Comrade Madam

Samson with Madam Sampson with CM

Nadine Gordimer’s nickname was coined, Dalrymple points out, by the comedian-satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys, and indeed

no entomologist ever fixed an insect to a board with more precision than did Uys with those two words,

which

summed her up to such perfection. If concision is next to Godliness, Uys is a prophet.

Gordimer, writes Dalrymple, combined communist views, wealth and a certain social manner, and had

a voice to etch glass with.

She

was the type of person who had never, in her entire life, lifted or carried anything for herself.

Uys with Mbeki Uys with Mbeki

Her acolyte Anthony Sampson

treated her as one might an orchid in the Arctic. He made sure that she never had to do anything for herself.

Ridiculous and dishonest, Gordimer was

the ne plus ultra of a certain type.

Yet of course,

the fundamental conflict between what people espouse, and how they live and want to continue living was and is not confined to Gordimer.

 

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