, Winding Through Nationalism, Patriarchy, Privilege and Concern: a Selected Overview of Afrikaans Women Writers, "Research in African Literatures" 1992 J. Beningfield, The Frightened Land. Land, Landscape and Politics in South Africa in the Twentieth Century 2006 J. Shapcott, Confounding Geography, in A. Mark and D.Reese-Jones (eds), Contemporary Women's Poetry: Reading/Writing/Practice, 2000 L. Gunner, Names and the Land: Poetry of Belonging and Unbelonging, a Comparative Approach, in K. Darian-Smith, L. Gunner, S. Nuttall, Text, Theory, Space: Land, Literature and History in South Africa and Australia 1996 Z. Erasmus (ed.), Coloured by History. Shaped by Place. New Perspectives on Coloured Identities in CapeTown, 2000 Z. Wicomb, Shame and Identity: the Case of the Coloured in South Africa, in D.Attridge and R.Jolly (eds) Writing South Africa. Literature, Apartheid, and Democracy 1970-1995, 1998 Jessica Murray, ‘They can never write the landscapes out of their system’: Engagements with the South African landscape, “Gender, Place & Culture: a Journal of Feminist Geography”, 2011 J. Orman, Language Policy and Nation-Building in Post-Apartheid South Africa, 2008 Hein Willemse, The Invisible Margins of Afrikaans Literature, in R. Kriger and E. Kriger (eds.), Afrikaans Literature. Recollection, Redefinition. Restitution, 1996 N. Alexander, Afrikaans: Success or Failure?, in Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity. The Success-Failure Continuum in Language and Ethnic Identity Efforts, vol. 2, ed. by Joshua A. Fishman and Ofelia García, 1999

34 px?destinationID=pW9XLyhdT0CgGeFEhLtYCw& contentID=Px0mIQ6D2EWlAIT976qg5g&orderBy =videoDate&orderByDirection=desc&pageIndex =72&pageSize=10 (link to Ndlovu’reading)

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