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5.0 out of 5 stars First fiction by outstanding South African writer, 29 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Fools and Other Stories (Hardcover)
These short stories are the first fiction published by the outstanding South African writer, essayist and academic Njabulo Ndebele. I had read them already in the early 1980s but felt I needed to read them again and see if they had stayed fresh despite the changes in South Africa. Well, Ndebele passes the test with flying colours. Unlike much South African writing under apartheid that was too much protest literature or too superficial to be universal, 'Fools and Other Stories' withstands the test of time and remains a great read.
A quote: "'You see, too much obsession with removing repression in the political dimension, soon becomes in itself a form of oppression. Especially if everybody is expected to demonstrate his concern somehow. And then mostly all it calls for is that your thrust an angry fist in the air. Somewhere along the line, I feel, the varied richness of life is lost sight of and so is the fact that every aspect of life, if it can be creatively indulged in, is the weapon of life itself against the greatest tyranny.' 'Now I think I know why you want to be God', said Nosipho."
Or Ndebele's language: "Everything is in silhouette. Everything to the west of me. Houses, trees, people, cars, horse-drawn carts, hats. It is the time of forms. For the sun finally set about an hour ago. And it is the time of forms. No wonder that this time of day has eternally been the time of stories; for it is the time of abstractions. It is the time when the mind is at rest..."
Ndebele always fascinates and delights. One can only regret that this active and influential academic does not publish more fiction!
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