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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  376 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Mzansi by natives 1: Somewhere to start

I've long argued that photography is the skill of turning perspective into art. Non-fiction is no different: Barbara Tuchman's prose is colored by the fact that she was a little girl onboard one of the pursuit ships of the Goeben and Breslau. Will Durant wrote the way he did because as a philosopher, he viewed history as one long expression of philosophy. Michael Lewis clearly felt he was a normal street kid who stumbled into way too much power at Lehman Brothers in Liar's Poker; his schtick ever since has been man-on-the-street "you won't believe this shit" prose and it works wonders.

I don't know who you are as a person, but I know that if you write from the perspective of what's important to you it will be a lot more interesting, a lot more engaging and a lot more retentive. I've known a few South Africans and none of them much like talking about home. This makes you unique in my experience. Tell me what you want me to know and it'll be a damn sight more interesting than if you guess what a sociology professor would want me to know.

DWol  ·  376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks. I think you've actually captured my intentions quite nicely.

The primary reason why I wanted to do this was to try and capture my thoughts somewhere where it can have some value-add, and I think hubski is the right kind of space for that.

Underneath that is however the fact that I've been thinking a lot lately. I went through what you might call a "life changing" experience last year that really shifted my perspective on a lot of things.

South Africa is my home. I don't want to live anywhere else. But it's become clear to me that we can't just rest on our laurels and expect things to get better organically. At the very least it's necessary to start to define what kind of a future is the one I want for myself and those around me. This definition in turn requires that I grapple with the big issues so that I can have a clarity of purpose in what I do. 50% theoretical framework, 50% moral conviction.

The big question that umbrellas over all the others is one of identity and belonging. How do define myself and what I stand for in a country with mega baggage and a suspect future?

So no, it won't be a sociology lecture, not least because I'm an engineer but also because of the perception thing I spoke about - I can only work with what I've got and what I get from others (this touches a bit on the subsequent responsibility to hear what others have to say).

Lastly, being an engineer, this is really my first foray into 1st personal writing so you may need to be gentle in that respect!

kleinbl00  ·  376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

One of my favorite screenwriters is a South African engineer. You'll do fine.