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Right! That's a wrap of our #ManBooker2014 coverage. Congratulations to Richard Flanagan bookslive.co.za/Yq9F

Mia Oosthuizen resenseer Nova: Eindspel deur Fanie Viljoen

Nova: EindspelUitspraak: wortel

Soos die vorige boeke is Eindspel gelaai met seldsame en skrikwekkende buiteruimtelike gebeure en karakters wat sorg vir baie aksie en spanning.

Hoewel die Nova-reeks gewilde leesstof is, sal dit ’n fout wees om dié boek en reeks te onderskat. Naas lekker inhoud bied Fanie Viljoen se werk emosionele diepte, taalkundige en tegniese vernuf en relevansie deur aan te sluit by diskoerse oor wetenskapfiksie, wetenskap van die buitenste ruim, asook ruimtewesens en verwante samesweringsteorieë.

Boekbesonderhede

Benny Lindelauf in Suid-Afrika saam met ’n groot aantal LAPA-skrywers

 
Benny Lindelauf (regs) is ’n Nederlandse outeur wat tans deur die land toer op uitnodiging van SASNEV, die Suid-Afrikaanse Sentrum vir Nederland en Vlaandere. Saam met hom op die foto is Eureka Barnard, die hoof van SASNEV.

Nege oop armsDie hemel van HeivisjEk was hierGerookIewers vlieg daar fairy dustUitZackie Mostert en die baie beroemde hond

 
Lindelauf tree Maandag (20 Oktober) en Dinsdag (die 21ste) in Kaapstad op saam met Nanette van Rooyen. Dinsdag sluit Eldridge Jason ook by hulle aan. Maandag se sessies sal grootliks gemik wees op inligtingoordrag, terwyl hulle Dinsdag ’n kort, kreatiewe werkswinkel sal aanbied vir skoliere.

Vrydag die 24ste Oktober gee Lindelauf weer ’n werkswinkel om skeppende skryfwerk en leeslus onder skoliere aan te moedig. Hy doen dit saam met Fanie Viljoen en Jaco Jacobs in Bloemfontein.

Maandag 27 Oktober sal Lindelauf optree saam met Lisa Day, Marisa Haasbroek, Alet Steenkamp, Nerine Ahlers en Ilse Salzwedel by die Waverley Biblioteek. Die sessie is oop vir die publiek en begin om 10:00.

Op Vrydag 31 Oktober bied Lindelauf weer ’n werkswinkel oor skeppende skryfwerk aan, dié keer in Port Elizabeth saam met Heila Theron. Dit vind plaas by Grey Kollege en is ook oop vir die publiek.

Belangstellendes kan vir Pieter Rademeyer van Grey Kollege skakel. Mense van alle ouderdomme is welkom.

Daniel Hugo het reeds twee van Benny Lindelaauf se boeke, Die hemel van Heivisj en Nege oop arms in Afrikaans vertaal.

* * * * * * * * *

Die outeur het ’n beperkte kapasiteit vir onderhoude, kontak gerus vir Izak de Vries om ’n onderhoud te reël.

Boekbesonderhede

Empty seats packed with meaning

ONE of the overriding images of the pool stages of 2014 Currie Cup — now reaching its climax with semifinals this weekend — is of empty stadiums. Often the rugby played is exciting and SuperSport does its bit with ever-enthusiastic commentary, but there are few takers. These are local teams playing at local stadiums, yet local fans cannot be bothered to get themselves there to watch.

It must be dispiriting for the players on the field witnessed only by the blank gaze of row upon row of empty seats. The most spectacular tries are rewarded only by a smattering of applause, all that can be mustered by the few fans present. The fantasy of legions of fanatically loyal local fans, ostensibly the bedrock of provincial rugby and a major justification for its existence, is exposed as just that. Nor are many watching the Currie Cup on TV — viewing figures are substantially down.

It is hugely expensive to stage these games. Stadiums must be maintained, a phalanx of staff must be paid for on game days including referees, medical teams, ticket collectors, ushers and security guards. Teams must be flown around the country and put up in hotels.

It raises the question: can rugby afford it? And, even if it can, would the millions spent not be better spent elsewhere? The fact that the Premiership Division of the Currie Cup has been extended to buy off small unions so that they would agree to the inclusion of the Southern Kings in Super Rugby (more Currie Cup and more Super Rugby) has not helped matters.

The Currie Cup has historically occupied a special place in the collective heart of the rugby community: during the isolation years, it was the competition that kept local white rugby alive. Provincial unions had to work hard to keep their fan base on board because it was turnstile traffic that kept them financially afloat.

But the professional era — now almost 20 years old — changed all that. The provincial unions now rely on their share of the SuperSport income to keep the game going. There is little incentive to spread the game locally because the money will keep on rolling in, no matter how ineffectual they are.

Crowds at the First Division games — those played in Welkom, Wellington, Potchefstroom, George, Kimberley and East London — are particularly sparse.

One of the arguments used to justify the continued funding of the smaller unions is that they unearth talent that would otherwise go unnoticed. But this happens so seldom — and at such a cost to the rugby fiscus — that it hardly seems worth the outlay. And what this argument ignores is that it is the rugby schools that unearth and nurture rugby talent. The unions just piggyback on it.

The top Currie Cup layer — the Premiership — plays a more viable role because it provides a platform for the blooding of younger players before promotion to Super Rugby.

Serious questions should be asked about the First Division’s viability as a professional league. Although the bottom line is that no matter how irrational and wasteful the current system is, it will not change because the 14 unions have entrenched their rights in a constitution only they can change.

But reform may yet be forced upon them from within their own ranks. The Super Rugby franchises are growing increasingly frustrated with the current division of spoils. It is the Springbok games that command by far the highest TV audiences. The Springboks’ main base are the Super Rugby franchises they are contracted to and who pay the bulk of their salaries. And this is not insubstantial: top Boks command R4m at some franchises.

The current distribution of the joint South African Rugby Union pot of about R700m does not give the Super Rugby franchises anywhere near enough to meet their financial obligations. Yet their Boks are only available to the franchises for the first half of the year.

This year, for the first time, 20 key Springboks are not available for the Currie Cup play-offs because they are being rested and conditioned for the upcoming November Tests. But if they are injured during the Tests, it is their franchises who will lose out when Super Rugby starts.

Surely those empty seats should constitute some sort of a wake-up call?

*This column first appeared in Business Day

Program vir die 2014 Prins Albert Leesfees met Francois Smith, Eldridge Jason en Daniel Hugo en nog (7 – 9 November)

 
Die Prins Albert Leesfees, tans in sy derde jaar, vind vanjaar plaas van 7 tot 9 November. Die 2014 Leesfees-program sluit beide Engelse en Afrikaanse skrywers in, asook spesiale lees-en-skryfprogramme vir skoliere. Die fees word die Vrydagaand amptelik geopen by die Jans Rautenbach Schouwburg waar die meeste geleenthede sal plaasvind.

Marlene Malan skryf in Die Hoorn dat die 2014 Prins Albert Leesfees die land se “topskrywers en talle veelbesproke boeke en onderwerpe gelok” het:

Dit sluit in Francois Smith, wie se Kamphoer onlangs gepubliseer is; asook Dennis Cruywagen met Brothers in War and Peace oor die bekende tweeling Constand en Abraham Viljoen; Thomas Mollett met Bloody Lies oor die onopgeloste en opspraakwekkende moord op Inge Lotz; Eldridge Jason met Gerook, wat handel oor bendes sowel as drank- en dwelmverslawing; Marthie Maré met Legkaart van jou gesig/ Your Face Puzzle oor die invloed van jou gelaatstrekke op jou persoonlikheid; Carol Campbell met Esther’s House, ’n roman oor die agterplaasbewoner Esther Gelderblom van Oudtshoorn; die volkekundige en kultuurkenner Mathilda Burden met haar boek Ou-Kaapse Meubels; Daniel Hugo met sy vertaling van die digbundel Die Roebaijat van Omar Khajjam; asook besprekings van onder meer die nuwe roman van Marguerite Poland, The Keeper, wat deur Hugo as Die Bewaker vertaal is.

 
Hier volg die voorlopige program vir die 2014 Prins Albert Leesfees:

ZitaGerookBrothers in War and PeaceSuurlemoen!KamphoerDie roebaijat van Omar KhajjamDie bewakerThe Keeper
'n Huis vir Ester Esther's HouseHeartfruitBlack ButterfliesBloody Lies
This Must be the PlaceOu-Kaapse Meubels – Studies in styleFinding My Own Way...to Happy Legkaart van jou gesigYour Face Puzzle

Vrydag, 7 November

  • Boeke gee jou vlerke
    Anzil Kulsen, Mia Oosthuizen en Eldridge Jason gesels met leerders van Hoërskool Zwartberg.
    The Showroom Theatre
    08:00 – 09:00 en 09:30 – 10:30
    Mia Oosthuizen en Anzil Kulsen gesels met Prins Albert Primêr-leerders in die St John’s Kerksaal
    11:00 – 12:00

Saterdag, 8 November

  • Boekgesprek
    Marthie Maré in gesprek met Marlene Malan
    Jans Rautenbach Schouwburg
    09:00 – 10:00
  • Gerook
    Met Eldridge Jason
    The Showroom Theatre
    10:00
  • Kamphoer
    Francois Smith bespreek sy roman.
    Jans Rautenbach Schouwburg
    12:00 – 13:00
  • Gesprek oor vertaling
    Met Daniel Hugo, Kirby van der Merwe en Frederik de Jager
    Jans Rautenbach Schouwburg
    15:30 – 16:30
  • Ou Kaapse Meubels
    Bekendstelling van Matilda Burden se boek, met Mary Anne Botha
    Jans Rautenbach Schouwburg
    17:00 – 18:00
  • Black Butterflies
    Paula van der Oest se Nederlandse film gebaseer op Black Butterflies, ’n vertaling van Ingrid Jonker se poësie
    The Showroom Theatre
    20:00

Sondag, 9 November

  • Bloody Lies
    Thomas Mollett in gesprek met Marlene Malan en Frederik de Jager
    Jans Rautenbach Schouwburg
    10:45 – 11:45
* * * * * * * *

Boekbesonderhede

Jaco Jacobs: Daar verskyn deesdae te min resensies van Afrikaanse boeke

Oor 'n motorfiets, 'n zombiefliek en lang getalle wat deur elf gedeel kan wordNaomi Bruwer het met Jaco Jacobs gesels oor Oor ‘n motorfiets, ‘n zombiefliek en lang getalle wat deur elf gedeel kan word se benoeming vir die intree kykNET-Rapport Boekprys in die kategorie: Film.

Jacobs sê die benoeming is ‘n groot voorreg, veral “omdat die fokus van die pryse nie primêr of uitsluitlik op jeugliteratuur is nie”. Hy vertel meer oor die inspirasie vir hierdie boek (sy liefde vir hoenders!), die frustrasies en vreugdes van skryf, sy gunsteling leesboeke en, indien hierdie boek wel sou verfilm word, hoedanig hy betrokke sou wou wees.

Jacobs deel ook raad vir ongepubliseerde skrywers en noem hy het “JM Coetzee se Disgrace en Marlene van Niekerk se Triomf seker albei reeds sewe of agt keer gelees”. Hy deel ook sy kommer oor die gebrek aan genoeg resensies van Afrikaanse boeke:

Kry Afrikaanse skryfwerk die nodige erkenning?

Weet jy, ek dink nogal so. Onder meer danksy pryse soos hierdie dink ek Afrikaanse skrywers en boeke kry in die algemeen waarskynlik (plaaslik) meer erkenning en blootstelling as Suid-Afrikaanse skrywers wat in ons ander landstale, selfs Engels, skryf. Ek is egter wel bekommerd omdat daar deesdae te min resensies van Afrikaanse boeke verskyn. Kinder- en jeugboeke word meestal bloot geïgnoreer wat resensies betref, of daar word slegs in boekaankondigings daarna verwys.

Boekbesonderhede

Ebooks Won't Survive the Apocalypse: The Launch of Edyth Bulbring's Dystopian YA Novel The Mark

Launch of The Mark

 
The MarkEdyth Bulbring’s dystopian Young Adult novel The Mark was launched recently at Love Books in Melville.

Love Books owner Kate Rogan welcomed Bulbring, saying that the event was the first YA launch Love Books had ever hosted. “There are very few people who are filling the gap in the market for Young Adult fiction,” Rogan said, “but Tafelberg is one of the few that does publish into that market, and it’s great to see local stuff in that market.”

Bulbring chatted to Sunday Times books editor Ben Williams about cynicism in modern Young Adult fiction, whether ebooks will survive the apocalypse, and the sense of “moral outrage” that appeals to readers of dystopian fiction.

Williams opened the conversation by asking Bulbring to describe the world of Mangeria, the futuristic city where her seventh novel is set.

“I suppose it’s like all dystopian books,” Bulbring said. “It’s harsh, there’s no water, the sun is hot. I looked at a few things. One was food. I get really uptight about those people, like Monsanto, that make plants and they grow, but you can never grow them again from the seeds, to force people to keep on buying the seeds. So food was one of the aspects I concentrated on. Weather was another thing. I thought the sun would be the thing that would be the dominant kind of weather that you would experience if you were living in a post-apocalyptic environment. So it’s very hot, there’s no food – unless you eat stuff coming out of the laboratory – nothing survived.”

The Mark references a lot of other novels, including The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and The Hobbit. Bulbring says because the world of The Mark was so empty, she had to rely on the imaginary universes of other books to make sense of it.

“When I was writing the book it was very difficult for me to make comparisons, because there were so few comparisons that the heroine, Ettie, could ever make. Because it’s so bleak, there’s nothing. There’s sun, there’s soil, there’s nothing. She doesn’t know animals; she doesn’t know dogs, so she would never say ‘I feel as hungry as a dog’, or ‘as lazy as a dog’, or ‘as furry as a cat’. Or ‘this is as sweet as mango’, or ‘this is as soft as silk’. She doesn’t know those references. The only references she has are from books. And she learns to read from someone who teaches her, and her only references are to children’s stories and books.”

Williams observed: “The reason that adults read the Sunday Times is the same reason that young adults read post-apocalyptic fiction, and that is because they crave a sense of moral outrage. There’s a lot of injustice in The Mark.”

“The society if very stratified,” Bulbring agreed. “For example, once you turn 15 your assigned a role, a job. And with some of those jobs comes a lifespan of just seven years. I think that’s similar to a lot of countries; you may not be assigned a job, but you really don’t have a lot of choice.”

Williams turned the conversation to Bulbring’s theories about the future: “Books survive the apocalypse. The actual things made of trees, they make it into the next world. But something that doesn’t is ebooks. From the book: ‘People who know say in the olden days people used to read books on machines, but everything went meltdown. The virus ate the books on the machines.’

“So you believe books might outlast ebooks … I think you might be right about that,” Williams said.

In response to a question from the audience about the differences between modern YA heroes and classic heroes, Bulbring said she thinks there is much more cynicism nowadays, observing that the youth tend to believe that “organised rebellion just results in the same old power structures.” In The Mark, Ettie chooses not to join the rebels, despite almost being the catalyst for the rebellion: “She believes that the answer is to have integrity in your own life, and make changes to the people you touch. She’s just trying to make a difference where she can.”

* * * * * * * *

Jennifer Malec (@projectjennifer) tweeted from the launch using #livebooks:


 

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