Reading Culture in South Africa
Between 2009 and 2012, the Gordon Institute for the Performing and Creative Arts in Cape Town held the Great Texts/Big Questions public lecture series which became a celebrated part of Cape Town’s cultural landscape, demonstrating current intellectual and creative thinking in South Africa. These lectures gave audiences a chance to engage with transformative texts and questions, to hear thought leaders speak on the ideas, the books, the art, and the films that matter to them and to us. Relocations: Reading Culture in South Africa brings together a selection of these lectures by world-renowned artists, writers and thinkers in the form of essays, for the benefit of a wider readership, with a contemporary design which plays with words. The authors range from novelists André Brink and Imraan Coovadia (one of the collection’s editors), to poets Gabeba Baderoon and Rustum Kozain, to artist William Kentridge and social activist Zackie Achmat. The topics are as wide as Don Quixote, Marx and Lincoln, trout fishing, Hamlet, the 19th-century Russian writer Gogol and Nabokov’s novel Lolita. Today’s readers are increasingly interested in finding new ways to understand and live with great texts and the world of ideas. Books like this demonstrate that thinking about these texts does not have to be an inaccessibly academic pursuit.
• The Marvels of the Ingenious Knight Don Quixote de la Mancha • Rereading Blake’s lyric ‘Never seek to tell thy love’• How Hamlet Became Modern • These Things Do Happen • The Process of Shembe Music • A Page• Haunted by Waters • Syntactic Structures: Noam Chomsky and the Colourless Green Revolution in Language Studies • The Space Between: Ways of Looking at the Art of Xu Bing • An Inconvenient Truth: Abraham Lincoln and Karl Marx • W.E.B. du Bois’s Black Reconstruction • Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj • Nothing Extraordinary: E.M. Forster and the English Limit • How to Read Lolita • The Dead in the World: James Joyce’s Travelling Text
A general readership interested in literature, ideas and visual culture.