Coexisting realities

Coexisting realities

From just before New Year to just after Advent, I have been in southern Gran Canaria, in search of sunshine that is relatively near to the UK for a quick 10 day break. It’s hot, sunny and very touristy, with the major presence being people from northern Europe and particularly Germany and Britain. Irish bars abound, along with pizzerias, sushi restaurants and other trappings of mass tourism, with every now and then a luxury hotel intermingled, leftover from an earlier more exclusive period. It’s not much to my taste except for the sun and the hotel; shabby B & Bs in little dorps with strange social dynamics are the preference. So at the same time as inhabiting this very fabricated environment, I have been relentlessly reading, reading, reading. The book commented on an earlier blog, on the contemporary situation in South Africa explored in class as well as race terms, has been followed by Mandela’s prison letters, then by Herman Giliomee’s new e-book collection of essays on the possible demise of Afrikanerdom, with a book on the Afrikaners, capitalism and Weber’s ghost next up. It’s a curious business, going back and forth between these interesting matters of the past and present in South Africa, and the Tinseltown that is Maspalomas in Gran Canaria, mediated by a variety of scholarly and writerly minds at work. At different points in the day each of these seems more real than the other. But as it is the life of the mind that presently predominates, to switch off I have also been reading novels and am currently on the fourth this trip. Thank goodness for Kindle books and my iPad, which means no longer lugging 15+ books with me for a 10 day break! Reading the Mandela prison letters was especially interesting in letterness terms and also regarding to how collections of letters are edited, but more on this in a future blog or perhaps a Curiosity.

Last updated: 9 January 2020


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