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The ascendancy of the heroic couplet from the late seventeenth century on has frequently been explained in political terms, wherein the couplet is viewed as a cultural form whose marked sense of antithesis and closure reflects a political conservatism, support for the restored monarchy and for aristocratic domination— despite the continuing class divisions that had erupted in civil wars and fragmented the aristocracy into factions, some more accepting of bourgeois social practices than others.
An Essay on Criticism, 68— contained a rich alluvial deposit of aspirations and meanings largely hidden from view. Grove 8 The fact that for us today no form better than the couplet epitomizes the artificial use of language bears witness, not just to how deeply transparency was engrained in aristocratic literary culture, but also to how much it could conceal. Waller, and Mr. Dryden ll. The triumph of the heroic couplet in late seventeenth-century poetic discourse depends to some extent on the triumph of a neoclassical translation method in aristocratic literary culture, a method whose greatest triumph is perhaps the discursive sleight of hand that masks the political interests it serves.
It was allied to different social tendencies and made to support varying cultural and political functions. Pope described the privileged discourse in his preface: It only remains to speak of the Versification. Homer as has been said is perpetually applying the Sound to the Sense, and varying it on every new Subject. This is indeed one of the most exquisite Beauties of Poetry, and attainable by very few: I know only of Homer eminent for it in the Greek, and Virgil in Latine.
I am sensible it is what may sometimes happen by Chance, when a Writer is warm, and fully possest of his Image: however it may be reasonably believed they designed this, in whose Verse it so manifestly appears in a superior degree to all others. Few Readers have the Ear to be Judges of it, but those who have will see I have endeavoured at this Beauty.
During this crucial moment in its cultural rise, domesticating translation was sometimes taken to extremes that look at once oddly comical and rather familiar in their logic, practices a translator might use today in the continuing dominion of fluency.
It is important not to view such instances of domestication as simply inaccurate translations. Canons of accuracy and fidelity are always locally defined, specific to different cultural formations at different historical moments.
Both Denham and Dryden recognized that a ratio of loss and gain inevitably occurs in the translation process and situates the translation in an equivocal relationship to the foreign text, never quite faithful, always somewhat free, never establishing an identity, always a lack and a supplement. Yet they also viewed their domesticating method as the most effective way to control this equivocal relationship and produce versions adequate to the Latin text. As a result, they castigated methods that either rigorously adhered to source- language textual features or played fast and loose with them in ways that they were unwilling to license, that insufficiently adhered to the canon of fluency in translation.
The ethnocentric violence performed by domesticating translation rested on a double fidelity, to the source-language text as well as to the target- language culture, and especially to its valorization of transparent discourse. But this was clearly impossible and knowingly duplicitous, accompanied by the rationale that a gain in domestic intelligibility and cultural force outweighed the loss suffered by the foreign text and culture.
His decisive consolidation of earlier statements, French as well as English, constituted a theoretical refinement, visible in the precision of his distinctions and in the philosophical sophistication of his assumptions: domestication is now recommended on the basis of a general human nature that is repeatedly contradicted by an aesthetic individualism.
For Tytler, the aim of translation is the production of an equivalent effect that transcends linguistic and cultural differences: I would therefore describe a good translation to be, That, in which the merit of the original work is so completely transfused into another language, as to be as distinctly apprehended, and as strongly felt, by a native of the country to which that language belongs, as it is by those who speak the language of the original work.
But, as it is not to be denied, that in many of the examples adduced in this Essay, the appeal lies not so much to any settled canons of criticism, as to individual taste; it will not be surprising, if in such instances, a diversity of opinion should take place: and the Author having exercised with great freedom his own judgment in such points, it would ill become him to blame others for using the same freedom in dissenting from his opinions. The chief benefit to be derived from all such discussions in matters of taste, does not so much arise from any certainty we can obtain of the rectitude of our critical decisions, as from the pleasing and useful exercise which they give to the finest powers of the mind, and those which most distinguish us from the inferior animals.
But the translator must also conceal the figural status of the translation, indeed confuse the domesticated figure with the foreign writer. As Peter Stallybrass and Allon White have shown, within the symbolic discourse of the bourgeoisie, illness, disease, poverty, sexuality, blasphemy and the lower classes were inextricably connected.
The control of the boundaries of the body in breathing, eating, defecating secured an identity which was constantly played out in terms of class difference.
At other points, the process of domestication is explicitly class-coded, with the translator advised to inscribe the foreign text with elite literary discourses while excluding discourses that circulate among an urban proletariat: If we are thus justly offended at hearing Virgil speak in the style of the Evening Post or the Daily Advertiser, what must we think of the translator, who makes the solemn and sententious Tacitus express himself in the low cant of the streets, or in the dialect of the waiters of a tavern?
In each case, however, this apparently simple gesture of social superiority and disdain could not be effectively accomplished without revealing the very labour of suppression and sublimation involved. Stallybrass and White — Translation threatens the transcendental author because it submits his text to the infiltration of other discourses that are not bourgeois, individualistic, transparent.
On the contrary, the question was the specific nature of the domestication, with both offering reasons firmly grounded in domestic translation agendas. This, it must be acknowledged, is the most essential of all. The third and last thing is, to take care, that the version have at least, so far the quality of an original Slow Burn - Legal Weapon - Take Out The Trash (CD, as to appear natural and easy, such as shall give no handle to the critic to charge the translator with applying words improperly, or in a meaning not warranted by use, or combining them in a way which renders the sense obscure, and the construction ungrammatical, or even harsh.
Campbell — To recommend transparency as the most suitable discourse for the Gospels was indeed to canonize fluent translation. Campbell — Like Tytler, however, Campbell also assumed the existence of a public sphere governed by universal reason.
Campbell too was a translator with a sense of authorship—at once Christian and individualistic—that could be ruffled by other translations and translation discourses, provoking him to reactions that ran counter to his humanist assumptions.
By the turn of the nineteenth century, a translation method of eliding the linguistic and cultural difference of the foreign text was firmly entrenched as a canon in English-language translation, always linked to a valorization of transparent discourse. Once again, the domestication enacted by a fluent strategy was not seen as producing an inaccurate translation. Faithful, as well in rendering correctly the meaning of the original, as in exhibiting the general spirit which pervades it: unconstrained, so as not to betray by its phraseology, by the collocation of its words, or construction of its sentences that it is only a copy.
The translator must, if he is capable of executing his task upon a philosophic principle, endeavour to resolve the personal and local allusions into the genera, of which the local or personal variety employed by the original author, is merely the accidental type; and to reproduce them in one of those permanent forms which are connected with the universal and immutable habits of mankind. A translator could choose the now traditional domesticating method, an ethnocentric reduction of the foreign text to dominant cultural values in English; or a translator could choose a foreignizing method, an ethnodeviant pressure on those values to register the linguistic and cultural differences of the foreign text.
John Nott and the Honourable George Lamb Before these translations appeared, Catullus had long occupied a foothold in the canon of classical literature in English. Editions of the Latin text were available on the Continent after the fifteenth century, and even though two more centuries passed before it was published in England, Catullus had already been imitated by a wide range of English poets—Thomas Campion, Ben Jonson, Edmund Waller, Robert Herrick, among many others McPeek ; Wiseman chap.
There were few translations, usually of the same small group of kiss and sparrow poems, showing quite clearly that he was virtually neglected by English translators in favor of Homer, Virgil, Ovid, Horace: these were the major figures, translated in the service of diverse aesthetic, moral, and political interests.
The cultural and social factors that made this revision possible included, not any relaxation of bourgeois moral norms, but the canonization of transparency in English poetry and poetry translation. But to many of his effusions, distinguished both by fancy and feeling, this praise is justly due. Some of his pieces, which breathe the higher enthusiasm of the art, and are coloured with a singular picturesqueness of imagery, increase our regret at the manifest mutilation of his works.
His feeling is weak, but always true. The final verdict, however, was that it is quite impossible to read his verses without regretting that he happened to be an idler, a man of fashion, and a debauchee. The most remarkable difference between the translators occurred on the question of morality: Nott sought to reproduce the pagan sexuality and physically coarse language of the Latin text, whereas Lamb minimized or just omitted them.
His main concern seems to have been twofold: to ward against an ethnocentric response to the Latin text and preserve its historical and cultural difference: When an ancient classic is translated, and explained, the work may be considered as forming a link in the chain of history: history should not be falsified, we ought therefore to translate him fairly; and when he gives us the manners of his own day, however disgusting to our sensations, and repugnant to our natures they may sometimes prove, we must not endeavour to conceal, or gloss them over, through a fastidious regard to delicacy.
Inthis mimetic assumption was beginning to seem dated in English poetic theory, a throwback to an older empiricism, challenged now by expressive theories of poetry and original genius.
Nott worked under the same cultural regime, but he rather chose to resist those values in the name of preserving the difference of the Latin text. Nott foreignized Catullus, although foreignization does not mean that he somehow transcended his own historical moment to reproduce the foreign, unmediated by the domestic.
Nott translated texts that referred to adulterous affairs and homosexual relationships, as well as texts that contained descriptions of sexual acts, especially anal and oral intercourse.
Lamb either omitted or bowdlerized them, preferring more refined expressions of hetero-sexual love that glanced fleetingly at sexual activity. Not a soul but the fathers mean rapines must tell; And thou, son, canst no longer thy hairy breech sell. The twelve-syllable line, a departure from the pentameter standard, is metrically irregular and rather cumbersome, handled effectively only in the second couplet.
And the syntax is elliptical, inverted, or convoluted in fully half of the lines. Aurelius, Furius! The sacred bard, to Muses dear, Himself should pass a chaste career. This assertion of the purity of character which a loose poet should and may preserve has been brought forward both by Ovid, Martial, and Ausonius, in their own defence. Suns that set again may rise; We, when once our fleeting light, Once our day in darkness dies, Sleep in one eternal night.
But, with thousands when we burn, Mix, confuse the sums at last, That we may not blushing learn All that have between us past. This is in fact the reading that emerges in a survey of contemporary responses to the translations. This portion of his task Mr. Lamb has executed with considerable judgment, and we need not fear that our delicacy may be wounded in perusing the pages of his translation. Monthly Magazine The reactionary Anti-Jacobin Review enlisted Lamb in its struggle against the opponents of church, state, and nation: The extreme impropriety of many Poems written by Catullus, has obliged Mr.
Lamb to omit them, and had he turned his attention wholly to some purer author, it would have honoured his powers of selection. At this hour of contest between the good and evil principle among us, when so many are professedly Atheists, and blasphemy is encouraged by subscription, and sedition supported by charities, no patriot and christian would assist vice by palliating its excesses, or render them less offensive by a decent veil.
Lamb is entitled to both the above characters of patriot and christian. The bulk of his work, however, was translation, and over a thirty-year period he produced book-length translations of Johannes Secundus NicolaiusPetrarchPropertiusHafizBonefoniusLucretiusand Horace He was so prolific because he felt that more was at stake in translating than literary appreciation, even though aesthetic values always guided his choices as well.
The mimetic concept of translation that made him choose a foreignizing method to preserve the difference of the foreign text also made him think of his work as an act of cultural restoration. This was the rationale he often gave in his prefatory statements.
For Nott, translation performed the work of cultural restoration by revising the canon of foreign literature in English, supporting the admission of some marginalized texts and occasionally questioning the canonicity of others. In his preface to his selection from the Persian poet Hafiz, Nott boldly challenged the English veneration of classical antiquity by suggesting that western European culture originated in the east: we lament, whilst years are bestowed in acquiring an insight into the Greek and Roman authors, that those very writers should have been neglected, from whom the Greeks evidently derived both the richness of their mythology, and the peculiar tenderness of their expressions.
This was necessary, whether to distribute justice, or to exercise compassion. But private avarice and extortion shut up the gates of public virtue. After studying medicine in Paris as well as London, he spent years on the Continent as physician to English travellers —, —, — and made a trip to China as surgeon on a vessel of the East India Company — The class in which Nott travelled must also be included among the conditions of his cultural work: the aristocracy.
This class affiliation is important because it indicates a domestic motive for his interest in foreignizing translation. A confirmed bachelor himself, he served as physician to Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, when she travelled on the Continent between and Posonby ; DNB.
The fashionable, trend-setting Duchess had been banished abroad by her husband William, the fifth Duke, because gambling losses had driven her deep into debt. Inthe Duchess gave birth to a daughter who was assumed to be the offspring of her adultery with Charles Grey, an aggressive young politician who led the Whig party and later became Prime Minister. The Duke himself fathered three illegitimate children, one by a woman with whom he had an affair at the time of his marriage, two by Lady Elizabeth Foster, who separated from her own husband in and was befriended by the Duke and Duchess.
George Lamb — was born into the same aristocratic milieu as Nott, but thirty years later. InGeorge married Caroline St. Everyone concerned knew of these relations. The knowledge of these relations extended past the family. Still, everything was treated very discreetly. George himself seems to have been happily married.
Wilt thou dine with me, Apemantus? No; I eat not lords. O they eat lords; so they come by great bellies. Shakespeare I. Lamb saw no contradiction between professing liberalism as a Whig politician and censoring canonical literary texts. Now, have I heart to see the flames devour The work of many a pleasurable hour? Lamb I, ix—x Lamb was one of those future aristocrats for whom Sir John Denham developed the domesticating method of translating classical poetry, shrinking from the prospect of publication because poetry translation was not the serious work of politics or government service.
Fluent, domesticating translation was valorized in accordance with bourgeois moral and literary values, and a notable effort of resistance through a foreignizing method was decisively displaced. Nott and Lamb exemplify the two options available to translators at a specific moment in the canonization of fluency.
Perhaps most importantly, they show that in foreignizing translation, the difference of the foreign text can only ever be figured by domestic values that differ from those in dominance. Chapter 3 Nation The translator who attaches himself closely to his original more or less abandons the originality of his nation, and so a third comes into existence, and the taste of the multitude must first be shaped towards it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe trans. At the turn of the nineteenth century, foreignizing translation lacked cultural capital in English, but it was very active in the formation of another national culture—German. And yet, surprisingly, Schleiermacher proposed this nationalist agenda by theorizing translation as the locus of cultural difference, not the homogeneity that his ideological configuration might imply, and that, in various, historically specific forms, has long prevailed in English-language translation, British and American.
The central contradiction of vernacular nationalist movements is that they are at once made possible and vulnerable by language. Language forms the particular solidarity that is the basis of the nation, but the openness of any language to new uses allows nationalist narratives to be rewritten—especially when this language is the target of translations that are foreignizing, most interested in the cultural difference of the foreign text.
If, as Schleiermacher believed, a foreignizing translation method can be useful in building a national culture, forging a foreign-based cultural identity for a linguistic community about to achieve political autonomy, it can also undermine any concept of nation by challenging cultural canons, disciplinary boundaries, and national values in the target language.
The following genealogy reconstructs a foreignizing translation tradition, partly German, partly English, examines the specific cultural situations in which this tradition took shape, and evaluates its usefulness in combating domesticating translation in the present.
And this makes communication the criterion by which methodological choices are validated and authentic translation distinguished from inauthentic. Lefevere The translator aims to preserve the linguistic and cultural difference of the foreign text, but only as it is perceived in the translation by a limited readership, an educated elite. Interestingly, to imitate the German this closely is not to be more faithful to it, but to be more English, that is, consistent with an English syntactical inversion that is now archaic.
He was keenly aware that translation strategies are situated in specific cultural formations where discourses are canonized or marginalized, circulating in relations of domination and exclusion. Here it becomes clear that Schleiermacher was enlisting his privileged translation method in a cultural political agenda: an educated elite controls the formation of a national culture by refining its language through foreignizing translations. As Albert Ward observes of this period, literature was […] a predominantly bourgeois art, but it was only a small part of this section of the community that responded most readily to the classical writers of the great age of German literature.
Our friend, who looked for the middle way in this, too, tried to reconcile both, but as a man of feeling and taste he preferred the first maxim when in doubt. This audience was reading translations as well, but the greatest percentage consisted of translations from French and English novels, including the work of Choderlos de Laclos and Richardson.
I find this a good thing. It is to be deplored that the great preference for England which dominated a part of the family could not have taken the direction of familiarizing him from childhood on with the English language, whose last golden age was then in bloom, and which is so much closer to German. But we may hope that he would have preferred to produce literature and philosophy in Latin, rather than in French, if he had enjoyed a strict scholarly education.
As Jerry Dawson makes clear, the war between France and Prussia inwith the resulting collapse of the Prussian armies and the humiliating peace terms dictated to Prussia by Napoleon, proved to be the final factor needed to turn [Schleiermacher] to nationalism with a complete and almost reckless abandon.
The Prussian defeat caused Schleiermacher to lose his appointment at the University of Halle, and he fled to Berlin, the Prussian capital, where he lectured at the university and preached at various churches. Sheehan This vision of Germany as a union of relatively autonomous principalities was partly a compensation for the then prevailing international conflict, and it is somewhat backward-looking, traced with a nostalgia for the domestic political organization that prevailed before the French occupation.
Schleiermacher himself was a member of a bourgeois cultural elite, but his nationalist ideology is such that it admits aristocracy, monarchy, even an imperialist tendency—but only when they constitute a national unity resistant to foreign domination.
His theory of foreignizing translation should be seen as anti-French because it opposes the translation method that dominated France since neoclassicism, viz.
Who would want to contend that nothing has ever been translated into French from the classical languages or from the Germanic languages! But even though we Germans are perfectly willing to listen to this advice, we should not follow it.
In a satiric dialogue fromA. Schlegel had already made explicit the nationalist ideology at work in identifying French culture with a domesticating translation method: Frenchman: The Germans translate every literary Tom, Dick, and Harry. We either do not translate at all, or else Album) translate according to our own taste. German: Which is to say, you paraphrase and you disguise.
Frenchman: We look on a foreign author as a stranger in our company, who has to dress and behave according to our customs, if he desires to please.
German: How narrow-minded of you to be pleased only by what is native. Frenchman: Such is our nature and our education. Did the Greeks not hellenize everything as well?
German: In your case it goes back to a narrow-minded nature and a conventional education. In ours education is our nature. Here nationalism is equivalent to universalism: An inner necessity, in which a peculiar calling of our people expresses itself clearly enough, has driven us to translating en masse; we cannot go back and we must go on. Universe competition. He placed third. The winner that year was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Every week, Ray would be up onstage working really hard to make Jesus cool.
There was arena-style seating and a rock band jamming out with the latest Christian contemporary pop. It was Christian karaoke, basically. I always had a blast at mixed church.
White church was Rosebank Union in Sandton, a very white and wealthy part of Johannesburg. My mom would go to that, and I would go to the youth side, to Sunday school. In Sunday school we got to read cool stories. Noah and the flood was obviously a favorite; I had a personal stake there. I grew up in a home with very little exposure to popular culture. Songs about some guy grinding on a girl all night long?
No, no, no. That was forbidden. The only music I knew was from church: soaring, uplifting songs praising Jesus. It was the same with movies. So the Bible was my action movie. Samson was my superhero. He was my He-Man. A guy beating a thousand people to death with the jawbone of a donkey? Eventually you get to Paul writing letters to the Ephesians and it loses the plot, but the Old Testament and the Gospels?
I could quote you anything from those pages, chapter and verse. Then there was black church. There was always some kind of black church service going on somewhere, and we tried them all.
In the township, that typically meant an outdoor, tent-revival-style church. No air-conditioning. No lyrics up on Jumbotrons. And it lasted forever, three or four hours at least, which confused me because white church was only like an hour—in and out, thanks for coming. But at black church I would sit there for what felt like an eternity, trying to figure out why time moved so slowly.
Is it possible for time to actually stop? If so, why does it stop at black church and not at white church? I eventually decided black people needed more time with Jesus because we suffered more. The more time we spent at church, she reckoned, the more blessings we accrued, like a Starbucks Rewards Card. Black church had one saving grace. People possessed by demons would start running up and down the aisles like madmen, screaming in tongues. The ushers would tackle them, like bouncers at a club, and hold them down for the pastor.
The person had to fall. You could be a linebacker in the NFL. That pastor was taking you down. Good Lord, that was fun. Christian karaoke, badass action stories, and violent faith healers—man, I loved church. It was an epic slog. We lived in Eden Park, a tiny suburb way outside Johannesburg.
It took us an hour to get to white church, another forty-five minutes to get to mixed church, and another forty-five minutes to drive out to Soweto for black church. This particular Sunday, the Sunday I was hurled from a moving car, started out like any other Sunday. My mother woke me up, made me porridge for breakfast. I took my bath while she dressed my baby brother Andrew, who was nine months old. My mom had this ancient, broken-down, bright-tangerine Volkswagen Beetle that she picked up for next to nothing.
The reason she got it for next to nothing was because it was always breaking down. To this day I hate secondhand cars. Secondhand cars made me get detention for being late for school. Secondhand cars left us hitchhiking on the side of the freeway. A secondhand car was also the reason my mom got married. As much as I loved church, the idea of a nine-hour slog, from mixed church to white church to black church then doubling back to white church again, was just too much to contemplate.
It was bad enough in a car, but taking public transport would be twice as long and twice as hard. Indeed, obstacles that would normally lead a person to change their plans, like a car breaking down, only made her more determined to forge ahead. Sometimes Jesus puts obstacles in your way to see if you overcome them.
Like Job. This could be a test. Yes, Mom. Now go change your clothes. Any time I heard it I knew it meant the conversation was over, and if I uttered another word I was in for a hiding— what we call a spanking.
At the time, I attended a private Catholic school called Maryvale College. Because she was always chasing me to kick my ass, and I was always running not to get my ass kicked. Nobody ran like me and my mom. She was a thrower, too. Whatever was next to her was coming at you. If it was something breakable, I had to catch it and put it down. If it broke, that would be my fault, too, and the ass-kicking would be that much worse.
Is it breakable? Catch it, put it down, now run. We had a very Tom and Jerry relationship, me and my mom. She was the strict disciplinarian; I was naughty as shit. I loved videogames. I was a master at Street Fighter. I could go forever on a single play. It was a race. It was a normal thing in our neighborhood. Everybody knew: That Trevor child would come through like a bat out of hell, and his mom would be right there behind him.
She gathered up Andrew and we climbed out of the Volkswagen and went out to try to catch a ride. I remember seeing it on TV and everyone being happy. What I do remember, what I will never forget, is the violence that followed. The triumph of democracy over apartheid is sometimes called the Bloodless Revolution. It is called that because very little white blood was spilled.
Black blood ran in the streets. As the apartheid regime fell, we knew that the black man was now going to rule. The question was, which black man?
The political dynamic between these two groups was very complicated, but the simplest way to understand it is as a proxy war between Zulu and Xhosa. The Inkatha was predominantly Zulu, very militant and very nationalistic. The ANC was a broad coalition encompassing many different tribes, but its leaders at the time were primarily Xhosa. Instead of uniting for peace they turned on one another, committing acts of unbelievable savagery.
Massive riots broke out. Thousands of people were killed. Necklacing was common. The ANC did it to Inkatha. Inkatha did it to the ANC. I saw one of those charred bodies on the side of the road one day on my way to school. In the evenings my mom and I would turn on our little black-and-white TV and watch the news. A dozen people killed. Fifty people killed. A hundred people killed. Hundreds of rioters in the street. My mom would edge the car slowly through the crowds and around blockades made of flaming tires.
As we drove past the burning blockades, it felt like we were inside an oven. But not my mom. Let me pass. She was unwavering in the face of danger. That always amazed me. She had things to do, places to be. It was the same stubbornness that kept her going to church despite a broken-down car.
Even when she should have been. When we walked out of Rosebank Union it was dark and we were alone. It had been an endless day of minibuses from mixed church to black church to white church, and I was exhausted. In those days, with all the violence and riots going on, you did not want to be out that late at night. The streets were empty. This is why God wanted us to stay home.
There were times I could talk smack to my mom—this was not one of them. We waited and waited for a minibus to come by. Necessity being the mother of invention, black people created their own transit system, an informal network of bus routes, controlled by private associations operating entirely outside the law.
Because the minibus business was completely unregulated, it was basically organized crime. Different groups ran different routes, and they would fight over who controlled what. There was bribery and general shadiness that went on, a great deal of violence, and a lot of protection money paid to avoid violence.
Drivers who stole routes would get killed. Being Album), minibuses were also very unreliable. When they came, they came. Standing outside Rosebank Union, I was literally falling asleep on my feet. Not a minibus in sight. The driver offered us a ride, and we climbed in.
A Zulu driver got out with an iwisa, a large, traditional Zulu weapon—a war club, basically. Another guy, his crony, got out of the passenger side. Why are you picking people up? I knew that happened sometimes. My mom spoke up. Leave him. We were the only passengers in the minibus.
In addition to being violent gangsters, South African minibus drivers are notorious for complaining and haranguing passengers as they drive. This driver was a particularly angry one. As we rode along, he started lecturing my mother about being in a car with a man who was not her husband. She told him to mind his own business, and when he heard her speaking in Xhosa, that really set him off. The stereotypes of Zulu and Xhosa women were as ingrained as those of the men. Zulu women were well-behaved and dutiful.
Xhosa women were promiscuous and unfaithful. And here was my mother, his tribal enemy, a Xhosa woman alone with two small children—one of them a mixed child, no less. Not just a whore but a whore who sleeps with white men. Disgusting woman. Death was never far away from anybody back then. At that point my mother could be raped. We could be killed. These were all viable options. Plus my mom stayed very calm. She just kept trying to reason with him.
My mother sat next to me, holding baby Andrew. When we came to the next traffic light, the driver eased off the gas a bit to look around and check the road. My mother reached over, pulled the sliding door open, grabbed me, and threw me out as far as she could. Then she took Andrew, curled herself in a ball around him, and leaped out behind me. It felt like a dream until the pain hit. I smacked hard on the pavement.
My mother landed right beside me and we tumbled and tumbled and rolled Slow Burn - Legal Weapon - Take Out The Trash (CD rolled. I was wide awake now. I went from half asleep to What the hell?! Eventually I came to a stop and pulled myself up, completely disoriented. I looked around and saw my mother, already on her feet. She turned and looked at me and screamed. It was animal instinct, learned in a world where violence was always lurking and waiting to erupt.
In the townships, when the police came swooping in with their riot gear and armored cars and helicopters, I knew: Run for cover. Run and hide. I knew that as a five-year-old. Had I lived a different life, getting thrown out of a speeding minibus might have fazed me.
Why are my legs so sore? Like the gazelle runs from the lion, I ran. We smoked them. I think they were in shock. I still remember glancing back and seeing them give up with a look of utter bewilderment on their faces.
What just happened? We kept going and going until we made it to a twenty-four-hour petrol station and called the police. By then the men were long gone. Once we stopped running I realized how much pain I was in.
I looked down, and the skin on my arms was scraped and torn. I was cut up and bleeding all over. Mom was, too. My baby brother was fine, though, incredibly. I turned to her in shock. Why are we running?! You just threw me out of the car! I was asleep! I was too confused and too angry about getting thrown out of the car to realize what had happened. My mother had saved my life. This was not thanks to God!
I know you love Jesus, but maybe next week you could ask him to meet us at our house. I started laughing, too, and we stood there, this little boy and his mom, our arms and legs covered in blood and dirt, laughing together through the pain in the light of a petrol station on the side of the road in the middle of the night.
A partheid was perfect racism. It took centuries to develop, starting all the way back in when the Dutch East India Company landed at the Cape of Good Hope and established a trading colony, Kaapstad, later known as Cape Town, a rest stop for ships traveling between Europe and India.
To impose white rule, the Dutch colonists went to war with the natives, ultimately developing a set of laws to subjugate and enslave them. When the British took over the Cape Colony, the descendants of the original Dutch settlers trekked inland and developed their own language, culture, and customs, eventually becoming their own people, the Afrikaners—the white tribe of Africa. The British abolished slavery in name but kept it in practice.
They did so because, in the mids, in what had been written off as a near-worthless way station on the route to the Far East, a few lucky capitalists stumbled upon the richest gold and diamond reserves in the world, and an endless supply of expendable bodies was needed to go in the ground and get it all out.
They set up a formal commission to go out and study institutionalized racism all over the world. They went to Australia. They went to the Netherlands. They went to America.
Then they came back and published a report, and the government used that knowledge to build the most advanced system of racial oppression known to man. Apartheid was a police state, a system of surveillance and laws designed to keep black people under total control. A full compendium of those laws would run more than three thousand pages and weigh approximately ten pounds, but the general thrust of it should be easy enough for any American to understand.
In America you had the forced removal of the native onto reservations coupled with slavery followed by segregation. Imagine all three of those things happening to the same group of people at the same time. That was apartheid.
My mother, Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah, is black. My father, Robert, is white. During apartheid, one of the worst crimes you could commit was having sexual relations with a person of another race.
Needless to say, my parents committed that crime. Race-mixing proves that races can mix—and in a lot of cases, want to mix. Because a mixed person embodies that rebuke to the logic of the system, race-mixing becomes a crime worse than treason.
Humans being humans and sex being sex, that prohibition never stopped anyone. There were mixed kids in South Africa nine months after the first Dutch boats hit the beach in Table Bay. Just like in America, the colonists here had their way with the native women, as colonists so often do. Based on those classifications, millions of people were uprooted and relocated. Indian areas were segregated from colored areas, which were segregated from black areas—all of them segregated from white areas and separated from one another by buffer zones of empty land.
Laws were passed prohibiting sex between Europeans and natives, laws that were later amended to prohibit sex between whites and all nonwhites. The government went to insane lengths to try to enforce these new laws. The penalty for breaking them was five years in prison. There were whole police squads whose only job was to go around peeking through windows—clearly an assignment for only the finest law enforcement officers.
And if an interracial couple got caught, God help them. The police would kick down the door, drag the people out, beat them, arrest them.
If you ask my mother whether she ever considered the ramifications of having a mixed child under apartheid, she will say no. She wanted to do something, figured out a way to do it, and then she did it. She had a level of fearlessness that you have to possess to take on something like she did.
Still, it was a crazy, reckless thing to do. A million things had to go right for us to slip through the cracks the way we did for as long as we did. If you Slow Burn - Legal Weapon - Take Out The Trash (CD a black woman, you worked in a factory or as a maid.
Those were pretty much your only options. She was a horrible cook and never would have stood for some white lady telling her what to do all day. So, true to her nature, she found an option that was not among the ones presented to her: She took a secretarial course, a typing class. At the time, a black woman learning how to type was like a blind person learning how to drive. By law, white-collar jobs and skilled- labor jobs were reserved for whites. My mom, however, was a rebel, and, fortunately for her, her rebellion came along at the right moment.
In the early s, the South African government began making minor reforms in an attempt to quell international protest over the atrocities and human rights abuses of apartheid. Among those reforms was the token hiring of black workers in low-level white- collar jobs. Like typists.
Through an employment agency she got a job as a secretary at ICI, a multinational pharmaceutical company in Braamfontein, a suburb of Johannesburg. When my mom started working, she still lived with my grandmother in Soweto, the township where the government had relocated my family decades before.
But my mother was unhappy at home, and when she was twenty-two she ran away to live in downtown Johannesburg. There was only one problem: It was illegal for black people to live there.
The ultimate goal of apartheid was to make South Africa a white country, with every black person stripped of his or her citizenship and relocated to live in the homelands, the Bantustans, semi-sovereign black territories that were in reality puppet states of the government in Pretoria. But this so-called white country could not function without black labor to produce its wealth, which meant black people had to be allowed to live near white areas in the townships, government-planned ghettos built to house black workers, like Soweto.
The township was where you lived, but your status as a laborer was the only thing that permitted you to stay there. If your papers were revoked for any reason, you could be deported back to the homelands. To leave the township for work in the city, or for any other reason, you had to carry a pass with your ID number; otherwise you could be arrested.
There was also a curfew: After a certain hour, blacks had to be back home in the township or risk arrest. She was determined to never go home again. California parents cheer and jeer vaccine mandate for kids. Media company Ozy is shutting down as problems mount.
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