John van de Ruit, Imraan Coovadia and Niq Mhlongo:
here are some random quotes from the panel.
John vd Ruit: (on starting his career as an actor) Acting is one of those careers. The more acting you do, the less you like it.
Imraan Coovadia: (on what it’s like being an author) ‘…the advantage of getting to act like a six year old, a seven year old in my case…’
IC: ‘…as with most writers, you try to put your deficiencies into your career.’
JvdR: (about Spud) ‘It started out as a doodle. It was a doodle that kind of went out of control.’
JvdR: The process is so much greater than what happens afterwards. you write and write, and you have good days and bad days and the bad days are edited out afterwards.
JvdR: (about when he started out) I didn’t know any rules. I didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to say ‘suddenly’ and i had it on every fourth page.’
Niq Mhlongo: ‘I wrote out of boredom. I had just moved to Cape Town and it was boring me to tears.’
Niq: ‘Don’t write to impress, write to express.’
IC: (when asked what he likes most about being an author) ‘As Shakespeare said, we’re just too far in blood to go back.’
JvdR: (talking about the main character in Spud) It’s me, it’s not me, it’s a child’s voice. I’m quite a complicated bunch of guys.
(in response to a question from the audience: do you write every day?)
IC: (with much humorous disdain aimed at audience) not today.
JvdR: for some reason people seem to think that humour is lacking in intellectual rigour. We under-value humour in this country.
Niq: ‘Stay away from me. Whatever you say I translate into books.’
Niq: ‘I’m thankful that my mother is not learned, she cannot read. so i say fuck in english in my books. It would be bad in my mother tongue. I wouldn’t be able to say it.
Niq: when i first started out and i had to do readings in public, my book is full of the word fuck and i was too scared to say it out loud, so i would just skip over it and miss the word out altogether. Then the next guy who went after me, the first word he said was ‘Fuck’!
Ann Donald (chairing the panel) to Imraan Coovadia: Your books were described as comic genius.
IC: I think i described them like that.
IC (on being a writer): ‘…you get to push and find out the limits of your mind.’
such an inspiring weekend, so lucky to get to hear what all these amazing authors, editors, bookies and publishers have to say about their processes and experiences.
oh and in other randomness, along the way this weekend i also learnt the meaning of the word contrite:
while not remorseful at all about the weekend, except for the fact that it is now over (hello monday), i will still try to use it in a sentence today. cos that’s just the kind of geek i am.
please come next year. i need more people to drink with.