“I was born in the Republic of South Africa. I understand two of the languages that are spoken in the Republic of South Africa. One can buy pecan nut pie at the Spar in the Republic of South Africa. You can also buy Afrikaans newspapers there. You do need a car, though, if you want to go from Middelburg to Bronkhorstspruit, or vice versa. You also need a car for other reasons. If a man is 32 years old and he doesn’t have a car, it wouldn’t make a difference that he has lived in Northeast Asia for seven years, nor would it matter that he can speak broken Chinese, or even that he has written a two-in-one book that can prop up a bracket-less anti-glare filter at just the right height against a computer monitor. All that will matter is that he does not have a car – which means he’s not much better than a tramp.”
* * * * * * * * * * *
If someone has to write a review of this book, he or she might say it’s his most accessible book to date, even commercially marketable, although still not intended for the mass market, and still not intended for children.
Cuttings from the writer’s testament, April 1994 The typewriter Jacob creates an illusion The truth is too sweet (for a hungry man) Saturday, 31 October 1998 Foreign man orders a cheeseburger in Taiwan Calm down for heaven’s sake The apartment (and other things) The woman Bernard and the unbelievers, or, the dream of the post office, the dog that jumps on the scooter, and the room in the house in the suburbs late at night The mummy and the night market What people do New rhythms and old insights Almost the end An alter ego short story fragment Sunday, 19 Augustus 2001 Brahms and the piece of paper Conversation with a former lover (part one) The one who got away/The eternal hope Piece # 245: On potato salad An awesome weekend Reality, and a few other facts MOVING THINGS AND PEOPLE: Round-a-bout the middle of March – Either, or … end of November/start of December – Definitely late January Scorching kebabs Conversation with a former lover (part two) Thirteen minutes on a Saturday night Three incidents Dinner, not looted Saturday, 27 December 2003 Let’s write something … Bluelake says goodbye for now: A press release THE COMMERCIAL DICTATORSHIP: A revolution of a different kind – The 99 Days of the Commercial Dictator – COM-DIC Document 001 – A computer piece: Monday, 12 April 2004 – Not an exile essay even if it looks like one – Note to the Commercial Dictator – The end of a (short) era Fasten the tent flaps Options (Initially) Powerless Friday Houseplants are common (not that I’m a classist) A new approach? THE SILENCE OF WIDE OPEN SPACES: Sunday, 8 August 2004 – Friday, 13 August 2004 – Sunday, 15 August 2004 – Friday, 20 August 2004 – Saturday, 4 September 2004 Who am I really? The 41st Thursday An existential tale Thoughts on a train Document 1_181104_2359 Tiles Departure point Thought on Friday, 14 January 2005 at 14:39 Liao-fan’s one lesson RAIN IN BRONKHORSTSPRUIT: Thursday, 10 February 2005 – Thursday, 17 February 2005 – Monday, 21 February 2005 Dream of salt, two women and an egg Not my final entry Twelve minutes on my bicycle