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Humanity’s hollow delusions punctured

Clinging to an economic order that depends on laying waste to our planet has us facing a catastrophe

By Rod Amner

“When we allow self-evident truths to percolate past our defences and into our consciousness, they are treated like so many hand grenades rolling across the dance floor of an improbably macabre party.… Read more

​Everyone dies: No gauche debutante

​Not thinking about death – our own and that of the people we love – is probably a mechanism of the mind that prevents us from being paralysed by its inevitability. Although, paradoxically, death can provide the impetus to enjoy life while we have it, and to find the kind of perspective that allows us to gracefully deal with the daily frustrations and irritations that accompany a beating heart.… Read more

A Moveable Feast: Hemingway gives us the gift of now

Never travel without a book. Fair enough. So it was forgetting to pack a novel that led me to buying Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast at the airport bookshop before boarding a flight upcountry.

With his love of hunting, game fishing, bull fighting, being wounded in World War I and on the front lines of both the Spanish civil war and World War II as a journalist, as well as having four wives, Hemingway has become synonymous with masculinity, often deemed to be toxic, to the point of being a parody.… Read more

A Father is Born: More selfie than self-portrait

Given the prevalence of social media, this obsession with propagating a curated image of oneself appears to have seeped into other aspects of our lives, and our creative endeavours.

In literature the memoir, once the preserve of writers or individuals of considerable achievement, and usually only published toward the end of one’s life, have become more prevalent.… Read more

Risking it all: Only for the fans

Opinions on billionaires – their very existence, that is – tend to be polarised. People either worship them or despise them.

Those who worship them, read their books (ghost written, of course) on how to be successful, follow their tweets and write Facebook fawning over how prophetic their favourite billionaire is, tend to be the same people who think capitalism, especially unfettered capitalism, is a good thing.… Read more

Booth: A family Shakespeare couldn’t make up

England abolished slavery in 1833. It took the United States of America another 32 years, and a civil war leaving more than 750,000 bodies in its wake.

John Wilkes Booth was 26 when he shot and fatally wounded Abraham Lincoln in a the theatre, just five days after Confederate General Robert E.… Read more

Billy Summers: Stephen King steps away from horror

Horror is a strange genre, to me at least. I cannot fathom what is enjoyable about making oneself feel scared.

A female friend has posited that women enjoy horror because it’s not as real to them; in a patriarchal society, they’re not the ones expected to go out into the dark and find out what’s making that scratching sound on the roof.… Read more

Of This Our Country: Love thy neighbour

If you play a word association game with a South African, you can put good money down that four times out of five, the response to ‘Nigerian’ will be either ‘drug dealer’, ‘makwerekwere’, ‘criminal’, or some version of the above. Essentially, negative.… Read more