The South Africa of the Mind

I was, while walking through Glasgow, listening to the audiobook of Tony Judt’s Reappraisals – a collection of essays largely written for the New York Review of Books.  It is a book that changed my mind on many things not least on Israel and Palestine but also thankfully on Judt’s friend Edward Said.  This is not to say that I have changed my mind on Said’s, I believe, … Continue reading The South Africa of the Mind

Where I Stand 03/06/2016

I have, over the last few weeks, been reading about violence in general and revolutionary violence in particular.  This is largely due to a certain focus within my PhD on Albert Camus and his book The Rebel, but also because of the reoccurrence of the strange version of political violence in South Africa that is taking place there yet again.  Perhaps the most enigmatic of this literature is … Continue reading Where I Stand 03/06/2016

Empire of Dirt Chapter 1 (Part 1)

Image: Chad Rossouw, Gonnema Surrenders at the Castle of Good Hope (2014) Waxed Cyanotype The small trench he had dug for himself, which had been cool in the day’s heat, was now filled with a freezing dew.  He had been lying there since the ochre sky of dawn and, after a long period of fear, he had fallen into an agitated sleep, a sleep which had lasted … Continue reading Empire of Dirt Chapter 1 (Part 1)

Where I Stand 26/05/2016

‘I was brought up a Marxist.  Nowdays that isn’t much of a boast.’ This is how Tony Judt, one of the great liberals of the last fifty years, began his essay on Louis Althusser, which is an interesting and amusing take down of the French Marxist thinker.  I, unlike Judt, was brought up a liberal.  And certainly in South Africa it seems to have no bragging rights.  My … Continue reading Where I Stand 26/05/2016

Where I Stand 25/05/2016

I have just read the judgment against the UCT students who were involved in burning some of the University’s art collection.  Of course this act brought to mind the often quoted warning from the poet Heinrich Hiene that: ‘Where they burn books, they will also burn people.’ If this is true, then it is true because the people burning the books refuse to engage with deconstructing, … Continue reading Where I Stand 25/05/2016

Where I Stand 24/05/2016

With all of the Frantz Fanon worship going around I thought that I would finally read The Wretched of the Earth cover-to-cover – rather than just dealing with the chapters one is dished out at universities.  Having just got through that incendiary horse manure that Sartre placed at the front of it, the experience is going well, although I do not agree with his Hegelian inspired dialectical … Continue reading Where I Stand 24/05/2016