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Nabokov

Nabokov in MontreuxSwitzerland – image: Wikipedia

Nabokov was a Russian Novelist, but also a chess composer. I was reading about ‘reading’  and ‘readers’ when I came across him – see the section about Jose’s blog where everything started this morning. I found his background very interesting -he was a chess composer, but not a chess player himself. I didn’t know about chess composers and found it quite odd that he actually never played. If he’s a composer of chess, then he must have been a good player as well. It’s interesting to see a writer turning game play into narratives. Even in his book Lolita, he uses chess as part of his narrative.

thedefence

This was his 3rd novel he wrote, turned into a movie. From google-books the review:  The Defense, is a chilling story of obsession and madness. As a young boy, Luzhin was unattractive,  distracted, withdrawn, sullen–an enigma to his parents and an object of ridicule to his classmates. He takes up chess as a refuge from the anxiety of his everyday life.  His talent is prodigious and he rises to the rank of grandmaster–but at a cost:  in Luzhin’ s obsessive mind, the game of chess gradually supplants the world of reality.   His own world falls apart during a crucial championship match, when the intricate defense he has devised withers  under his opponent’s unexpected and unpredictabke lines of assault.[note to self: must try and read some of his books one day]

This is a quote from Wikipedia, and it’s worth reading more on Wikipedia about him: Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov; 22 April  1899 – 2 July 1977- was a Russian-born novelist. Nabokov’s first nine novels were in Russian. He then rose to international prominence as a writer of English prose. He also made serious contributions as a lepidopterist and chess composer. Nabokov’s Lolita (1955) is his most famous novel, and often considered his finest work in English. It exhibits the love of intricate word play and synesthetic detail that characterised all his works. The novel was ranked fourth in the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels; Pale Fire (1962) was ranked at 53rd on the same list, and his memoir, Speak, Memory, was listed eighth on the Modern Library nonfiction list. He was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction seven times, but never won it.

After the 1917 February Revolution, Nabokov’s father became a secretary of the Russian Provisional Government, and the family was forced to flee the city – after the Bolshevik Revolution – for Crimea, not expecting to be away for very long. They lived at a friend’s estate and in September 1918 moved to Livadiya; Nabokov’s father was a minister of justice of the Crimean provisional government. After the withdrawal of the German Army (November 1918) and the defeat of the White Army in early 1919, the Nabokovs sought exile in western Europe. On 2 April 1919, the family left Sevastopol on the last ship, then settled briefly in England. Vladimir enrolled in Trinity College, Cambridge, studying zoology at first, and then Slavic and Romance languages. He later drew on his Cambridge experiences to write the novel Glory. In 1920, his family moved to Berlin, where his father set up the émigré newspaper Rul’ (Rudder). Nabokov would follow to Berlin after his studies at Cambridge two years later.In March 1922, Nabokov’s father was assassinated in Berlin by Russian monarchist Piotr Shabelsky-Bork as he was trying to shield the real target, Pavel Milyukov, a leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party-in-exile. This mistaken, violent death would echo again and again in Nabokov’s fiction, where characters would meet their deaths under accidental terms. (In Pale Fire, for example, one interpretation of the novel has an assassin mistakenly kill the poet John Shade, when his actual target is a fugitive European monarch.) Shortly after his father’s death, Nabokov’s mother and sister moved to Prague.

I was reading Jose-English102’s blog about Nabokov about reading and I quote from his blog what Nabokov says: ‘According to Nabokov, a good reader should ‘ notice and fondle details.’ He believes that a good reader should use their imagination to visualize the story and try to understand it from the writers point of view, instead of making assumptions. He says that a good reader must re-read to be able to fully understand what the author is trying to say and to paint a better picture in their mind of the story. Nabokov also mentioned that a good reader should have a good imagination, memory, a dictionary, and some artistic sense.’

From ‘Brainpickings’ I found this interview: In the fall of 1969, British broadcaster and journalist James Mossman submitted 58 questions on literature and life for celebrated author Vladimir Nabokov — butterfly-lover, master of melancholy, frequenter of ideal bookshelves — for an episode of BBC-2′s Review. Nabokov ended up answering 40 of them in what is best described as part interview, part performance art, eventually published in Strong Opinions (UK; public library) — a 1973 collection of Nabokov’s finest interviews, articles and editorials. Some of the conversation is preserved in this rare original audio, with highlights transcribed below:

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As a booklover – and in particular a lover of children’s books – those of you who have been following my blogentries, you will also remember my other book-entries – I couldn’t refuse this book from my shelf, after I have been asked at my school to teach Y1’s after half term. Phew! That will then put me in a category of…. teaching across five keystages! Well, I’ve actually done KS1 before [Y2], so I actually qualified for whatever category- Jack of all trades [keystages] but master of? …  two years ago. By just the thought of teaching the tiny tots in more than a week from now, put me in a mood of reading again some of my good-reads. This book, ‘Oi! Get off our Train’ by John Burningham is one of my big favourites. I  looo—oooove this book and its illustrations done by the author too. The boy in the story plays with his train – again. His mum sends him to bed with his payama case [a dog – also the dog in these pics] and then he dreams about the two of them on a train and all sorts of animals joining them with all sorts of excuses to get on their train,while having some great fun altogether as well. [See some the images which I took from the book for you to enjoy] Each time an animal gets on the train, they shout at the animal to get off and when the animal explains to them the why’s of getting on their train, their faces drop as they pity the animal and then they allow the animal on their train. On the last pic you can see the last animal explaining why it was getting on their train. The elephant was the first animal to get on. I guess you can work out the order of the other animals then. Don’t miss this book if you’re looking for a great book! The theme of the book ties in with cruelty to animals. Update: Nov- So, then the new teacher [senior position] has decided not to turn up and I’ve been asked to go back to my Y5-class, which was wonderful of course -sad- I could have spent my time during half term focusing on my Y5’s!

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Hello Wipneus!
This post is for you! ..and everybody else reading here! I told you a few weeks ago about these little piglets and you’ve asked me to blog them…well, here they are! picture was taken today! And… we all love little piglets, they are just sooooo cute. We had two pigs on the farm and their names were Janneman and Pieta. But, as a child I didn’t like them really, they were always in your face with their dirty stinky snouts, coz they were always hungry! hehehe…typical pigs…always ready to munch some more! I was about 17 when we as a group of friends…we were all girls…went to a farm to sleep under  the open sky! When you’re that age, you really do silly adventurous things like that…it was fun, the farmer and his sons in the house and us girls in the open near a river…far from the farm house…and then we got the news…piglets were born…well past midnight we all got up…sixteen  piglets!! The farmer told us that this was really unusual for pigs to have so many piglets…but they were soooo…oh so cute! all of them white …Landrace pigs…they are white with a longish snout…Sometimes we don’t like pigs…but they are so part of our life…like any other animal! Just think of the story of the three little pigs and the wolf… and what would we do without the character of Piglet in Winnie and the Pooh! I’ve also found you some audio files about Piglet! Enjoy!! Do enjoy what’s on this post…I think it’s quite self explainable. Do enjoy the poem too!

 

Piglet’s Song

Let’s find a Way today,
that can take us to tomorrow.
We’ll follow that Way,
A Way like flowing water.
Let’s leave behind,
the things that do not matter.
And we’ll turn our lives,
to a more important chapter.

Let’s take the time and try to find,
what real life has to offer.
And maybe then we’ll find again,
what we had long forgotten.
Like a friend, true ’til the end,
it will help us onward.

The sun is high, the road is wide,
and it starts where we are standing.
No one knows how far it goes,
for the road is never-ending.

It goes away,
beyond what we have thought of.
It flows away,
Away like flowing water.

~ Benjamin Hoff ~

(The Te of Piglet)
Source:http://www.panhala.net/Archive/Piglets_Song.html
Please click HERE to read about the author…Benjamin Hoff.

Please click HERE for more pig-poetry and pig-stories!

 The following text is from: “The Tao of Pooh” …from this site…http://www.just-pooh.com/tao.html

“A fish can’t whistle and neither can I.” There’s nothing wrong with not being able to whistle, especially if you’re a fish. But there can be lots of things wrong with blindly trying to do what you aren’t designed for. Unfortunately, some people aren’t so wise, and end up causing big trouble for themselves and others. The wise know their limitations; the foolish do not. To demonstrate what we mean, we can think of no one better than Tigger, who doesn’t know his limitations (‘Tiggers’ can do everything’), which brings him in lots of trouble. Piglet instead knows his limitations and that’s what makes him sometimes more brave than you would expect from such a small animal. So, the first thing we need to do is recognize and trust our own Inner Nature, and not lose sight of it. Inside the Bouncy Tigger is the Rescuer who knows the Way, and in each of us is something Special, and that we need to keep:

“Tigger is all right really,” said Piglet lazily.
“Of course he is,” said Christopher Robin.
“Everybody is really,” said Pooh. “That’s what I think,” said Pooh.
“But I don’t suppose I’m right,” he said.
“Of course you are,” said Christopher Robin.


Image: just-pooh.com

Some quotes of Piglet

 Piggy-books…these first two books are in my small library collection! And they are both hilariously funny! Maybe you’ve seen the movie…”Babe”…but it wasn’t as funny as the book! I’ve read the Afrikaans Babe-book which is “Skaap-vark” and that was so funny! of course I read it with the children I’d taught…but as I’ve said before, children’s books are the best books…and this is again prove of that….think I’m silly reading children’s books…well, that’s me! hehehe… if you teach them, you love them…both…child and book…

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I think dogs are wonderful animals and really your closest friend. We’ve had several breeds of dogs as pets in South Africa and I can’t make up my mind about the best breed, but I think, if I really have to choose a favourite, which is of course very difficult as I loved them all so much, then it should be Jackie – our last doggie. She was a cross between a fox terrier and a Jack Russel. She had some more Jack Russel and ways of doing things/manners. We used to have a few fox terriers on the farm, so that’s why I know she had some little more JR-manners. Do take  a look at her on this pic! She was so cute and so clever! She loved raisins and when I discovered that very early after we’d rescued her from a plot, I taught her to stay, sit and paw in one night! It took me about 30 min…and that’s really no joke – of course with the help of the raisins! – but please, don’t feed your dog raisins as she died due to a heart attack and the vet said it’s due to the raisins she got caused heart problems! 

This little basket she’s in, was her favourite to chew for those baby teeth and you can see how much  she loved to be in it! Jackie reminded me of the Afrikaans children’s story I’ve read to children in school, the book’s title is “Koningskind” and it was translated into English with the title  “Prince”…if you can get hold of this book about an English Bull dog written by Anita du Plessis, you should do so, as it is written from the dog’s point of view and you will laugh yourself into stitches when reading it!

If I ever have to get another dog, it will surely  be a Jack Russel. When we got her as a pup, many people warned us, because of their behaviour. Maybe because she was a cross-bread, she was more “well-behaved”…but I always say — and I think I’m right! – that pets are like your children. If you discipline them, they are lovely otherwise you will have to suffer the consequences. I can truly say that none of our pets had ever caused us any trouble of any kind. Give your pet the love they need and they will be those “dream” pets!


Jackie as a pup on the bed – her favourite spot to take a nap!

greyfriars
Image: historic-scotland.gov.uk
Please click
HERE to read my post about Grey Friars Bobby and how he looked after his ‘master’, even after his death! There was also a movie about Bobby! Another book I couldn’t resist but do read my post about this book it’s worth reading about the history so many people don’t know about!

Oor die boek: ‘Koningskind’ deur Anita du Plessis.
In hiedie verhaal wil Keiser, die naam van die hond, baie graag “goed bedoel” met als en hy probeer “help” waar hy kan, alhoewel hierdie “help” nie altyd positiewe gevolge het nie. Koos, die kat, het hom ‘n paar keer gekrap en Keiser ervaar dit as “steek met daardie drade” (kat naels) wat dit skreeusnaaks laat klink. Een hoofstuk wat ek baie amusant gevind het, was die hoofstuk oor “Kalkoene, katte en Kerk”. Keiser het altyd vir die kalkoene gekyk en met die tyd het hulle groter geword, maar eendag het een uitgekom en hy het probeer “help” deur die kalkoen te vang, maar hy het ook geglo dis al sy “gekykery” wat hulle laat “groot” word het. Dan die Kerk-episode wat ook verskriklik snaaks was waar hy die familie Kerk toe gevolg het en toe hy die dominee hoor preek, het hy gedink die dominee raas met die gemeente. Toe die gemeente sing, het hy gedink hulle huil! Hy wou die dominee stil maak, maar die dominee wou nie stil word nie.

red indian in the cupboard

The  Indian in the cupboard. – Afrikaans title: Die Rooihuid in die kassie

Synopsis
Three bestselling stories about Omri, and his friend Patrick, who turns his plastic Red Indian, Little Bull, into a real miniature person. The Indian in the Cupboard Who’d want a boring little plastic Red Indian as a birthday present? Omri doesn’t — until his brother gives him a very special cupboard which can make the Indian come alive…Return of the Indian Omri is unexpectedly reminded of his beloved Red Indian, and can’t resist making sure he’s still all right. But when he opens the cupboard door Little Bull is wounded, nearly dead, and Omri must find help. The Secret of the Indian Omri’s friend Patrick goes back in time to the Wild West, and keeping the secret safe becomes even more difficult for Omri…

Die verhaal van Omri is ook in Afrikaans verkrygbaar en as jy kinders het wat lief is vir lees, ouderdom 8-11/12…dan moet jy vir jou “Die Rooihuid in die kassie” kry…deur LR Banks. Daar het sowat ‘n paar jaar gelede ‘n film gedraai met die Engelse titel, ek weet nie wie van julle het die film gaan sien nie. Ek het ‘n gedeelte gesien – dis ook op youtube – my ondervinding met die films is dat dit terleurstellend is, die boeke is gewoonlik baie snaakser. Dieselfde het gebeur met “Skaapvark” – “Sheep pig”.. ek het die boek vir kinders voorgelees lank voor die film en ek was vreeslik terleurgesteld toe ek die film sien. Daarna het ek weggebly van films as ek reeds die boek gelees het. “Skaapvark” is baie snaakser as die Engelse boek ook. In hierdie boek, “Die Rooihuid in die kassie”, kry Omri ‘n “charm” as ‘n geskenk by ‘n maat en ontdek ‘n kassie waarin hy dit kon sit. Sy broer kry ‘n sleuteltjie wat toevallig hierdie kassie oop-en-toe kon sluit…en dit is daar waar die pret begin! 

On THIS LINK – on my blog – you can read about other children’s books I’ve blogged before  and books written by Dalene Matthee. Her books translated into English and her target group  is more the adult audience .

where-the-wild-things-are

Hierdie boek, ‘Where the Wild things are’ – is ‘n oulike storie waar die seuntjie bed toe gestuur word sonder kos. Hy verbeel homself dat hy in ‘n woud is en sy kamer verander in hierdie woud waar hy in ‘n bootjie is oppad iewers heen. Hy kom by ‘n eiland waar hy op die spul vriendelike monsters afkom. Hulle is almal sy maats en kroon hom as hulle koning. Toe hy moeg gespeel is, besluit hy dat dit huistoe gaan tyd is en klim terug in sy bootjie. Uiteindelik word hy wakker met ‘n bordjie warm kos langs sy bed. ‘n Prettig prenteboek wat jong kinders baie geniet.

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This is just a mix. Books I found people like to read on the Underground whilst travelling into London and some other news.


Review 1: Amazon.co.uk ….Margolan, so prosperous and peaceful under King Bricen’s rule, has been reduced to starvation in less than a year. Everyone knows of the usurpation of the crown of Margolan by “Jared the Tyrant”. He and his fire mage, Foor Arontala, have also broken the truce with the Blood Council and are hunting down all vayash moru (vampires). Things are going from bad to worse as the night of the Hawthorn Moon approaches. On that night, half a year from now, Jared and Arontala plan to feed all the souls captured in the Soul-catcher orb to the Obsidian King. Once accomplished, the Obsidian King will have the power needed to break free of the prison, which the Summoner named Bava K’aa had thrown him into, and evil will claim the entire Winter Kingdom.

He is Prince Martris “Tris” Drayke, son of Bricen of Margolan, Summoner and mage-heir of Bava K’aa. However, anyone looking at him would never imagine that he was more than a simple peasant enduring hard times, just like everyone else. The Sisterhood grudgingly agree to train Tris for his upcoming battles, but there is no guarantee that he will survive the training. Arontala is not only a strong fire mage, but is using blood magic (via sacrifices) to increase his power. Arontala will also draw power from the Obsidian King once he is freed.

Tris may very well be the strongest Summoner since Bava K’aa, but it is still going to be a royal battle indeed.
Review 2: Amazon…———–This story lacks the vigour, pace and imagination of the first book in the series. It feels as though the story has been padded out to achieve a deadline and had less enthusiasm from the author than the first book.
I have around 3 chapters to go to finish it and I will do so, however, it is proving necessary to force myself to complete the book. Perhaps the finale will change my view, if it does I’ll come back and amend this.
That all aside, it is readable if you have read the first one but I would have preferred to buy this second hand!


Review: Amazon.co.uk …This book was a fabulous read! It’s entertaining but also informative. It’s a great balance between fun & useful, and isn’t dumbed down to cater to the uninitiated – it’s just explained better than the average scientific text.

It’s funny, insightful and fascinating! Highly recommended for anyone with the slightest interest in discovering our universe.

Review: Amazon.co.uk…..If you’re looking for a PS I Love You part two, then you will be sadly disappointed. Instead you step in to the world of Rosie Dunne and her best friend Alex Stewart. Rosie is an ordinary woman trying to get on with her day to day life who quite simply misses her best friend. What starts out as an innocent childhood friendship turns to love, yet neither of them realise it.
This is a beautifully written tale of two people who share a deep rooted friendship who are seperated at a young age. It is a cleverly written story told in the form of emails, instant messages, letters and text messages which span 45 years. It contains a variety of emotions, one minute you are laughing and the next you are wiping away the tears, but throughout the book you carry the hope that this time they really will get it together. Quite simply, you’d be really stupid to pass up the chance to read this novel.

NEWS:

In today’s The London Paper on page 8, the headline of a newspaper article: Mandela off terror list
“Nelson Mandela has finally been removed from the US’s terror-watch list. The 90-year-old former South African President was in a national security immigration category which classified him as a terrorist …..”

https://time.com/5338569/nelson-mandela-terror-list/

 

 

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Image…Wikipedia
Click HERE on this post to read my translation of his poem “Dans van die reën” in English…The link will open in a new window. “The Dance of the rain”…and you can read about this book on the link too.

Dance_in_rain_peerflydotcom

EUGÈNE Marais was a South African poet, a story-teller, a journalist, a lawyer, a psychologist, a natural scientist, a drug-addict, and a great genius — an abused and forgotten genius, and the world is the worse off for that.”
Read “Soul of the Ant” HERE online.

 

Eugene Marais was one of  South Africa’s more talented writers/poets. I love his poems although I haven’t read his books. I borrowed “The Soul of the Ant” one day – when I was at Primary – but I guess I was too young to read such a book, so I didn’t finish it and read only the first few pages. Some of his poems is about nature like the ‘Winter’s Night’ (translated in English here) and the “Dans van die reën” which is -translated: ‘Dance of the rain.‘ In this poem, he describes the animals’ reaction when the rain is on its way and he describes the rain and her ‘dance.‘ Marais is just brilliant in the way he played with words/metaphors etc. Sadly, he committed suicide in 1936.
Read
HERE on Wiki  more about him. The link will open in a new window.
On the bottom of this post you will find a link to a post on my blog – in English – about Eugene Marais…he was a naturalist, scientist, writer and poet. He made a study of  ants and you can see the book he wrote “The soul of the Ant” on that link…and his other book…”The soul of the Ape”
 

Author: Julee Dickerson Thompson
ISBN: 865432597
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Africa World Press (March 1997)

The following translation of Marais’ “Winternag” is by J. W. Marchant:

“Winter’s Night”

O the small wind is frigid and spare
and bright in the dim light and bare
as wide as God’s merciful boon
the veld lies in starlight and gloom
and on the high lands
spread through burnt bands
the grass-seed, astir, is like beckoning hands.

O East-wind gives mournful measure to song
Like the lilt of a lovelorn lass who’s been wronged
In every grass fold
bright dewdrop takes hold
and promptly pales to frost in the cold!

Eguene N Marais
WINTERNAG
by Eugene Marais

O koud is die windjie
en skraal.
En blink in die dof-lig
en kaal,
so wyd as die Heer se genade,
le die velde in sterlig en skade
En hoog in die rande,
versprei in die brande,
is die grassaad aan roere
soos winkende hande.

O treurig die wysie
op die ooswind se maat,
soos die lied van ‘n meisie
in haar liefde verlaat.
In elk’ grashalm se vou
blink ‘n druppel van dou,
en vinnig verbleek dit
tot ryp in die kou!

DIE DANS VAN DIE REËN – Eugene Marais
Lied van die vioolspeler. Jan Konterdans.
Uit die Groot Woestyn
O die dans van ons Suster!
Eers oor die bergtop loer sy skelm,
en haar oge is skaam;
en sy lag saggies.
En van ver af wink sy met die een hand;
haar armbande blink en haar krale skitter;
saggies roep sy.
Sy vertel die winde van die dans
en sy nooi hulle uit, want die werf is wyd en die bruilof groot.
Die grootwild jaag uit die vlakte,
hulle dam op die bulttop,
wyd rek hulle die neusgate
en hulle sluk die wind;
en hulle buk, om haar fyn spore op die sand te sien.
Die kleinvolk diep onder die grond hoor die sleep van haar voete,
en hulle kruip nader en sing saggies:
“Ons Suster! Ons Suster! Jy het gekom! Jy het gekom!”
En haar krale skud,
en haar koperringe blink in die wegraak van die son.
Op haar voorkop is die vuurpluim van die berggier;
sy trap af van die hoogte;
sy sprei die vaalkaros met altwee arms uit;
die asem van die wind raak weg.
O, die dans van ons Suster!

[Uit: Versamelde gedigte – Eugene Marais]
Read on THIS LINK on my blog more about Eugene Marais…Article in English…The link will open in a new window.

dvdreen_laurinda

I don’t know Laurinda Hofmeyr’s music, but she’s got an album with the song…”Dans van die reen”. I hope one of my blogger-visitors from SA would be able to tell me more…

Snitte:
1. Lied van die bruidegom – Johan Myburg
2. 26 November 1975 – Breyten Breytenbach
3. Op reis na die Suide – Breyten breytenbach
4. Inbrand – Breyten Breytenbach
5. Die dans van die reën – Eugène N. Marais
6. Kind – Rabindranath Tagore
7. Ek sal sterf en na my vader gaan – Breyten Breytenbach
8. ‘n Halwe engel – Breyten Breytenbach
9. Last grave at Dimbaza – Fanie Olivier
10. Die reis – Breyten Breytenbach
11. Lied van die bruidegom (improvisasie)

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Read here about the book :”Circles in the Forest” and about “Big Foot”…

Afrikaans…scroll down….
Dalene Matthee was one of South Africa’s most talented authors, the best popular novelist that I know….. She wrote mainly in Afrikaans, but many of her books were translated into 14 other lanuages, such as Italian, Hebrew, Spanish, German, French, English, Icelandic, etc. Two of her books were filmed, “Fiela’s Child” and “Circles in the forest”…  Her first children’s novel…”Die Twaalfuur stokkie”… “The Twelve o’clock stick” was written in 1970. I LOVE this story and used to read the story to children in London-schools! They loved to listen to the Afrikaans Language and I explained the story via the pictures to them. It’s the best children’s story I’ve come across to explain to little children – age about 5-8 – the concept about time and the earth spinning around the sun… by using a stick in the sun. Read also about the memorial that was unveiled in Feb 2008 in honour of her!
Click
HERE to read about Fiela’s Child, the movie.

Please click HERE to read about Dalene Matthee.

SA writers mourn Dalene Matthee
20/02/2005 21:20 – (SA)

Dalene Matthee – 1938-2005

Dalene Matthee dies 

Laetitia Pople , Die Burger

Cape Town – “Maybe she just held out until her new book, Die Uitgespoeldes, and its translation was done,” Dalene Matthee’s daughter Amanda said on Sunday after the author died in her sleep. The 66-year-old Matthee died in the Bayview clinic, Mossel Bay, early on Sunday morning. She was admitted to the clinic for heart failure on Thursday.

The death of Matthee – who was especially well known for her forest trilogy, of which the first, Kringe in ‘n Bos (Circles in a Forest, first appeared in 1984 and was reprinted 22 times – is being described as a huge loss for the Afrikaans reading public. “She was one of the most well-loved popular novelists in Afrikaans. “With her books such as Kringe, Fiela se Kind (Fiela’s Child), Pieternella van die Kaap and, more recently, Toorbos, she got the general Afrikaans public reading again, and she successfully bridged the gap between quality and popular literature,” said Eloise Wessels, chief executive of NB Publishers, on Sunday.

Novelist Elsa Joubert agrees. “She succeeded in getting people who never read Afrikaans to read in the language, and that’s been a wonderful contribution,” she says. The literary expert Wium van Zyl believes she was like Langenhoven.

“Like him, she had something to offer the intellectual reader and for the everyday reader. “She exposed the reader to various challenges. She was an ecologist and a mild feminist who considered the poor with attention and respect.”

If there’s someone whom the entire South African writers’ community mourns today, it would be Matthee, said Abraham H de Vries. “The voice of one of the best storytellers has fallen silent.“Only she could have written those forest stories – no one else could.”

Film-maker Katinka Heyns, who directed the movie based on the book Fiela se Kind, remembers how she spent two hours with Matthee in the Knysna forest. “The forest would tell Dalene if I may make the movie. She did not say a word and only sat listening. “And then I had to wait an enitre night before she gave the answer.”

Matthee was famous for the rigorous research she did for her books. She researched only her forest trilogy (Kringe, Fiela and Moerbeibos) for seven years, and Pieternella took three years’ research.

Matthee’s books were translated into 14 languages, including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew and Icelandic. She won the ATKV prize for good popular fiction four times and was honoured with a Swiss literature prize for her “energetic literary work and her passionate interest in nature conservation” in Zurich in 1993. Die Uitgespoeldes is the story of Moses Swart, a foundling raised by an Afrikaans family after being found under a jacket on the beach. Matthee is survived by her three daughters, Amanda and Hilary Matthee and Toni van der Walt. Her husband, Larius, died two years ago.
Origninal news article HERE as it was reported in 2005.
The forest novels
Kringe in ‘n bos (Circles in a forest) (1984)
Fiela se Kind (Fiela’s Child) (1985)
Moerbeibos (The Mulberry Forest) (1987)
Toorbos (Dream Forest) (2003)

Other published works
Die twaalfuurstokkie (The twelve-o’-clock stick) (1970)
’n Huis vir Nadia (A House for Nadia) (1982)
Petronella van Aarde, burgemeester (Petronella van Aarde,Mayor) (1983)
Brug van die esels (The Day The Swallows Spoke) (1993)
Susters van Eva (Sisters of Eve) (1995)
Pieternella van die Kaap (Pieternella from the Cape) (2000)
Die Uitgespoeldes (Driftwood) (2005)

 Dalene Matthee Memorial

Wow! I was sent SANPARKS-link by a blogger-friend, Chris after he’s read my post about Dalene Matthee and I want to thank him as this is really fantastic!
Dalene Matthee Memorial Unveiled at Wilderness National Park
On Saturday, 23 February 2008, close family, a few selected SANParks officials and the press witnessed the unveiling of a memorial in honour of the late writer, Dalene Matthee. It was Matthee ’s fervent wish to have her ashes scattered in the Knysna Forest and her three daughters saw it as a fitting remembrance to their mom, to have a special memorial erected in the place Matthee so loved.


“After three years this project has fallen into place and the family will be eternally grateful to the Wilderness National Park staff for making it all happen”, says Hillary Matthee, the writer’s youngest daughter.

SANParks contribution included the building of a boardwalk around the memorial, the renaming the big tree to the Dalene Matthee Big Tree and the marking of a circular hiking trail to the “Circles in a Forest” trail. The memorial, tree and trail will now form part of the park’s cultural heritage programme.

Matthee based many of her books, especially Fiela’s Child, Circles in a Forest and Moerbeibos on the life and people of the forest. Her books have been translated into 14 languages.

Dignitaries at the unveiling ceremony included Mvusy Songelwa (Regional Manager of the Garden Route National Parks) who unveiled the memorial, Edgar Nevuvhalani (People and Conservation Cultural Heritage Manager) and Dr. Razeena Omar (Executive Director: People and Conservation), who befittingly mentioned what an honour it is for SANParks to house a memorial for a woman who has done so much to bring nature and the forests to the hearts of all people who read her books.

The memorial, Big Tree and the Circles in a Forest Trail is situated at the Krisjan se Nek picnic site in the Goudveld Forest (close to Knysna), which now forms part of the Wilderness National Park. Jill Gordon, Park Manager, encourages all and especially school groups to come and pay homage to Matthee and explore the beauty of the forests

(Circles in the forest)

(Pieternella from the Cape)

(The Mulberry forest)

Nou wil ek meer oor van haar boeke – en ander skrywers se boeke –  in Afrikaans se… omdat ek van dit self gelees het en self ook ‘n blibioteek-onderwyseres is – Ja, ek het vir 9 jaar uit 2 skole se mediasentrums klas gegee. Honderde boeke is aangekoop – wat ‘n voorreg om die skole se mediasentrum-begroting by Uitgewers te gaan spandeer! Dit was gewoonlik ‘n daguitstappie! 

So is die volgende  boeke dan van my  gunstelinge vir kinders ouderdom 11-15/16…dalk ouer ook! Die Sakmense – Deur Maretha Maartens.  Wat ‘n fantastiese boek. Miriam was ‘n meisie  met’n donker gelaatskleur wie se familie onder “sakke” agter die landdroskantoor gebly het en hulle het groente en vrugte verkoop het om aan die lewe te bly. Thea was ‘n meisie met slegs een nier. Sy moet leer om met haar dialise-sakkie te leef, maar dis nog moeiliker om met haar skuldgevoel oor die weg te kom: sy weet sy is self daarvoor verantwoordelik dat haar ma se nier, wat kleintyd in haar oorgeplant is, heeltemal opgehou funksioneer het. Tog kan sy dit nie sê nie en intussen hou haar ma haar oupa daarvoor verantwoordelik.
Miriam is minderjarig en het nie die waarheid gepraat oor haar ouderdom nie. Dit was omdat sy haar familie wou help om onder die ‘sakke’ uit te kom en ‘n goeie lewe te he. Hulle het nie geld gehad vir skoolgaan nie en haar pa was slegs ‘n leegle-er en het niks gedoen om die familie te ondersteun nie.
Uiteindelik sou Thea en Miriam mekaar help, sodat elkeen kon leer hoe om haar sak weg te leef. Die boek is ‘n boek wat selfs die volwasse leser sal waardeer en geniet.

Sommige ander baie gewilde boeke onder die kinders: Die Boemelaars, Plek van die dolfyne,   ‘n Pakkie mieliepitte, Die Inkvoel en Geagte mej Snob.

Marilee McCallighan se boek- Wedloop teen die wind” – is ‘n boek vir kinders so 12-15 jaar. Arno is die seun-karakter in die storie  en sy pa was ‘n prokureur. Hy was ‘n puik atleet en toe skielik begin hy toe epileptiese aanvalle kry en moes hy na ‘n spesiale skool gaan, wat ‘n groot vernedering vir die pa en ma was – veral die ma! Hulle was gesiene mense in die omgewing en sy kon nie verwerk of aanvaar dat haar talentvolle seun dit moes oorkom en na so ‘n skool moes gaan nie.  

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I’ve started reading this book quite recently….-while reading “In Search of South Africa”, the book which Dennis from the chess site sent me….I posted an extract of it somewhere on my blog…- anyway…this book about Janine di Giovanni’s memoir of the war, is about the Kosovo-War….only now on page 13, and do agree with her…it is about “madness”….

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I have the book about Greyfriars Bobby, exactly the one in the pic here. I bought it in Edinburg and isn’t Edinburgh the most wonderful place in this whole of England! Easy to drive, a clean city! Beautiful scenery….historical buildings that speak their stories by just looking at them! Wow….Edinburgh! I fell in love with you and it won’t be long before you see me, permanently! Hopefully! To come back to the book….this statue is in Edinburgh and two people living there couldn’t tell us about it and incidently, I saw the book in a shop…just an ordinary shop selling all kinds of furniture, with a few toys/books and…my book was on sale for just about £1!! And it is a RED FOX book!! I love my Bobby book and he reminds me of South Africa’s Jock of the Bushveld… our own true story about a Staffie…
I’ve got two links here, one with the story about Bobby….and the other with pictures. Oh, of course, the grave in this one pic, is Bobby’s master’s grave, but read the story, I don’t want to tell more…it is a bit of a sad story, if you haven’t seen the movie…you better read the story!
Follow THIS link for Bobby’s story ………..and THIS LINK for the photos. Enjoy!

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“Two Frogs” is a fantastic book. I want to share this book today and by doing this, do my “good deed” for today! I love books, even more, children’s books! I’m slowly busy building up a library! I used this book with great success during Philosophy lessons… Firstly, the pictures in this book…just look how stunning! Doesn’t it convey a lot, only by looking at it! That’s why children’s books fascinate me, you get outstanding illustrations and lifelong messages. This book is definitely one of those which you would buy and have different uses for, when teaching. I’m going to copy a few lines from the book…and the images support the text just brilliantly!

—Once there were two frogs sitting on a lily pad in the middle of a large pond. One of the frogs was holding a stick. “What’s that for?” asked the other frog. “For protection,” said the frog with the stick. “This stick is to beat off the dog.”
“What dog?” said the other frog, quickly looking over his shoulder. “I can’t see a dog. There is no dog!” “Not now there isn’t, not at this moment,” replied the frog with the stick. “But what if a dog should come swimming across the pond and try to eat us up? Better be safe than sorry.” The other frog was puzzled. “But no dogs ever come swimming in the pond,” he protested. “At least I’ve never seen one. In fact I can’t even remember seeing one on the edge of the pond. And why would a dog want to come swimming in the pond anyway? They’re not so fond of swimming as us frogs, you know.”

Now, by looking at the pics, you can imagine what happened…I put questions forward to 9 year old children e.g. Should we always be prepared? Should we always think about all the “what ifs”? Is it ridiculous thinking the worst might happen? Why would you want to be prepared for the worst? What do you need to be well prepared? What do you see as “the worst”? How else can we prepare us for the “worst”? This book lends itself to numerous questions and at least an hour’s discussion with children. One of the “what ifs” in this book really happened at the end! That was the dog…but the frogs were already gone and not there to see the dog…

If you want to leave your point of view about these questions, it would be well received!


Image: frogsonice
Please click HERE to read a story about two frogs..do enjoy

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Read HERE about Pol Pot…
I’ve read the book…”First they killed my father…” A VERY upsetting book, but fantastic narration…follow my links to read more about the book. I’m now busy with “Lucky child…”
Last night there was on CNN a very interesting program on TV and that inspired me to post this on my blog…
 
Lung Ung
Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung’s family was forced to flee their home and hide their previous life of privilege. Eventually, they dispersed in order to survive. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans while her other siblings were sent to labor camps. Only after the Vietnamese destroyed the Khmer Rouge were Loung and her surviving siblings slowly reunited.

Loung Ung is a national spokesperson for the Campaign for a Landmine Free World, a program of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. She is the author of Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind, and she lives with her husband in Ohio.
Khmer Rouge on trial, CNN.
Read HERE about the author.

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First they killed my Father, by Loung Ung

Loung was born into a wealthy family of nine in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Pen. As her father is employed in the city as a military police captain and is a supporter of the former Lon Nol government both he and his family risk being captured and killed by the Extreme communist Khmer Rouge if his identity is found out. The Khmer Rouge wants to turn Cambodia into an agrarian nation free of the ‘western poison’ of capitalism. To make this dream a reality they begin to kill anyone who isn’t ‘pure’ Khmer and all those who indulge in western culture and learning. Luong’s father moves his family to the countryside where the Khmer Rouge places them into a work camp. The father attempts to keep his origins a secret so his family can survive. Every member of the family works hard and speaks to no-one so that they will become worthy citizens in the eyes of the angkar. The Book moves at a steady pace and the reader is kept interested throughout because of the author’s uncomplicated writing style. Loung’s changing emotions are vividly articulated drawing the reader in and allowing them to understand her plight and also her great triumph at the end when she beats all the odds and finally achieves her freedom.

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