February 2010

Finding Mr Madini

Here's another unusual read from my days in South Africa. Finding Mr Madini is a collection of stories compiled by a main narrator. Published in 2000, this story follows the footsteps of several different homeless people. It's a weird little insight into the lives of poorer folk of this country.

The story itself is told by one character. The main protagonist (in this case, the main narrator) is Jonathan Misha Morgan and his words at the beginning sum up what this book is all about: “No one's homelessness is quite like anyone else's”. Thus, in order to explore this difference, he gathers a group of homeless folks for a project. Each character is required to talk about their lives and how they ended up living on the street.

What do Jonathon Swift and the Onion Have in Common?

What do Jonathon Swift and the writers of the Onion have in common? They are all brilliant satirists for their times. In Jonathon Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”, he  suggests that unwanted children should be killed for the purpose of saving resources and providing meat, much along the same lines as venison. He also allows for the possibility for a new meat market, with many customers attracted to the idea of fresh babies as delicious alternative to other meat.  

Annie M. G. Schmidt

I was reminded of Annie M. G. Schmidt and her works when I recently came across the drama series about her life. For those who are wondering who she is, she is one of the most famous children's authors in Netherlands. Actually, her works have now become famous in many parts of the world. And, once the modern adaptations of her works are released, I'm sure her works will be in demand all over again.

Annie Schmidt's most well-known works were Jip and Janneke. These are cute stories features two mischievous kids, a boy and a girl. These tales follows their little adventures as they explore the world around them. The appeal of these works lie in the author's ability to recreate a child's sense of wonder. You know how kids can be filled with awe at seemingly mundane occurrences?