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Sunday Times Books LIVE

Ben Trovato

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The artist, the gallery and the newspaper folded like a weak hand of cards

By the time you read this I’ll be on the road somewhere between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. Yes, indeed. I am running in the Comrades Marathon. My first ever.

I found myself in the area quite by chance last week. Brenda lured me into the car with a handful of biltong and a bag of pills way past their sell-by date. “Come along, boy,” she urged. “We go walkies.”

I jumped into the back seat and lay there slobbering and panting until she slipped me a chunk of kudu and what looked like a distant relative of the amphetamine family.

We recently joked about my gradual withdrawal from the outside world, marked by disturbing symptoms of senile squalor syndrome. Okay, it wasn’t so much joking as it was Brenda standing in the doorway hissing and spitting like a wounded wolverine while I sank deeper into my nest of filth.

I had spent nine days in front of the TV watching a drama that should have been slapped with an 18 age restriction, so brutal were the scenes of an artless Freedom of Expression, wearing little more than a trusting smile and a pretty frock, being dragged kicking and screaming from the 21st century and bludgeoned to death right there in front of the children.

When a lynch mob marched on a house of art and threatened to hang Freedom of Expression from the nearest tree, I passed clean out.


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