Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cartoon by Plose

Do we follow what we have been given?  Do we follow what we have divined?  Left?  Right?  Or straight?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

As I walked out this morning...

As I walked out from the farmhouse this morning, I beheld a strange sight.  It must have happened during the tsunami-type high-tide that we experienced last night.  The captain came up to me and asked the way to Table Bay.  I pointed.  I think he said his name was Jan van... Jan van... somebody.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Absurdities of Language

English has many absurdities and oddities and statement of a surreal nature.  Here are a number from French and Afrikaans.

Ciel, mon mari!    Sky, my husband!  [Caught in the act.] 

Avoir le geuele de bois   to have a wooden face.  [to suffer a hangover] 

Marcher a cote de ses pompes.  To walk next to your shoes.  [to be out of it] 

Die koeel is deur die kerk.  The bullet is through the church.  [The decision has been made] 

Jy sal lag aan die anderkant van jou gesig.  You will laugh on the other side of your face.  [You will regret it.]  

'n Feit soos 'n koei.  A fact like a cow.  [Something very obvious]  

Friday, November 23, 2012

John Groth cartoon

I have always had a particular admiration for the cartoonist - one who can create a world in a few lines, what a South African artist has called the highest poetry, and then, to add a line or two that perfects it.  More than this, I admire a person who can take a dark subject and see the funny side without scoffing at anyone's pain... In the New Yorker magazine, during World War Two, there were cartoonists who did that so effectively.  John Groth is one of them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Extraordinary Tales

Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1987), Argentinian Nobel laureate, and Adolfo Bioy Casares (1914-1999) took great delight in making a collection of writings gathered from a bewildering variety of sources, called Extraordinary Tales (1967).  Here we see that dark sepia mystery again - the strange thoughts, feelings and encounters that humans hide in their ribs, writings that stick in the memory, imponderables.  

A lady of quality fell so deliriously in love with a certain Mr Dodd, a Puritan preacher, that she begged her husband to allow her to use the marital bed for purposes of procreating an angel or a saint;  but, permission having been granted, the birth was normal.
                                  -  Drummond, Ben Ionsiana (c. 1618) 

The Mahdi and his hordes were laying siege to Khartum, defended by General Gordon.  A few of the enemy passed through the lines and entered the city.  Gordon received them one by one and indicated a mirror where they might see themselves.  He thought it was only right that a man should know his own face before he died.
                                  -  Fergus Nicholson, Antologia de espejos

Chuang Tzu dreamt he was a butterfly and, when he awoke, did not know if he was a man who had dreamt he was a butterfly or a butterfly who was dreaming he was a man.
                        -  From Chuang Tzu (1889), by Herbert Allen Giles



Source of image unknown