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The state of apartness (Khaya Dlanga’s To Quote Myself, part II)

There is something about well-written childhood stories that can heal. They crackle with the marvel of being alive. Vladimir Nabokov once wrote about the magical act of writing: “The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamouring to become visible.” Children, and…

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Can a white man tell Khaya Dlanga how to write a memoir?

Writing a standard book review risks creating a vapid commercial about the new publication. This is different to the journey that serious reading is, and journaling about that reading. Reading frequently, and returning to books that move you, creates a “spiritual travelogue”, and begins to resemble a series of religious stations, reference points to look…

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This is not all that Gyna sapiens (‘thinking woman’) is capable of

How the human species – Gyna and Homo sapiens (thinking woman and man), supposedly – have come down in the world. It does not take a genius to grasp this, although I daresay most geniuses would not waste their time with evidence supporting my statement, above; they probably have better things to do. What I’m…

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Foucault and the courage of truth

The last course that Michel Foucault presented at the Collége de France in 1984, when he was already quite weak (he died in June of that year, and taught until March), was on The Courage of Truth – later published with that title (Palgrave Macmillan 2011; Kindle edition). Although I cannot do justice to it…

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The art of hypocrisy: Appeal to re-constitute Shackville

By Shobane A wave of condemnations and outrage hit the media after University of Cape Town artworks were burnt on campus. Even those academics, who from the rooftops declared their support for the fees must fall movement were very quick to distance themselves from what they saw as a particularly “senseless” act. This violence, it…

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Protests herald the emergence of new democratic subjectivities

We are in Valletta, Malta, at a conference at present, and I have just done a presentation on the reasons for the widespread nihilism in the world today. What struck me was the fact that a number of the other delegates who came to me afterwards to talk to me about my presentation expressed their…

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The necessity of dissent

I watched a movie a while back about a communist Russia where comrades were required to denounce one another in order to get ahead. If everyone was denouncing someone, you had to get on the bandwagon, lest you were next. Dissent was not allowed, at least not in the communism this movie chose to portray….

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Student protests as ‘acting out’

The recent, and still continuing university student protests across the country call for a more fundamental theoretical approach. Although one could always address them at the level of “common sense” or everyday discourse (which is what I have done here before), it is perhaps time to elaborate on the fruits yielded by a psychoanalytical perspective…

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Mitchells Plain: Making the road as we walk

“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking.” Antonio Machado My dad, though still sceptical of social media, has increasingly warmed up to Facebook and recently left a comment on my timeline referencing Machado’s poem (above). He said: “It seems you and your…

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Climate change activism DOES work, even against a colossus

Anyone who feels as strongly about some issues in the globalised world as I do, would feel buoyed by reading the article by Alex Altman, titled “The Thin Green Line”, in a recent edition of TIME magazine (February 15, 2016, p. 38-41). It is a tale of hard-won success on the part of tough environmental…

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