Walking the Road of Death

R150.00

“Peter Horn is not only a distinguished scholar and poet, but also an accomplished short story writer who understands the complexities of a demanding genre. He approaches his creative work with skill and insight, moulding his material into a variety of forms. Some of his pieces have clearly been shaped by an intensity of sharply focused passion. Other stories rely on the effects of a teasing, wry humour. Still other narratives become incandescent as he uncovers corrupt political motives or distortions of justice. Then again, his short fiction may be sceptical and mildly outrageous, playing knowingly with the reader’s preconceptions or potentially lazy expectations.” Merle Williams

 

Peter Horn has published seven volumes of poetry, Voices from the Gallows, Ophir (1969); Walking through our Sleep, Ravan Press (1974); Silence in Jail, Scribe Press (1979); The Civil War Cantos (1987); Poems 1964-1989, Ravan Press (1991); An Axe in the Ice, COSAW (1992); The River that Connect us to the Past, Mayibuye (1996). He has published two collections of short stories, My Voice is Under Control Now, Kwela (1999) and Walking the Road of Death, Geko Publishing (2015), and a collection of essays, Writing my Reading: Essays on Literary Politics in South Africa, Rodopi Press (1994). Most of his works were banned by the apartheid regime.

Horn is a professor of literature at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Description

Prof Merle Williams says this about Walking the Road of Death …

“Peter Horn is not only a distinguished scholar and poet, but also an accomplished short story writer who understands the complexities of a demanding genre. He approaches his creative work with skill and insight, moulding his material into a variety of forms. Some of his pieces have clearly been shaped by an intensity of sharply focused passion. Other stories rely on the effects of a teasing, wry humour. Still other narratives become incandescent as he uncovers corrupt political motives or distortions of justice. Then again, his short fiction may be sceptical and mildly outrageous, playing knowingly with the reader’s preconceptions or potentially lazy expectations.

Many of the stories in Walking the road of death bear testimony to a strong philosophical bent that enjoys challenging the status quo; logic is made to tremble, yet is replaced with an ampler and more flexible mode of reasoning. There are, unsurprisingly, shades of Kafka and of Walter Benjamin in Peter’s stories. The alert critic is rewarded with dismantlings of Saussure in the interest of a phenomenological apprehension of the flesh of things or passing glimpses of William Faulkner’s intuition of the limitations of language.

An unexpected epigraph from the seventeenth-century mystic and religious poet, Angelus Silesius, introduces a reflection on refuse. Peter’s range and easy reach are attractive, even persuasive. He is thoroughly impatient of
the vacuity of consumer culture in its association with the Baudrillardian simulacrum; he is equally dismissive of intellectual complacency and self-delusion. He scarcely pauses before kicking the sacred cows of academic or
social respectability.”

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