The Good Life, The Dirty Life and Other Stories

Overview

Adam Schwartzman is an African writing of African experiences. His remarkable first collection, formally assured, thematically mature, is marked by a youthful grasp of variously peopled landscapes. The poems are 'stories' which build together into a larger narrative of lives lived in the shadow of division. The poems were, for the most part, written in the three years preceding the transfer of power in South Africa in April 1994.

In four linked sections Schwartzman evokes a ...

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Overview

Adam Schwartzman is an African writing of African experiences. His remarkable first collection, formally assured, thematically mature, is marked by a youthful grasp of variously peopled landscapes. The poems are 'stories' which build together into a larger narrative of lives lived in the shadow of division. The poems were, for the most part, written in the three years preceding the transfer of power in South Africa in April 1994.

In four linked sections Schwartzman evokes a growing individual and an altering community. The first vividly particular part deals with the changing face of the country, including poems that mythologize urban South Africa and the conditions that shape it. Part two, more lyrical in nature, relives childhood relationships, the observations informed by a love affair, though the poems are not 'love poems'. In the third section the poet writes an elegy for his grandfather whose death defines pressures that determine his own perspectives, being Jewish and white in South Africa. The last, 'miscellaneous' section refracts the earlier lights through different
formal and geographical lenses. In this collection Schwartzman emerges fully fledged as a poet of remarkable substance.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781857541366
  • Publisher: Carcanet Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 6/1/1995
  • Pages: 64
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Vote
Retiefs Kloof 3
Westpark 4
Day Rain 5
Massacre 6
Gold 7
Liberal 8
Rustler's Valley 9
Hilbrow is Entering the New Dispensation 10
Town 11
The Purple Train 12
The Old Drive Down 13
Plettenburg Bay 14
The World Before 15
Graaf Reinet 16
Hadidah 17
Whose Heads Touch Heaven 18
The Sanctuary 19
Bertrams Suburb 20
Night Rain 21
The Brief History of One Hectare in Johannesburg 22
Evening Football 23
Midmar Stoep 24
Sunday School 27
Beach Drive 28
John 1 29
John 2 29
John 3 30
John 4 30
There are no Reasons. Just Beginnings 31
Elnor is the Earth-Mother 32
At the Movies 33
Rivonia Road 1: your room 34
Umkopuzi 35
Rivonia Road 2: without words 36
Return Journey 37
Knowing Where Everything Goes 38
My First Illusion 39
WASPs and Butterflies 40
I Might Have Said 41
Rivonia Road 3: the garden 42
Aliyah 45
Free State Drive 46
Evening Out 47
Three African Animals 48
Caesarea 49
Afterwards, with You 50
Family Motto 51
Burial Rite 52
Looking Back 53
Epilogue 54
Fat Lady Swimming 57
Young Boy Swimming 58
Other Stories 59
The Leaving 60
The Drifter's Elegy 61
Simple Things 63
The Unmoored Boat 64
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