Lost in Translation | On J.M. Coetzee’s The Pole

Ella Fox-Martens

When my grandfather started to die, the first thing he lost was language. Like most people in South Africa, he had been multilingual, fluent in English and isiZulu, competent in Afrikaans and isiXhosa. This ease of passage remained a continual point of pride for him, as the spoken fabric of the country was rewoven after the end of apartheid. When Nelson Mandela, the son of a Xhosa chief, ascended to...

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