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Johan Myburg se nuutste digbundel uitdagend, meesleurend en betowerend

Uittogboek – ’n bundel wat van fyn vakmanskap, tematiese en stilistiese verskeidenheid en intellektuele diepgang getuig – is ’n hoogtepunt in die digter Johan Myburg se oeuvre.

Temas soos die doodsbesef, die mens se verganklikheid en die optekening van laaste dinge word op subtiele en sensitiewe wyse benader en met ironie en humor deurspek.

Die samebindende gegewe van die bundel is die Romeinse keiser Hadrianus (76–138 n.C.), en die bundel open met sy bekende sterfgedig in Latyn en Myburg se trefsekere vertaling daarvan in Afrikaans.

Myburg bewys homself met hierdie publikasie as ’n digter wat nie slegs formele verse nie, maar ook vrye verse en langer prosagedigte kan skryf wat die leser op verskeie vlakke uitdaag, gevange hou en betower.

Binne die bestek van drie digbundels het Johan Myburg hom gevestig as een van die mees gerekende digters in die Afrikaanse digkuns; in hoofsaak omrede elke publikasie van hom van ʼn fyn vakmanskap getuig wat nie net sy eie nie, maar die totale digkuns verruim.

Hy debuteer met Vlugskrif (1984). Sy volgende bundel, Kontrafak (1994) word met die Eugène Marais-prys bekroon. In 2008 verskyn die indrukwekkende Kamermusiek; ʼn bundel waar die kamer die sentrale ruimte is waarbinne handeling afspeel. Benewens digter is Myburg ook ’n joernalis en kunskritikus.

Hy woon en werk in Johannesburg, het filosofie, sielkunde en teologie gestudeer en is tans besig met nagraadse studie in visuele kunste.

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Carina Stander se Die Bergengel ’n allegoriese fantasieverhaal van grootword

“ … daar is sekere vermoëns wat alle Bergengele oor alle eeue heen in hul wese moes inweef. Vermoëns soos die Dissipline van Feesviering (om elke klein vredesverdrag te vier), die Dissipline van Geheimhouding (om vir twee dekades aaneen die nasie sonder erkenning te dien, vermom as gewone werker) en die Dissipline van Gemeenskap en Afsondering.

Vir ’n Bergengel is daar altyd die wisseling tussen binne en buite: of hy is ’n alleenloper wat tevrede is met sy eie geselskap, maar deur meegevoel gedryf word na die trop, of hy is ’n kuddewese wat moet leer om gelukkig te wees as ’n eenkantling.

Om ’n Bergengel te wees, is om alleen deur die ondergrondse gange van ’n kapel te stap terwyl daar gesing word – jy hoor nie net die musiek en die stemme nie, jy hoor ook hoe dit eggo in die toekoms.”

In Gabriëllië het nege jaar reeds verloop sedert daar enige teken was van ’n Bergengel en glo die jonger generasie byna nie meer aan die bestaan van dié mitiese kreature nie.

Eron Verberger, seun van die klokmakersegpaar Gibor en Alida Verberger, word egter gedwing om met nuwe oë na fantasie én werklikheid te kyk wanneer hy saam met sy pa op ’n lewensveranderende avontuur vertrek.
 
 
Wie is die misterieuse Reënboogmaker met wie hulle pad elke nou en dan kruis?

Is die brande wat deur die land trek werklik net vure van vernuwende “skoonbrand”, soos die Regiohoofde beweer, of is dit die gevreesde Vuurstorms waarvan die geskiedenis vertel?

’n Mistieke en allegoriese fantasieverhaal van grootword en groei wat tot volwasse sowel as jong volwasse lesers sal spreek.


Carina Stander
is benewens gepubliseerde skrywer en digter (Die vloedbos sal weer vlieg (2006), woud van nege en negentig vlerke (2009) en Wildvreemd (2011)) ook ’n talentvolle kunstenaar met ’n honneursgraad in Beeldende Kunste. As vryskutjoernalis vir onder andere Finesse en Lééf het sy reeds twee Media24-toekennings ingepalm en haar reisartikels verskyn gereeld in tydskrifte soos soos Weg! en Sarie. In 2016 het ’n vervolgverhaal uit haar pen, “Die naakte waarheid”, in Beeld verskyn. Sy woon in die Tsitsikamma saam met haar man en twee seuns.
 

Bergengel

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Die vloedbos sal weer vlieg

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Woud van nege en negentig vlerke

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Gedigte in Ruan Fourie se ’n ope brief aan Dorian Gray oorskry die grense tussen werklikheid, verbeelding en kuns

In hierdie debuutbundel word ’n liefdesgeskiedenis vertel soos dit deur verskillende stadiums beleef word deur die spreker.

Aan die begin soek die spreker na ’n manier om sy liefde duidelik genoeg uit te druk; dan volg die ontnugtering en die belewenis van die geliefde as ’n leë dop, en uiteindelik volg die misnoegde ervaring van mislukking.

Die hele bundel staan in gesprek met Oscar Wilde se roman, The Picture of Dorian Gray, waarin die jong Dorian Gray wens dat sy afbeelding in ’n skildery sal verouder, terwyl hyself jonk bly.

Die gedigte verwoord in hierdie bundel die aftakelingsproses en boots die briefvorm van die Wilde-roman implisiet na. Soos in die roman word die grense tussen werklikheid, verbeelding en kuns in die gedigte dikwels oorskry. Die atmosfeer van verval van die Wilde-roman word ook in talle van die gedigte opgeroep.

Ruan Fourie is in 1994 in Bloemfontein gebore en is tans ’n honneursstudent aan die NWU. Van sy gedigte is op Versindaba gepubliseer en hy het ook as digter deelgeneem aan die Byderhand-projek by Aardklop 2015, wat die ATKV-Aartvarkprys vir Grensverskuiwende Werk gewen het
 

 

'n ope brief aan Dorian Gray

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Read a feature on Jeff Opland and Pamela Maseko, the main editors and translators of the Jeff Opland Series on Xhosa writers

These features were published in The Sunday Independent.

A feature on Jeff Opland and Pamela Maseko, the main editors and translators of the Jeff Opland Series on Xhosa writers, recently appeared in the Sunday Independent.

Read an extract from the two pieces here:

It is common when thinking of a literary archive in the South African indigenous languages, to focus only on the knowledge of literary heritage of a few authors and their selected writings.

In particular, writings that were used at the point of the introduction of literacy for didactic purposes are the only considered as a literary canon of the language.

It is also common that these selected writings are studied and appreciated only for their literary attributes or as far as they are able to tell us about the biographies of their writers.

The meaningful value of a literary archive is embodied in a letter written in the newspaper Isigidimi, in 1887 by Wellington W. Gqoba. Writing in his capacity as an editor, he says, “But there are reasons for me not to remain idle but to deal briefly with minor aspects of … chronological stories of our national stories … motivated as I am by national envy in doing so. My fervent desire is that our history should be well known and brought into print because all nations who possess a history continue to live and do not die even if they are fragmented.

We are taught the events of the nations of Greece, Rome, Egypt, of the English and so on, who they were and what they are today. Thus, they are very much alive, because even we who never shared their experiences or saw them, at least today we know something about them. Through their historical books, we see them, we discuss them and make an example of some of their sayings and habits as reflected in their present day legacy.”

Gqoba argues that a literary heritage reflects and preserves the national, social and cultural identity of a nation. He posits that from these we can deduce the knowledge and intellectual thoughts of the society on whom the writings are based, knowledge that can be shared with other nations.

He is the author of the first volume in the Opland Xhosa Literature Collection Series. Most of his works, which appeared mainly in Isigidimi were copied and collected by Professor Jeffrey Opland and form part of Opland’s Library Collection.

The Gqoba volume was published in 2015 and was translated and co-edited by Opland, Maseko and Kuse. The works reflect, through various literary genres, the intellectual thought of the isiXhosa-speaking Nguni people of the Eastern Cape, reflecting the African ways of knowing.

As Series Editors, Opland and Maseko are driven by the possibilities that these works can add to the body of knowledge in various disciplines in the academy.

They say it is sad that the academy is silent about African intellectual thought when Africa is teeming in its presence. The right to speak your language, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, is not enough, if one cannot use it to understand, share and process knowledge in the context of one’s past experiences, and ways of knowing.

Continue reading the features on Opland and Maseko here:

Pamela Maseko Sunday Independent Article

 
 

DLP Yali-Manisi: Iimbali Zamanyange

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William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembali

 
 

Bibi Slippers en John Miles met 2017 UJ-pryse bekroon

Die Departement Afrikaans aan die Universiteit van Johannesburg het onlangs die wenners van die 2017 UJ-pryse bekend maak.

Die UJ-pryse word jaarliks in twee kategorieë in afsonderlike genres toegeken: die UJ-debuutprys vir die beste kreatiewe debuut in Afrikaans, en die UJ-prys vir die beste kreatiewe teks in Afrikaans.

Van die 68 titels wat vanjaar ingeskryf het, was 16 debute.

Gevestigde, bekroonde skrywers, digters, kortverhaalskrywers en romansiers het ook hulle tekste vir dié gesogte prys ingestuur.

Die wenner van die 2017 UJ-debuutprys is Bibi Slippers, vir haar digbundel Fotostaatmasjien.

Die wenner van die 2017 UJ-prys, is John Miles vir sy agtste roman, Op ’n dag, ’n hond.

Geluk, Bibi en John!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fotostaatmasjien

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Op 'n dag, 'n hond

“I wanted to understand my being a black person from a positive point of view" - Mongane Wally Serote on why he writes

Acclaimed South African author Mongane Wally Serote was recently awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Johannesburg in recognition of his contributions to poetry, literature and philosophy in South Africa.

The following extract on Serote’s reasons for writing was published by Michelle Bao for City Press.

As a young boy, Mongane Wally Serote read a lot.

From novels to newspapers, he read everything he could get hold of while attending school in Alexandra in the 1950s.

But his favourite was always poetry. Reading the likes of William Wordsworth, DH Lawrence and John Keats, Serote was inspired.

“There was something about the manner in which they wrote and the content about which they wrote that inspired me to write,” Serote said.

“It made me want to write poetry for me.”

And so, at the age of 14, Serote started to write his own poetry.

Little did he know it would mark the start of a long and celebrated career as a poet, a writer and an activist both in the Black Consciousness Movement and in the South African struggle for liberation.

“I was inspired by English poetry, but then I discovered that I could write about our own situation and that’s what I set out to do: to write about South Africa and to write about the life that we live,” Serote said.

His critically acclaimed novel To Every Birth Its Blood (1981) deals with the 1976 Soweto uprising and its aftermath, and his celebrated poems, including City Johannesburg and Alexandra, explore the nuances of life under apartheid.

Serote’s vast body of work is often credited with introducing the voice of Black Consciousness to South African literature and advancing principles of social activism and resistance.

Serote was awarded The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver in 2007 for his “excellent contribution to literature, with emphasis on poetry, and for putting his artistic talents at the service of democracy in South Africa”.

And on Monday Serote received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Johannesburg in recognition of his contributions to poetry, literature and philosophy in South Africa.

“Mongane Serote is a true African intellectual in the tradition of the African philosophic sage: a profoundly wise person.

“He is the embodiment of philosophy as the love of wisdom, in the context of both traditional and modern Africa,” said Alex Broadbent, a professor of philosophy and the executive dean of the faculty of humanities at the University of Johannesburg.

“Serote’s commitment to ‘intervene and disrupt racism in all fields of human agency’ is evident in his widely-celebrated contribution to the literature and poetry of black identity and resistance.”

But according to Serote, the purpose behind his prose is much more personal.

Continue reading here.
 

To Every Birth Its Blood

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