Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reading the Writing

I have now read/heard: My African Eyes, Journey to Jo’burg, A beautiful Place to Die, Scribbling the Cat, Cry the Beloved Country, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight. I have a few more which have been suggested and the about ½ of Covenant left. The terms and names from one book are showing up in others until they begin to be familiar in an academic way. They do not have smells or surfaces or tastes, yet, only names and vague map locations.
I am struck by the pace of most of them, the impossible feats of strength and courage interwoven with slowly unfolding descriptions of the land and the surroundings. The stories seem to experience the place and the people equally in a way I don’t sense as often in American novels. Oh, sure, there are events that set in New York or rural Iowa or 1863, but many times the background could be changed and not much altered in the storyline. So far what I have read of South Africa there is a pace and completeness in the telling that, were one word lacking, could not be whole. I wonder how that will contrast to life there.
Oh, yes, I need to call for malaria pills. That came up a lot in the stories, too!

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