Ulf Iskender Kaschl

Road Movie Cape Town

Ulf Iskender Kaschl
Trier: éditions trèves, 2010
257 S.
ISBN 978-3-8808-1605-3

In the year 1999 24-year-old Alexander comes to study at the University of Cape Town for one year. Upon his arrival he is shocked by the overt racism experienced in the country, which in an exemplary manner  under president Nelson Mandela had moved from apartheid to democracy. In order to get to know the country and its people, Alexander – different to other exchange students who mostly prefer to stay among their own kind – moves into the multicultural residential area Woodstock in Cape Town with the bubbly doctoral student Kay as his flat mate. Through her he also gets to know Mona, a South African with Dutch heritage. Alexander falls in love with Mona but their relationship is as ambivalent for Alexander as his relationship with South Africa. He is attracted to the beauty and the sense of freedom, but he is strongly repelled by the subliminal racism. Alexander spends an exciting and adventurous year in South Africa in a time of political and social upheaval.

Ten years later Alexander returns to Cape Town and tries to relate to his experiences and the events of the past. But what was once familiar has now changed and is strange to him – he is unable to revive his memories, and he still feels the same ambivalence he felt then. Alexander cannot let go of the fascination he has for this country, which he has learnt to love but which also frightens him and which he will never fully understand.

    Ulf Iskender Kaschl: Roadmovie Kapstadt
    (Road Movie Cape Town)

    The novel is a combination of travel documentary and adventure story. In 1999 the author, Ulf Kaschl, spent a year of study in Cape Town and went back there ten years later to retrace his memories.More ...