By Christopher Heywood
Christopher Heywood surveys consultant South African poems, performs and prose works in 5 literary traditions: Khoisan, Nguni-Sotho, Afrikaans, English, and Indian. Heywood's choices contain over a hundred authors and chosen works--covering poetry, theater and prose. Explored within the context of crises resulting in the formation of contemporary South Africa, South African literature emerges from this examine as one of many nice literatures of the fashionable international.
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Extra info for A History of South African Literature
Rosenberg proposed that degeneration of the type that overtook Ham can be halted only if ‘a foundation stock of racial purity still exists, and the process of bastardization is arrested’. A literary rendering of Rosenberg’s fantastic tale was written by Adolf Hitler. In its English translation as My Struggle (1933), Hitler’s Mein Kampf (1933) ran to eighteen reissues by 1938. In apocalyptic discourse he maintained that ‘mixing the blood’ resulted in ‘the decay of the hybrid’ through absorption of ‘racial poison’ from the darker branches of our species, notably the Semitic and Asiatic communities of Europe, the Middle East, India, and the western Pacific coastline.
Owst set aside the redemptive mission of Christianity. The book emphasises the church’s achievement as a source of literary inspiration through the dissemination of numerous oral narratives that had been preserved in print and renewed in oral performance. ’2 Since the Romantic period in the northern hemisphere, and latterly in South Africa, poets and prose writers have drawn on Indian texts that preserved ancient oral traditions. These traditional resources have contributed to the revival of modern theatre, and to poems on traditional themes by poets of several communities.
With additions from Germany, Portugal, and the Jewish diaspora of mainly eastern European stock, these communities and their ideologies dominated the literature until the arrival of the more powerful and realistic Drum generation and their successors in the 1950s.
A History of South African Literature by Christopher Heywood