Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Fred de Vries

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Franschhoek Literary Festival as a Satire

The Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF) is not a book fest, it’s a tribute to the old style Writer, a celebration of the ancient Analogue world. It’s an event that offers the Men and Women of Letters, those who’ve swayed and sweated for years, a revitalising bath, some wholesome food and a heartfelt pat on the back. For a few days they are fêted and allowed to bask in the glow of admiring readers in a beautiful town, surrounded by blue mountains and endless vineyards. After that it’s back to the harsh reality of a life behind a desk, with the odd teaching or editing job to supplement a meager income, waiting for the inevitably disappointing royalty cheque. Franschhoek Literary Festival is a lament to a rapidly disappearing form of art. FLF is a pleasant, comforting bubble.

That was more or less what went through my mind as I strolled along the tree lined streets, past all the faux-French (and occasionally misspelled) culinary delights and saw the glowing faces of the Authors and the stiffly excited crowd of mainly middle-aged white women who were happy to meet heroes such as Barbara Trapido, Michiel Heyns, Etienne van Heerden, Mike Nicol, Tim Couzens and of course Zimbabwean writer Peter Godwin and Scottish author Janice Galloway.

It’s not yet in the same league as juskei, but somehow FLF conjured images of gents and ladies playing croquet, dignified yet archaic. Sure, there were attempts at something more hip and trendy. I saw Zapiro walking around, which usually means there is something about cartoons. One of the forums discussed our new mishmash language, labelled ‘lekker English’. And I attended a discussion loosely based around the question why young blacks don’t read (although the organisers were hesitant to phrase it like that and called it ‘Young, Black and Reading’), a hot topic that was fortified by the fact that there were no eager black kids in attendance. The participants talked excitedly about ‘R50 romances’ for the townships and Yoza.mobi short stories you can download through Mxit onto your cell phone. And if you comment on the story you will get free airtime. Wow. But will it promote a culture of reading? Somehow it sounded like that cunning theory that Sun readers will eventually pick up the Mail&Guardian.

There were sincere worries about a lowering of quality and standards. Whatever happened to the serious book review? The Sunday Independent doesn’t pay its reviewers anymore, so they’ve lost respected critics like Michiel Heyns, while Tymon Smith of The Times admitted that his paper prefers the ‘re-interview’ (a journalistic monstrosity that lives somewhere between uncritical review and shallow interview) to a thorough review. The virus also seems to be affecting the higher echelons of learning. As Stellenbosch University academic Leon de Kock wryly observed: ‘The UCT creative writing course has produced a lot of not so great books.’

Later I spoke with one of the ‘new black voices’ Sifiso Mzobe, who hails from Umlazi, quotes Salman Rushdie as his hero and has written Young Blood, a novel about car hijackers, which has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize. So dire is the book situation in the townships that he sometimes stands on an Umlazi street corner to sell his books. So far he has sold about 150.

Hijackers, skop skiet en donner, romance, urban blight, science fiction, fantasy and horror, those seem to be the subgenres that might get young readers interested in books. But will they? And will they subsequently make the jump to the more demanding ‘literary’ works? ‘Kids don’t read’, said Mzobe. ‘Maybe they don’t have time, maybe it’s not cool.’

No time, not cool… In a recent interview with The Guardian English author Martin Amis noted that ‘the long read is a dying art’, because ‘there are so many claims on our attention. Very literate people admit they can’t read books any more. And just as the literate brain is physically different to the illiterate brain, the digitally savvy brain is different again. It’s a physiological change, not just a moral one.’

The digital age has given us excess of access, where the ‘desire’ to find anything tangible (a record, a book, a magazine) has been replaced with ‘drive’ to just keep going, to keep tweeting, blogging, uploading, surfing, downloading, facebooking, to keep on keeping on – a kind of addictive kill-time that has replaced the time consuming proper digestion of culture. As cultural theorist Simon Reynolds put it in June issue of Wire magazine: ‘More primal and basic than desire, drive is associated with repetition and regression: it’s not the quest for the (impossible) object that will fill lack, but a kind of enactment of loss itself.’

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    May 25th, 2011 @10:12 #
     
    Top

    Three cheers for Fred de Vries.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://kelwynsole.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kelwyn Sole</a>
    Kelwyn Sole
    May 25th, 2011 @10:58 #
     
    Top

    Don't agree with all of this, but ... at last someone is saying it out loud. About time.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    May 25th, 2011 @12:46 #
     
    Top

    I think the flaws in the piece are

    1. an assumption that SA writers are an homogenous mass
    2. the assertion of the futility of the FLF
    3. the extrapolation from FLF to doomsday scenario for… just about everything

    Of course like-minded people gather to recharge their energies; of course the FLF is a microcosm like so many other S’african microcosms. I doubt we’ll ever be more than a swirl of microcosms; we don’t aspire to homogeneity do we?

    de Vries could have writ this piece 15-20 years ago and replaced FLF with litnet or KKNK. Most likely someone (else) did. Either way, there’s no denying, now, the huge and ongoing contributions of both them latter. Staved off not a few gobbling beasts too, I'm very sure.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.ronirwin.com" rel="nofollow">Ron</a>
    Ron
    May 25th, 2011 @13:04 #
     
    Top

    Writing has lost its "old fashioned" standing and respect? Really? Can we name the time when writers were seen as anything more than thoughtful cranks? When Hamsun was around, possibly? Possibly when Tolstoy and Dickens were around? Doubtful. To hear Martin Amis, author of Money and the Rachel papers, bemoaning the state of the reader seems rather absurd. The long read is dead, is it Martin? Tell that to the millions and millions of readers who happily wade through those endless Harry Potter novels, or the equally endless Larsson mysteries. These massive tomes are bought in numbers that would make Dickens drool and Tolstoy pull his beard out by its roots. They are not of the same caliber of A Tale of Two Cities or War and Peace, but they are certainly of the same length and complexity and aimed at the same sorts of middle class strivers who existed 150 years ago.

    We have been predicting the death of the novel and lamenting the stupidity of the reader for centuries now. The new bugbear is the Kindle, which now is accused of making novel reading more lowbrow than the paperback did. Surely a device that makes reading easier (by allowing readers to adjust the font or even be read to) cannot be at fault for destroying reading? How exactly did the FLF position itself in opposition to digital advances in publishing? I did not notice people smashing Kindles in the streets or burning iPads.

    And the internet leaves PLENTY of space for hierarchy, of course. There is no way for bad writing to escape the wrath of the reader and the reviewer. The online book reviews in places like Amazon.com as well as the numerous book blogs and social networks are means through which readers themselves separate the wheat from the chaff. Bad reviews that are posted by the NY Times or the TLS can be consumed instantaneously by readers considering what they ought to read next, often while standing in the book shop. We have become instantly more selective in our reading habits, and we now consume books in informed tribes. At no time in history has the book buyer been more informed about what the quality of a novel.

    The argument that Steve Hofmeyr and J.M. Coetzee have become equals before the Internet neglects to acknowledge that they are equals as well in the bookstore to the uninformed reader. The person who cannot discriminate in their reading between "good" and "bad" writing is the new reader, the person just getting familiar with writing, possibly through buying a Kindle or an iPad. And what, exactly, is wrong with encouraging the gourmand approach to reading? Surely this will help resurrect an entire business? A business where writers are bitterly surprised to see how few copies of their books will sell and who find (horrors) that they need to promote their own works?

    And surely the UCT programme, where I have taught for some years, has produced at least a few good writers? Like recent Arthur C. Clarke winner Lauren Beukes or Sunday Times Award runner up Consuelo Roland or Sunday Times Award winner Ceridwen Dovey or Tom Eaton or Dr. Rosie Kendal? Not necessarily political writers, these, but surely worthy of some passing admiration?

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://kelwynsole.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kelwyn Sole</a>
    Kelwyn Sole
    May 25th, 2011 @13:51 #
     
    Top

    I hope de Kock wasn't quoted accurately - what a weird, uncollegial thing to say. Speaking as someone who has little vested riding on creative writing from UCT.

    Ja, ok, the explosion of interest in books in SA, and events surrounding books, is an ongoing phenomenon worthy of study in itself, because of the energies - not least the psychic energies - it seems to be unleashing, and the social issues it seems to be absorbing, rehearsing and at times deflecting (ethics, Louis!).

    Making any criticism of this feels mean, because a lot of SAfricans won't read at all, or just express disdain for literature -including some of those put forward as role models (forget about Herschelle Gibbs, what about Gary Kirsten?). At least there are people getting excited about books, the argument goes, and who are buying them.

    However,as soon as you go along to any of these events, or look at the assorted discussions on and off the net, it becomes pretty clear that it's a relatively limited group of people, speaking demographically and numerically, who are involved in this. Which, sure, includes me.

    This is not a criticism - it's a sad fact of SA history (the limited group of people, not me: mind you, me too) And what I do think one can criticise is that, unremarked, a series of ideological and lifestyle vectors are being presented, in and through these discussions, as being - in broad terms - the 'common sense' all South Africans should aspire to.

    Well, maybe. Some of the time. (And yes, I am aware that there are differences in individual viewpoints and goals; and yes, I would agree that a lot of the time it's not being done consciously, or maliciously).

    But there are many people out there without access to books (I'm aware of the valuable work being done here by ReadSA etc), or whose views are not expressed in these fora much: unless as objects of analysis, either fictional or sociological. What do they think? What would they read? How would they express their vision of now or the future? On the other hand, what does one make of those who constantly defer to their absent presence (so to say)? What happens re discussions about value and aesthetics in such an ambience?

    I've been reading Ranka Primorac's clever book on recent Zimbabwean literature, and a quote from Mieke Bal caught my eye: "the academic practice of interpretation, linked with journalism and other more popular forms of interpretation through a common ideology and often even through shared personnel, can be a form of censorship in itself."

    That's what I'm seeing. What I'm not seeing, are angry emerging writers dedicated to different perspectives, or worldviews, or experimenting with form in ways which would shock old farts like me. Unless one buys into the vision of the ludic, liberatory potential of genre fiction, which I don't (hi, Louis).

    And it's equally clear we're in a poised political conjuncture (whoopee, haven't used that word for yonks) where a populist, corrupted ruling elite will, in years to come, be likely to try hanging onto power by whatever means.e.g. the media bill.

    I'm not sure I would label this a doomsday scenario, moi. More trying to see clearly, and thinking through what role literature plays in all of this. And can play. And should, or shouldn't, be expected to play.

    When I haven't had my morning roughage, I must say that I worry about degrees of complacency and arrogance tiding in and out of view which, I think, de Vries does at least try to address.

    "I'm not interested / in the hangman's mate and his belated tears. / My eyes are dry. I need them for looking with." (Gyorgy Petri)

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    May 25th, 2011 @14:13 #
     
    Top

    Phew, Ron, I take two cheers back.

    I didn't feel he was dismissing the FLF; I thought he was being elegiacal. An old crank, like me.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    May 25th, 2011 @14:24 #
     
    Top

    ha, Rustum - I used that word (elegiac) recently, and checking my back (aka thesaurus), discovered it, disconcertingly, to have two diametric meanings ;-))

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    May 25th, 2011 @14:50 #
     
    Top

    I seek the enlightenment re 'elegiac' please.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    May 25th, 2011 @15:25 #
     
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    May 25th, 2011 @15:34 #
     
    Top

    Are you referring to the difference between 'tone' as generally meant and the technical meaning re: poetic metre? (sorry, still lost).

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    May 25th, 2011 @15:38 #
     
    Top

    was just being facetious as in did you mean:

    "I thought he (de Vries) was being lamenting or depressing or speaking with rhythm and beauty."

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    May 25th, 2011 @16:02 #
     
    Top

    Oh, yes. I thought some of his sentences had great beauty and rhythm as well.

    Bottom
  • ar
    ar
    May 25th, 2011 @17:31 #
     
    Top

    Rustum, I am putting two cheers in for the ones you took back.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    May 25th, 2011 @23:42 #
     
    Top

    One cheer only, not least because this is two separate columns mashed into one. Re Fred's threnody on the Doomsday and the Death of the Book, it's an interesting (if rather well-trodden debate), elegantly canvassed, but I don't see anything new here. I tend rather to the Margaret Atwood view on such matters -- that while book formats and consumption models may change, the writer/moose remains central: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6iMBf6Ddjk

    Also, I am by now bored to screams by those writers/journos who come to the FLF, complete with schedule of boutique guesthouse and cocktail party at Le Quartier Francais, and then act surprised to find themselves among the grey-haired and well-heeled.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    May 26th, 2011 @09:24 #
     
    Top

    ^ what she said is what I did not say and what I should have said because it was what I wanted to say.

    AR, long time.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://mayafowler.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Maya</a>
    Maya
    May 26th, 2011 @13:56 #
     
    Top

    Three cheers for Ron and Helen! Heck, make that three times three for Ron.

    Bottom
  • ar
    ar
    May 26th, 2011 @16:00 #
     
    Top

    Too long, Rustum.

    Helen, bless you for threnody. Til now I thought it was just James Clarke's admin lady, and had to look it up. And bless you for the moose too.

    Bottom
  • Hamish
    Hamish
    May 27th, 2011 @01:11 #
     
    Top

    Oh dear, why does J.M. Coetzee have to be mentioned, even or particularly when the poor man has nothing to do with the topic at hand? I mean, Franschoek makes me think of slavery, foetal alcohol syndrome, that unsightly monument, an unfortunate example of dreadful church architecture, and then once a year something that tries to pass itself off as being about the written word or about written words (one hesitates to be uncollegial and type "typed words" or "word processed sentences"). The description (even if wry, satirical, or fondly teasing) De Vries gives of the events has me wondering why they bother to 'discuss' a presumed absence of a young Black South African readership. Perhaps the rural idyll of the location (what a fun word in the South African context, that history Francis Wilson invokes) is an odd place indeed, and the cast of characters have a whiff of the irrelevant about them (really? Jonathan Jansen, at a LITERARY festival? really? he of the Freestate Wimpy appearances, the campus lekgotlas, and what one unkind scribe would have called columns of "typing"?) ...

    Seems South Africa is growing its crop of irrelevant but highly amusing but still tragic 'cultural' festivals. Instead of spending two hours on a train to the winelands to listen to all this no doubt quite earnest fumbling about words, I dipped into books and read some, bought at a second-hand book store, where the sales assistant actually knew the difference between Tlali and Mtshali.

    Hope the wine was palatable and each of the literati got a nice gift bag to go, with some cute cheeses and a stay in a B&B with clean sheets and no view of the old or new slave quarters.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://saradias.co.za/blog/" rel="nofollow">Sara P. Dias</a>
    Sara P. Dias
    May 27th, 2011 @12:53 #
     
    Top

    After I read the <em<Franschhoek Literary Festival as a Satire article by Fred de Vries on Book SA, I thought, oh no, here we go again: here follows a debate by the usual suspects on the same old topic of the Lost Book or the Lost Quality of Writing or the Lost Children of the Digital Age or the Lost History, and, once again The Lost Readers of Previously Disadvantaged Age, with the same arguments from the same academic and political positions the usual suspects have held since Apartheid. Having said that, three cheers for Ron and Helen!

    The willingness to pick up a book, or a Kindle, to read anything, should be commended, so should the “stiffly excited crowd of mainly middle-aged white women” who still believe that reading is a valuable pastime. I suspect that, more often than not, it is the children of the parents who read who will pick up a book. The majority in South Africa did not have the opportunity to grow up with a love for reading in the Apartheid years, and most are still too poor to afford such luxuries, so how do we expect the younger generation to be enthusiastic about books? But as much as I think the FLF is a rather snooty affair for a small crowd, it is one of the events in South Africa that still celebrate writers and writing, and without these supporters the local literary scene will look even bleaker and our scribes will earn even less.

    People who frequent the rather expensive FLF will do so if they can afford it, and I feel they do so in the good spirit of keeping reading and writing alive, and out of an appreciation for the authors they admire. Also, they are the ones who are more likely to pass their books on to libraries or second-hand bookstores. I went to the FLF once, and I spent most of my time at an affordable writing workshop and in the many second-hand bookstores.

    Growing up as one of three children, and being an avid reader, I used to sniff at my much younger brother who read only comics. Today his favourite pastime is reading good thrillers by really good writers. Those who enjoy reading will read. Those who prefer soccer or jukskei will spend their time thus. To once again lament that the FLF is not representative of all of South Africa is counterproductive. Just as some events organised in Soweto, for example, seem rather exclusive, people will go to events, well-shod or otherwise, where they can satisfy a personal interest.

    Until we become a country where everybody feels they have an equal chance at a comfortable future, reading and writing will not be a priority. And I must wonder what our leaders, and especially our youth leaders have read lately, or what they’ve said and done to encourage a reading public, the free flow of information or the importance of a wide knowledge.

    What is this new South African habit of wanting to level the playing fields by forcing people to think the same, do the same, frequent the same events, be enthusiastic about the same political party, even while proclaiming the importance of diversity and democracy? I lived in Woodstock for 9 years, and I can assure you, people don’t just happily mix or share the same thoughts, as if by osmosis, even if they live in the same neighbourhood. That naïve sentiment was literally kicked out of me on a street in Woodstock.

    Recently I’ve been invited to attend a Skaftien in Gugs. What a crazy idea, I thought. I’m a middle-aged white woman with, apparently, “Target” written on my forehead. At the same time I also find the FLF too expensive and exclusive. And although I probably won’t be even “stiffly excited” about a literary event held in the middle of Lavender Hill, for example, I will applaud it, because I regard any literary event as culturally relevant.

    As a not so well-heeled “middle-aged white woman” I have found my place, and it is located somewhere between the FLF , the second-hand bookstores in Cape Town, and the Belville library. Our local library in Durbanville, after costly and rather grand extensions paid for by, note, public donations, now has a better reference section, which does attract more students, but the main library is as devoid of a wide selection of authors as ever. I also spotted a questionable choice of books recommended by Friends of the Library stuck up on a notice board: it had Dan Brown’s novels as both number 1 and 2 on the list. But at least someone is reading, and if we are really passionate about multiformity, then we also have to respect all preferences. In context the choice of available books in Durbanville is understandable when you realize that the library is frequented by pensioners from the nearby old-age homes and less frequently by children from the surrounding schools. So it forces my partner and me to go to the better-stocked Belville library, which is much further away, but we do so happily.

    Enthusiasm for reading comes from parents, siblings, teachers and friends, and only later, from academics, I believe. It is not only generated by literary festivals or pontificating PhDs in hallowed halls, and no, it is not up to only the writers to provide us with historical context. It comes mostly from a curiosity, which can be nurtured in schools and libraries, but also from a love of knowledge and a respect for books. Writers alone cannot instil an appreciation for historical fact or excellent fiction in children. I feel that parents should play a bigger role here. But again, we are not going to become an informed society if the suppression of information becomes the norm or if children are kept out of schools by self-serving politickers.

    I was horrified when my youngest niece, who is more interested in H2O dance events and DJs with names like “Majik Zee” than going to a library, one day told me, “Ek lees mos nie boeke nie …” I wanted to shout, “That is nothing to be proud of!” But then I remember how I pulled up my nose at my brother’s comics and I hope, now that my niece has a young daughter, she will realize the benefits of reading and that she will raise her child accordingly. If she doesn’t, all the books I’m collecting for the little one will have to be donated to the Durbanville library, where most readers seem to be over 60.

    Bottom line: don't hurl tired insults at literary events of which you disapprove; they are already virtually extinct. Rather do this near-illiterate nation a favour and create your own.
    --

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://tiahbeautement.typepad.com/quotidian/" rel="nofollow">tiah</a>
    tiah
    May 27th, 2011 @14:31 #
     
    Top

    Susara, I am piping up so I can be first in line to become your new friend.

    I have thought a lot about this piece. Had a wee rant on FB about the state of SA's educational system, but didn't say much else because I've never really been to the FLF. (Spent a few hours there just walking around enjoying the sun. Lovely morning.)

    But yet I keep popping in here to read the comments. Something about it bugged me. Old people - fun to pick on in modern times. I suppose SA has its reasons beyond just general modern tendency to celebrate youth and scorn the old. And those reasons are very valid for why many people in SA are suspicion of the older white citizen. But I can't shake the feeling that it is more than that. Perhaps I'm being sensitive? I am somebody that is 33 years old and going to somebody be an old white lady. So I get to go from sexism of youth 'but hey, she can make babies' to the sexism + ageism when I am old and looked at as useless. Something to look forward to then. I'll be one of those invisible souls who people rush past and do not even apologise when knocked over. One of those women whose opinion is dismissed because my boobs no longer hold anybody's attention. But people will take my money, so not totally useless then.

    I actually know a lot of white old ladies. True, many like to attend things like the FLF. The biggest white old lady in my life right now has her garden club, book club, bible study and then she and her white old lady gang used their 'past-the-sell-by-date' teaching degrees to start at learning centre on top of a mountain for farm children whose parents work all day. Then they got donations from a bunch more white old ladies to set up the library for the same children and their parents. Some of the books and equipment were used. But the rest were brand spank'in new - some of which were due to cornering publishers at events like the CTBF and asking for donations. Through this program they met a child whose intelligence is off the charts. Mother of child is a domestic worker. So those same old white ladies got together, twisted a good school's arm to let the child attend on scholarship, then found more money amongst themselves to pay for room & board, uniform and books.

    I don't know if any of them were in the audience of the FLF this year. But kind of amusing to imagine them attending those talks, buying their books like they do for both themselves and their programs and then logging on their PCs and finding this post. Thankfully they don't do what they do for any acknowledgement or thanks.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://tiahbeautement.typepad.com/quotidian/" rel="nofollow">tiah</a>
    tiah
    May 27th, 2011 @15:42 #
     
    Top

    Ach! Typos :(

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    May 27th, 2011 @23:27 #
     
    Top

    Can I please be second in line to be Susara's friend. I would now like to thank Fred for writing this piece, because of the loveliness of the responses on today's Litnet: by Michiel Heyns, Fiona Snyckers and Lynda Gilfillan. All three gave me pleasure and enlightenment and amusement.

    And Tiah, you and Fifi put yr fingers very neatly on what it was about the tone that rankled: the notion that there is something quaint, irrelevant, even shameful about being an ageing woman, good for nothing but earnestly applauding Jonathan Jansen. Long live your gang of old white women, Tiah. They sound amazing.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://saradias.co.za/blog/" rel="nofollow">Sara P. Dias</a>
    Sara P. Dias
    May 28th, 2011 @10:35 #
     
    Top

    Tiah and Helen, I’ve been a virtual admirer of you both since I started to frequent Book SA years ago. Oh dear, that makes me sound like a stiffly excited middle-aged white female stalker. No fear: I hang around Book SA because I learn a lot from its pages, especially from pontificating PhDs.

    And I agree, well said Michiel Heyns, Fiona Snyckers and Lynda Gilfillan on LitNet:

    http://www.litnet.co.za/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=cause_dir_custom&cause_id=1270&page=flf
    --

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://tiahbeautement.typepad.com/quotidian/" rel="nofollow">tiah</a>
    tiah
    May 28th, 2011 @10:59 #
     
    Top

    Sara, what a lovely thing to say. Everyone should stalk Helen (in a non creepy way) and she's the one with the PhD.

    Looked at your site. Do you know Moi? She is very big on renku (sp?). (Yes, I've wandered off topic. Ben-E should give us messaging privileges like on FB. Then again, I might get too much hate-mail if he did.)

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://saradias.co.za/blog/" rel="nofollow">Sara P. Dias</a>
    Sara P. Dias
    May 29th, 2011 @10:01 #
     
    Top

    I know of Moi from the pages of Book SA, Tiah, but I haven't tried my hand at renku yet. I'm still mastering the art of writing a brilliant haiku and a really good short story.
    --

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.jamesclelland.co.za" rel="nofollow">James Clelland</a>
    James Clelland
    May 30th, 2011 @18:35 #
     
    Top

    I just love books, simple. Two weeks after FLF - I hate acronyms normally, but this one rings for me - I went to the first, I think, JM Coetzee Laureates Festival in Richmond, Karoo. I loved both. At FLF I bought many books after listening to authors who sounded interesting, while in the much more intimate Richmond event, i.e. total attendance about twenty, I bought several old books, including a very smelly one - beautifully so - about movies made many decades ago, complete with stuck-in picture postcards. I wonder if there will be a digital version one day...

    Bottom

Please register or log in to comment

» View comments as a forum thread and add tags in BOOK Chat