Kortetjies en 'n lange (ePub) | Short Stories & Fiction Anthologies
PG du Plessis
When it comes to storytellers, PG du Plessis is well known and respected. Not only on TV or off-stage, but also in newspaper columns and in the collections that have already appeared in book form. Many of the stories were reworked for TV and took form in a different medium (such as the immortal series Koöperasie-stories). Het olifante elmboë en Neklis, two of his earliest collections of short stories, will now collectively be republished under a new title (and with new stories added).
The title of the compilation is derived from the old party-line ring tones of crank-handle telephones: Kortetjies en ‘n lange, or “Short ones and a long one”. But it is more than just a republication, because PG has, in his own words, “tampered with some stories” – among them those that he told during his stage performances (first with Alexa Strachan and later with Ollie Viljoen, Valiant Swart and
He says that some of them he has rewritten somewhat in the real narrative style of the stage, exaggerated and changed – because the restrictions of the newspapers and magazines were lifted. They therefore read differently, lighter and sometimes too elaborate to be understood at first hearing. Those that have been tampered with therefore do not resemble well-made, crystallised short stories in the least.
Perhaps one can call them, in the true sense of the word (once again from PG’s mouth) real word-of-mouth narratives. But the long is also there: a full-blooded short story with one foot in the Anglo-Boer War and the other between 1948 and today. Its title is “Ons mond” and not a single change was made to it because the story – according to PG – is too true to life and complete in itself.