Friday, August 03, 2018


Writer James Baldwin would have turned 94 yesterday if he was still alive. 

I've often turned to him for writing advice, he was very good at providing it via the countless interviews with him over the years.

He has taught me to 'use every experience':

"One writes out of one thing only—one’s own experience. 

"Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art.

-from “Autobiographical Notes,” in the Collected Essays from Library of America


I took the photo last night while waiting for my bus in Darling Street, after my extremely good value chicken vindaloo curry at the Eastern Food Bazaar nearby. 

The main focus of my photo is the masterpiece of art deco building on the corner of Darling and Parliament streets: the Old Mutual Building (officially The Mutual Building). 

The building (take a look at these photos) "is often used often for movie shoots and now fully converted into an apartment block, known as Mutual Heights, rather than as corporate offices (it’s like stepping into a little piece of New York)."

The original design of the building, according to Wikipedia, "is attributed to Louw & Louw (Cape Town architects), working with Fred Glennie (best known at the time as a mentor to architectural students) – Mr Glennie is personally credited with most of the detailed work but Ivan Mitford-Barberton was also involved with some internal details as well as with the external granite decorations."

Then, when home, I gratefully crashed into bed and finished the last (increasingly bleak) pages of Paul Bowles's The Sheltering Sky.

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