Reading Update: Essays and Porcelain

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Uit die dagboek van ’n vrou, by Audrey Blignault, compiled by Marié Heese.

Originally written for Sarie (one of the staple South African magazines), these essays by a beloved South African and Afrikaans author gives a view into a life filled with happiness and pain and all the things and emotions that make up a life well and truly lived.

Audrey died in 2008 at the age of 92, leaving behind a legacy of beautiful writing.

(Sorry, this book is not available in translation.)


The White Road: Journey Into an Obsession by Edmund de Waal

Originally bought as a research tool for Porselein, I’ve quite fallen in love with this book and its beautiful, evocative language. It truly shows the ‘la maladie de porcelaine or Porzellankrankheit’ (“Porcelain sickness”) that takes hold of people who work with and collect porcelain.

It really is one of those books that you don’t want to read too fast as is informative without reading like a lecture.

It’s split into five parts, following the story of porcelain through the centuries:

  • Part 1 – Jingdezhen
  • Part 2 – Versailles – Dresden (where I am in the book at the moment)
  • Part 3 – Plymouth
  • Part 4 – Ayoree Mountain – Ekruria – Cornwall
  • Part 5 – London – Jingdezhen – Dachau

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.

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