The Poet in the Mixer. The Work of Breyten Breytenbach
(Dan Roodt) The Low Countries - 1995, № 3, pp. 251-257
The South African poet and artist Breyten Breytenbach once said that he wrote in a ‘bastard language', Afrikaans.Nowadays he publishes mostly in English, having turned his back on the Afrikaans literary establishment which once showered him with prizes and accolades. In his uneasiness with his own cultural heritage Breytenbach is by no means unique, coming as he does from a country with eleven official languages, and where ethnic conflicts have been the thread running through the patchwork that is South African history. In the cultural turmoil of the new South Africa, Breytenbach's former role as poet laureate to dissident Afrikanerdom has certainly changed. But his quest for freedom and his scintillating phrases will haunt and inspire many generations to come amid the never-ending difficulties of the South African situation. (with two poems by Breyten Breytenbach)
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