Archive for January, 2016

31 January 2016

To be stranger in a language. ‘The Swan Whisperer’ by Marlene van Niekerk

This is a tale of transmission, disappearance, and utterance, of writing as it hovers at the edge of language, trafficking with the ephemeral and the unreliable; challenging the primacy of the written text through a compelling reflection on flow and interference, rhythms and non-origin. A tale of listening as the rebeginning of writing; of people missing but resounding through words whose meaning is lost (or maybe it was never there completely): it has to be made anew every time. A story of speech emerged from and given back to birds, wind and water, a story of speech into landscape. A tale of writing as divining and impure continuity.

My review of Marlene van Niekerk’s beguiling text The Swan Whisperer (The Cahiers Series, 2015) is now published on Music & Literature.

I have a lot more to think and write around / from / for van Niekerk’s text. Mostly about the density and pacing of the prose. This will happen in my next book.

23 January 2016


Here is where my next book is moving through:














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