Nqandeka writes with an easy familiarity of the Xhosa cultural background showing how the ordinary
History imposed itself on my generation. I had to take my place in the waiting line on the threshold of the black years.
Our generation suffers from delusions of grandeur, like thinking you need to parade your unhappiness in order to be regarded as intelligent.
Aesthetics of pain that refuse to self-romanticise make suffering purposeful and meaningful.
I think it was Dostoevsky who planted the seed for the love of art born of an infinite possibility of suffering.
The parlour philosopher: Nietzsche.
The parlour novelist: Dostoevsky
The parlour poet: Keats
I liked how these thinkers sought to mesh their lives with their thoughts. There's a moral resilience I deeply admire about them. In another age we would have called them saints.
It is, as you know, a tricky thing to find a balance for the injustice of an unhappy condition within the disorder of the passions.
Literature is about translating what one feels into what one wants others to feel or think.
In sickness, as Susan Sontag realised, the body talks louder and clearer; during sex too, and all other forms of pain and joy.
“…but I cannot walk on the moonlit leaves of ocean…” - Derek Walcott.
The quest for an intelligible language is to disguise the immensity of one's objectives that leads one to say not what he likes but only what he must. The trick is to give order of pure language to the cries of one's passions.
Peace is the deadening art of acceptance to whatever life had/has in store: stoicism.
Addictive pleasures of despair and depressive rage in one person?
To be a poet one needs to have a superior consciousness of history, then aspire to use received vocabulary and grammar with precision.
The purpose of art is to reestablish contact with the unconscious.
A literature on the brink of dawn.
The greater part of Camus life was devoted at outwitting oblivion, a battle he lost.
Through the strength of the soul one can impose limits on misery, or at least censure its expression. This is a way of introducing art into life, that is giving man the power of language in his struggle against his destiny. This is why I believe literature is an unbound school of life. We learn through it to give our behaviour form.
Everything, including the sun, grows impatient in Cape Town after three in the afternoon.
For amaXhosa estuaries have always been liminal spaces where borders between land and water, the living and the dead, are porous and shifting in endless communication.
A phenomenological approach to history leads to the reawakening of the spirits.
Fear is the flip side of wonder that often manifests itself by superstition.
Looking at the ideologies of the present as diseases we inherited from the past.
Things that hover at the edge of history threatening to blink out amid the emptiness of life bathed in borealis light in the auroral spectacle or still life I find amazingly beautiful and poignant. How:
The thrill I get from a kind smile of strange women when they're no longer young.
How the escalators never go where they take us.
The world is alive and burns.
There are gods here too.
The joy of poetry tames despair.
My love for ordinary thing is always requited by nature.
Homeless kids bankrupt me as they clinging to aircon exhausts at the back of mall buildings.
I construed a book out of the story of Hades and Persephone who ate six of them, which let her live for six months of every year in the Kingdom of the Dead.
I refuse to craft an ideology out of my failings.
How my stubbornness once nearly killed me after the announcement “zurückbleiben” at a subway stop in Berlin I once found a quiet moment—the lingering sound of absence as everyone else left and I stayed behind on my own. I thought I heard the announcement well though I didn't speak the language well. I trusted more in my own understanding than the herd mentality of other commuters🙆🏾♂️
Often think about Christ’s face in S. Luigi dei Francesi painting.
I often miss the moon's gleaming face on the sea.
To be a moralist, as the Epicureans understood, means one must be a sensualist.