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The Love Song Of Andre P. Brink is the first biography of this major South African novelist who, during his lifetime, was published in over 30 languages and ranked with the likes of Gabriel García Márquez, Peter Carey and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
Leon de Kock’s eagerly awaited account of Brink’s life is richly informed by a previously unavailable literary treasure: the dissident Afrikaner’s hoard of journal-writing, a veritable chronicle that was 54 years in the making. In this massive new biographical source – running to a million words – Brink does not spare himself, or anyone else for that matter, as he narrates the ups and downs of his five marriages and his compulsive affairs with a great number of women. These are precisely the topics that the rebel in both politics and sex skated over in his memoir, A Fork in the Road.
De Kock’s biographical study of the author who came close to winning the Nobel Prize for Literature not only synthesises the journals but also subjects them to searching critical analysis. In addition, the biographer measures the journals against additional sources, both scholarly and otherwise, among them the testimony of Brink’s friends, family, wives and lovers.
The Love Song Of Andre P. Brink subjects Brink’s literary legacy to a bracing scholarly re-evaluation, making this major new biography a crucial addition to scholarship on Brink
In Losing The Plot, well-known scholar and writer Leon de Kock offers a lively and wide-ranging analysis of postapartheid South African writing which, he contends, has morphed into a far more flexible and multifaceted entity than its predecessor. If postapartheid literature's founding moment was the 'transition' to democracy, writing over the ensuing years has viewed the Mandelan project with increasing doubt. Instead, authors from all quarters are seen to be reporting, in different ways and from divergent points of view, on what is perceived to be a pathological public sphere in which the plot- the mapping and making of social betterment - appears to have been lost.
The compulsion to forensically detect the actual causes of such loss of direction has resulted in the prominence of creative nonfiction. A significant adjunct in the rise of this is the new media, which sets up a 'wounded' space within which a 'cult of commiseration' compulsively and repeatedly plays out the facts of the day on people's screens; this, De Kock argues, is reproduced in much postapartheid writing.
And, although fictional forms persist in genres such as crime fiction, with their tendency to overplot, more serious fiction underplots, yielding to the imprint of real conditions to determine the narrative construction.
Andre P Brink En Die Spel Van Liefde is die heel eerste biografie van ’n Suid-Afrikaanse skrywer wat gedurende sy leeftyd in dieselfde asem as Gabriel García Márquez, Peter Carey en Aleksandr Soltzjenitsen genoem is, en wie se romans in meer as 30 tale vertaal is.
In Leon de Kock se langverwagte biografie word Brink se persoonlike dagboeke en joernale as die belangrikste bronmateriaal hanteer. Brink het meer as 50 jaar lank sy ervarings en gedagtes pligsgetrou opgeteken: hierdie notaboeke, waartoe De Kock eksklusief toegang verkry het, word nou vir die eerste maal bekend gemaak.
Die spel van liefde is ’n omvangryke biografie wat die leser ’n openhartige, onverbloemde blik gee op Brink se gedagtes en gevoelens – oor homself én ander. Brink beskryf die hoogte- en laagtepunte van sy vyf huwelike asook sy verskeie verhoudings met ’n groot aantal vroue – ’n onderwerp wat hy in sy memoir, ’n Vurk in die pad, maar slegs vlugtig bespreek. Gedurende sy leeftyd het Brink hom nie net teen die politieke bestel verset nie, maar veral ook teen tradisionele seksuele sedes.
In hierdie biografie van ’n skrywer aan wie die Nobelprys vir letterkunde byna toegeken is, bekyk De Kock Brink se persoonlike, outobiografiese aantekeninge vanuit ’n kritiese, literêre oogpunt. Daarmee saam vergelyk hy die dagboeke met akademiese en ander, alledaagse bronne, waaronder getuienisse deur Brink se vriende, familie, eggenote en minnaresse. Die spel van liefde is ’n unieke, belangrike toevoeging tot die Suid-Afrikaanse lettere, maar veral ook tot navorsing oor Brink se lewe en skryfwerk.
Dream Word Tormented by a past of being bullied, a madman has learned the secrets of dreaming, and he is killing people through his dreams. He lives in a world that everybody visits in their sleep, but few understand like he does. The police department is faced with deaths that nobody can explain. Everybody thinks there must be some logical explanation, something reasonable behind the deaths. Everybody, that is, except Shelly Waterford, a young detective who listens to the witnesses and believes them, no matter how absurd their stories might sound. She seeks the help of the one man who might know something about dreams, a man with a dark past, a man who knows how to enter and control people's dreams. Andrew Shaw has recently been released from a ten year prison sentence. In prison, with a lot of time on his hands, he had taught himself the secrets of dreaming, and it's to him that Shelly turns to teach her about dreaming. She teaches him how to be human again, and how to love. He teaches her everything he knows about the Dream World, and shows her what she will need to track down the killer. But this killer is not beaten that easily. He has a lifetime of dream experience behind him, and his hatred of humanity has driven him over the edge. Enter the dark dream world, a world where few know and understand the rules. In here, you are either one of the strong dreamers, or you are in their power.
When it was first published as a special issue of the prestigious theory journal Poetics Today, the collection was named Best Special Issue of 2001 by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals - a body affiliated with the Modern Languages Association (MLA).
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