Saturday, 20 October 2007

Marlene van Niekerk and Her Book Triomf

As I await the next update on the shoot from Alex in Jo'burg, I wanted to give you a link to a Mail & Guardian ZA@Play article that has the best information I've been able to find about Marlene van Niekerk's novel, Triomf. This is the book on which Michael Raeburn based the film, which he's shotting right now.

So, if you're wondering about the background, history and plot of Triomf, check out this article.

Thanks go to Lyndon Plant, our executive producer, who sent me that link.

Here's a little excerpt to get you started:

This violent, incestuous, alcohol-saturated family represents the "poor whites" courted and favoured by the Nationalist government, given jobs on the railways and homes in the new suburb of Triomf. That suburb, with its hubristic name, was, of course, famously built on the ruins of the demolished Sophiatown.

In the novel, Lambert, the 40-year-old epileptic, is obsessively digging a hole in which to store petrol for an emergency trek to "the North" if and when South Africa collapses under the weight of black rule. From this excavation he draws the fragmented remains of what was once a lively, multiracial area: this is what underlies the white Afrikaner triumph of 1948 and after, the rubble beneath the ideology to which the Benades, in a half-blind tribal way, have so long been loyal.

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