Pat Schwartz

In the valley of the word

The Franschhoek Valley will now be remembered for a happily successful three-day-long celebration of the written word, writes Pat Schwartz

Pogrund tour runs aground

A lecture tour by Benjamin Pogrund, a former South African journalist now living in Israel, and his Palestinian associate has been called off in the wake of the controversy around Israel’s shelling of Gaza. However, the fate of the tour was already in the balance after threats by the South African-based Palestine Solidarity Committee to demonstrate outside the lecture venues.

Lessons in love

Joanna Murray-Smith's thoughtful play explores the oldest of themes, but what sets Honour apart is the wit of the writing, depth of exploration and absence of any neat bows tied around the package, writes Pat Schwartz.

Boyhood memories

Denis Hirson's <i>We Walk Straight So You Better Get Out the Way</i> is a funny, moving and tender book. It ultimately tells us more about our country than many a more obviously serious work, writes Pat Schwartz.

Barney Simon said

<i>Barney's Women</i> includes four actresses and a director who evoke the memory of Barney Simon in a series of reminiscences and extracts from his workshopped plays. Pat Schwartz reviews.

Batho pele? Forget it!

<i>Batho pele</i> (putting people first); <i>motho kemotho kabatho</i> (a human being is a human being because of others); ubuntu … admirable words, fine concepts, but meaningless in a society apparently devoid of capacity, compassion or concern. How many people have the energy or the means, asks Pat Schwartz, to fight a callous and careless bureaucracy?

Nine years under the kgotla tree

Beneath lowering skies on Human Rights Day, Sunday March 21, and before a coterie of international and local legal luminaries, President Thabo Mbeki declared the new Constitutional Court building at No 1, Constitution Hill, open. Its trappings might be impressive, but the Constitutional Court is only as valuable as the decisions made by its judges.

Against the odds

The remarkable love story of Bennie Hermer and Olda Mehr begins ordinarily enough — a young medical student meets a beautiful music student at a New Year's Eve party — they are attracted, they date... But it is 1938 and across the seas, where Mehr is headed to take up a scholarship at London's Royal Academy of Music, the guns of war are being primed. This will be no conventional affair, reviews Pat Schwartz.

Land of milk and honey

In the face of considerable revisionism in the way the Jewish community's response to apartheid is being portrayed in a number of forums, among them Cape Town's Jewish Museum, Gideon Shimoni's dense and considered work serves as an antidote to overdoses of self-congratulation, writes Pat Schwartz.

There is no moral high ground

Amid the acres of newsprint and video footage devoted to the horrific happenings in the Middle East, what is missing is any recognition that there are rights and wrongs on both sides...

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