Tag Archive: twist

Clothing maketh……

I have a friend who is pinterest mad

I don’t get pinterest really but I like to write

so this weekend we decided she would send me a pinterest pic everyday and I would write something/anything about it. It is always nice to get some inspiration or direction for my random writing.

Here is the first attempt – with apologies to the person who wore the outfit and/or pinterested it first

The jeans slid over narrow hips and over the slightly curved buttocks. Zip up and a slight wriggle and they were comfortable. The padded lacy vest added interest where nature had been unkind. Peeping out from beneath a silky white shirt the delicate bow said sexy but still innocent enough to be a girl. Yellow sparkles under the neck drew attention down from the jaw line – a trick learnt years ago and employed frequently. Narrow wrists in beaten silver and co-ordinated yellow nails shifted the attention directly from the wrist to the tips of the fingers. No jarring between.

Lipstick, mascara, blusher and a well brushed wig completed Mike’s outfit and he was ready for work. It still amazed him that no one knew.

now look again – it could be

Twenty-four hours in the Life of a Woman and The Royal Game
Stefan Zweig
ISBN: 9781901285611
Publisher: Pushkin Press
www.kalahari.net: R135,96
Exclusive Books: R195,00

 Two novellas by German author Zweig. And they seem incredibly well translated.

 Twenty-four hours is quite simply a story a woman tells a listener (and the readers) of 24 hours of her life in which she behaved rather uncharacteristically. The story really is rather simple but it is so beautifully written and so engaging that i read the novella in one sitting. Not a huge task, but considering all the other demands i have right now, an accolade to the writing.

 The tale is actually about addiction and passion; deceit of others and of the self; hope and foolhardiness; and ultimately, about the separateness of us all. It’s about one woman’s hope that she could make a difference and her realisation that perhaps none of us can; about how society dictates and may not always be right. And about how the constraints of society, while exhilarating to flaunt, are almost impossible to truly escape.

 While these are always arresting themes in a book, what makes this story so much more valuable is that this novella was first published in 1944, but Zweig died in ’42 so it was probably written in the 30s. Progressive thinker he was in the creation of his protagonist.

 The Royal Game is, predictably, about chess.  Or so it seems. Again, the story starts and seems to be about one thing and then isn’t. In this novella, a dim-witted idiot savant is discovered to be a chess genius. The story diverges from him when the narrator encounters him on a ship and tries to arrange an accidental meeting over a chess board. And so is introduced perhaps the ‘real’ story of the novella. Or perhaps not. It’s hard to decide.

 This story raises the question of the difference between pride and a self-destructive inability to lose, obsession and addiction, single mindedness and monomania. It looks at chess as a motif for the ways in which we construct and conduct our lives; and the ways in which others, more powerful, do that for us.

 Interesting stuff and also a hugely readable and engaging story.

 I also really love the way this man writes – in some ways it is so old fashioned as to be a breath of fresh air.

 ‘Visitors who had come to see their friends scurried hither and thither, page boys with caps smartly cocked slithered through the public rooms shouting names snappily,…’

 I loved both of these novellas and am glad to found Zwieg.