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Antjie Krog\'s Role as Translator: A Case Study of Strategic Positioning in the Current South African Literary Poly-system

HP van Coller
BJ Odendaal


Since 1990 South Africa has been characterised by reconciliation and the removal
of traditional cultural and racial borders. These socio-political changes have also influenced the different, co-existing South African literary systems, as well as the various authors functioning in one or more of these (sub-) systems. Antjie Krog is a notable figure in this regard. She has played an increasingly important role as a mediator in establishing greater interaction among the different South African literary (sub-) systems. The focus of this study is on her mediating role as a translator and cultural processor in the Afrikaans literary field.
A concise exposition of the impact of the above-mentioned socio-political changes on Afrikaans literature is given, after which the strategic (re-)positioning of a number of Afrikaans authors in the current South African literary landscape is described briefly in terms of systems theory (Even-Zohar 1979, De Geest 1996, Schmidt 1996, and others).
In the main body of the article, attention is paid to the strategic actions taken by Krog in the Afrikaans literary field in translating (and processing), successively, her own Afrikaans poetry into English, the work of other poets into Afrikaans, her own prose writing from and into Afrikaans, and the prose and drama work of others into Afrikaans

Current Writing Vol. 19 (2) 2007: pp. 94-122

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eISSN: 2159-9130
print ISSN: 1013-929X