In Conversation with Limerence Author Vincent Pienaar

This entry was posted on 25 May 2021.

Just like Vincent Pienaar’s novel Too Many Tsunamis, Limerence  is a warm-hearted and funny tale. The Penguin Post spoke with Vincent about getting limerenced, dark humour and the person who inspired the scoundrel Scout.


PP: Where did you first get to know the word ‘limerence’?

VP: By sheer coincidence. Serendipity if you like. A beautiful and loving, but cynical friend sent me a meme about a couple “in limerence”. At that time the working title was Scout although I thought, Downhill from There It Went might work, but I fell in love with limerence. It has a bitter-sweet flavour that embodies everything real romance tries to ignore. (True to the subtitle, the word is never defined in the book. “If you want to know what it is, look it up.”)


PP: Is it something you suffer(-ed) from often?

VP: Not too often. Not more than once a week. It’s all in the subtitle: “If you’ve got it, enjoy it.”


“If he is such a scoundrel, why do people love him so much?”


PP: Scout, the main character is a real scoundrel, scheming and plotting his way along. And while it may not be limerence the reader feels for him, one does have a bit of a soft spot for him. How did you meet?

VP: Meet? In my subconscious, I suppose. Remember, Scout is a fictional character. No more, no less. Okay, so who am I kidding? The book is dedicated to Charles Visser (deceased now) whom I met in the streets of Melville. As I say in the dedication: “The more he tried to be normal, the more eccentric he became.” The book itself was born when I conceived the idea of a man giving different people the same last will and testament. Then I wondered how a person like Charles would have handled it. Then I wondered why he would do it. Then I... Well, you know. A recurring theme of the book: If he is such a scoundrel, why do people love him so much? I’m very happy the book is dedicated to him.


PP: Have you ever been on the receiving end of a scam like the one Scout tries to pull off?

VP: I've been limerenced a few times. And I did lose R80 in a Golden Products investment once, though. But nah. I’ve never had enough of anything for anybody to want to scam me. I’m very proud of that. 


PP: Limerence tells the story of a scoundrel – but also of love. How do you reconcile the two?

VP: Women have a sense of humour. There are two kinds of men (no sexism intended) in the pub. The one that gives the lady a lift home when she’s had too much to drink, and the scoundrel who got her into that state to begin with. Which one does she remember? The one that made her laugh. And there’s also the dark side. Women have a sense of humour and almost always, a dark side.


by Vincent Pienaar
by Vincent Pienaar



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