Thursday, September 21, 2006

I found an interesting article on Frank Kermode and the study of literature. The closing paragraph reads:
"I don't at all think that the time we spent on Theory was wasted. One of the great benefits of seriously reading English is you're forced to read a lot of other things. You may not have a deep acquaintance with Hegel but you need to know something about Hegel. Or Hobbes, or Aristotle, or Roland Barthes. We're all smatterers in a way, I suppose. But a certain amount of civilisation depends on intelligent smattering."
Excellent! So, no more guilt about having my nose in a book all the time - I am clearly an archetypal smatterer!

And now for some world affairs; yesterday Ashraf Ghani, former Finance Minister, was nominated by the government of Afghanistan for the position of Secretary General of the United Nations. Anyone interested in knowing more about him or seeing the line-up of candidates should take a look at

Are you interested in knowing what the pope actually said last week? Click here for the text of his address.

And now for some silliness:
THE THINKER - Anthony Delius, South Africa, born 1916

Round and round our lavatory
walks a depressed cricket
like a lonely manager
of a cement factory,

the huge cistern and bowl
and mysterious pipes above him,
and he worries, ticking with calculation,
troubled about production
and reproduction.

Every now and then, at unpredictable intervals,
comes darkness,
and seven-league boots, and enormous draperies
drop down from heaven,
and afterwards
a great roaring, an apocalypse of waters.

And the serpent holding the world
together unclenches its tail
and hisses-and boots and draperies
retreat reluctantly, thundering.

And the cricket thinks:
Well, there must be a rational explanation,
I suppose-but all the same,
it seems bloody queer.
from EXPLORINGS: a collection of poems for the young people of Southern Africa compiled by Robin Malan



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