Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Blogging is a little slow this week due to a heavy work-load. And I think that Andrew's excellent post on the African Renaissance will give most readers a lot to think about. I've been punctuating my long hours in the library by reading a book that I should have picked up years ago: Rian Malan's My Traitor's Heart. This is probably an unwise choice as Malan makes for compelling reading, not least because of his characteristic blend of eloquence and irreverence, which is well-illustrated by the following passage, which I couldn't resist posting:

The jol -- say 'jawl' -- was a very important South African concept, connoting kamikaze debaucheries. It was a Cape coloured street term, but all races used it, making it one of the pathetically few things we had in common. Divided we stood, united we jolled. Blacks jolled to obliterate their dismal present; whites to blot out the uncertain future. The word is essentially untranslatable, but any tattooed gangster from the coloured slums could define its essential ingredients: drank, dagga, dobbel en vok -- 'drink, dope, dice and fucking.' I spent most of my youth jolling...

And so it goes on. Time for me to get back to the books I should be reading.


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