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Bert Olivier

The world has not learnt anything from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s ‘Gothic’ (proto-)science fiction novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, which was published when the author was only 20 years old. It was the fruit of a contest among herself and two other literary figures — her future husband, the poet Percy Shelley, and another poet, Lord…

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Avishkar Govender

These Gaza days

Dear Bibi You slaughter my people at your gate like dogs You deny their civility and call them terrorists You claim they are combatants on your blogs You hold up your soldiers as heroes for killing innocents You parade around like you’re not wholly corrupt You shout the odds on Iran like a expert pundit…

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Bert Olivier

Kingsolver’s narrative indictment of colonisation: The Poisonwood Bible

I have written about Barbara Kingsolver’s (and other figures’, such as Salman Rushdie’s) novelistic art here before and even referred to The Poisonwood Bible cursorily — but recently the effect of colonisation on the inhabitants of certain continents (in this case Africa) has occupied my attention afresh. Hence this post, specifically on Kingsolver’s masterpiece, The…

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Bert Olivier

Marx at 200: As relevant as ever

Today (5 May 2018) is the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth in the German city of Trier, and all over the world people are celebrating his contribution to our self-understanding through the political, economic and social theories he (sometimes with his friend and colleague, Friedrich Engels) penned during his lifetime. The anniversary celebrations are…

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Avishkar Govender

We want a better quality

Finally it has happened that everyone is trying to hold public representatives to a high standard. Finally government, political parties, civil society and armchair critics are all on the same page. Without specifically mentioning anyone, let us be quite certain of the major features which have been presented: It’s about politicians not doing their jobs…

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Bert Olivier

The allure of Louisa Punt-Fouché’s poetry

Poetry is alluring. Who is there so insensitive among us that evocative poetic phrases would not move us? Yes, I know – there are indeed such people, but I believe that even they, when given the opportunity to learn from a gifted teacher, would develop a modicum of receptivity to poetry. Blake’s “He who binds…

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Avishkar Govender

KwaZulu-Natal Lamb Curry

With all this talk of Durban’s gravy train and details of the Durban Salute (a type of bribery), one wonders whether sufficient attention is being paid to the curry brigade that deems it normal for money to flow up and for problems to flow down. Without a doubt, Lamb curry is the most important culinary…

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Featured Multimedia

Supra Mahumapelo resigns as North West premier

Supra Mahumapelo has announced that he will be taking “early retirement” and has asked the ANC to look into allegations of corruption in his province.

Remembering Dr Philip Tabane, the creator and conjurer of malombo music

We pay tribute to Dr Philip Nchipi Tabane, the inimitable guitarist, philosopher and conduit of malombo spirits