Wednesday, November 12, 2003

First, song(s) in my head, China Girl(Bowie) and Desire (U2). Both played very loudly at some point during our house party this weekend, with superb results.

Second, I've just read a little bit of someone else's copy of Three Reformers by Jacques Maritain. The first essay looks like the most un-PC possible dismantling of Luther ever. Had to give it back, unfortunately, but I'll be trying to get my hands on that again.

Now, the weekend. A quality result against the Scousers (though oddly lacking in passion - but anyway, a properly professional win). It's true that United didn't play anything like as well as they can but :
1. They didn't have to, and :
2. Getting results when you're not playing well is how championships are won (which is a cliche, but cliches become cliches because they're true, which is another cliche, but...) and finally,
3. We played reasonably well anyway.

Keane was absolutely immense in midfield; he's come off worse in a couple of his recent battles with Gerrard (notably last season's Worthington cup final) but those were completely avenged this time round and every element of his game was present, correct and shiny. Tackling as crisp as ever, distribution precise, good anticipation, the raging will to win, leadership... I could go on, but I shouldn't. Man of the match stuff as always.
Giggs did get a little lucky with both the goals, but he'd spotted that Dudek had vulnerabilities and was probing at them well before then. cf. the 40-yard volley from Dudek's miskick. Heskey's miss, Silvestre's tackle, the penalty that wasn't that was and the City result all meant it was a good weekend to be a United fan.

A little while ago, I was in Steers, you know, the one behind Muindi Mbingu Street, paying for an immensely delicious and slightly overpriced Hero Steak Roll . I saw Binyavanga Wainaina, went over, introduced, and then made an arse of myself. The relevant bits of conversation went (very roughly) like this:

Me: hello, I'm a big fan of yours, congratulations on winning the Cain prize.
BW: Thank you, do you write yourself?
Me: [long, awkward, aphasic pause] What?, No, well, um, err, err, badly.

All this is by way of the fact that this guy is probably Kenya's best young(ish) writer as a little glance at these stories here will show.
And he's only recently got a new literary mag started. It's called Kwani and is the first of it's kind in Kenya for years. This is A Good Thing, maybe even a sign that the culture is coming of age; or at least that it's sufficiently self-confident and has the requisite critical mass of unemployed literary people for this to happen. At any rate, we were hugely overdue a showcase for quality Kenyan writing, which there is a great deal of. (Witness Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's story which won her this year's Caine prize and is published in Kwani.)
No heavy-duty cultural analysis here, but I will be buying any copies I can find and you too might care to see what all the fuss is about.

There's a good (OK, slightly clueless) report about all this here.

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