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Moss - Readers Warehouse


R 20.00
  • SKU: 9780795701818
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Dark, all-pervading sexuality haunts this beautifully wrought collection of interlinked short stories set against the backdrop of the diverse communities of Cape Town. The voice of the collection opens up territory that has only been gingerly approached in South African literature, tenderly probing the occult regions of the psyche in order to expose sexuality and repression, passion and inhibition, and joy and sin. The intriguing overlap of ambiguities and contradictions exposed by this gentle inquiry illuminates the rifts and tears in the tapestry of ardent yet unrecognized South African longings and desires. Andre Brink writes about this book: "Moss is a collection of some of the most exquisite short stories I have read in a long time. If this seems like extravagant praise, I can only say that I believe they can be compared to some of the best work by Margaret Laurence. Each story has been finely carved, with every little detail in place, creating such a dense system of interrelated meanings that the reader cannot skip a line without missing something vital. This sense of interrelatedness applies not only to the details of each story in its own right but also to the collection as a whole: several of the characters (Jessica, Eva, Sean, Luke Loyola etc)feature in different stories, which means that a web of reference is created within which meanings are constantly related, enhanced or relativised. Even more pervasive than characters are the recurrence of certain symbols (the moss garden, the church and cross, the sinful woman etc), and the fixation with constantly interchanging moral values. Just as the stories in Zoe Wicomb's You Can t Get Lost in Cape Town are subtly interwoven through space and time, Watson s stories share a framework of reference in their beautifully understated immersion in the moral problems of good and evil, the (often deceptive)opposition of virginal purity and the contamination of the flesh. I can honestly say that I have seldom, in South African literature, come across short stories of such suggestive power as these. And the deft way in which they are all, in an almost subterranean or submarine manner, related to one another, creates the possibility of reading the volume, not just as a collection of short stories, but perhaps as a redefinition of the form of the novel.