Tag Archives: writers on writing

Kingdom of Rain

An interview with Rustum Kozain. The following conversation took place on 31 July 2015 at Rustum Kozain’s flat in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town. Prior to my arrival, Rustum had prepared a chicken balti with cabbage according to a recipe from Birmingham, … Continue reading

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On the Brink of the Mundane

Rereading Ivan Vladislavić: The Restless Supermarket and Double Negative. (Much) shorter version at the New Statesman, 9 January 2015: Lost in Joburg: One of South Africa’s most accomplished prose stylists gets a timely reissue. Do copy-editors still use their time-honoured signs: the confident slashes, … Continue reading

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I and I

Meeting Geoff Dyer. Edited version published in the Mail&Guardian | 23 December 2014. Can I use ‘I’ in my essays? The question, often asked by first-year literature students, isolates the problem succinctly. The first I in the sentence means me, the special, singular, … Continue reading

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Don’t say ‘problematize’…

For it is only by knowing how to write that you can make use in literature of yourself; that self which, while it is essential to literature, is also its most dangerous antagonist.  Never to be yourself and yet always … Continue reading

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Chekov had what he described to another correspondent in 1899 as “autobiographobia”… Seven years earlier, when V. A. Tikhonov, the editor of a journal called Sever, asked him for biographical information to accompany a photograph, Chekov made this reply: Do you … Continue reading

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Chasing Shadows

  Santu Mofokeng | Chasing Shadows These photographs explore a part of me which I have so far neglected in my work, – my spirituality. There are several reasons why it was ignored: ambivalence, embarrassment, fear of the political and … Continue reading

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From Venice to Varanasi | James Wood on Geoff Dyer

Walter Benjamin once said that every great work dissolves a genre or founds a new one. But is it only masterpieces that have a monopoly on novelty? What if a writer had written several works that rose to Benjamin’s high … Continue reading

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