Tydskrif vir letterkunde

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Breyten Breytenbachs poëzie in Raster

Camille Bourgeus, Yves T’Sjoen


English Title: Breyten Breytenbach’s poetry in Raster

From 1969 until 1972 the South-African writer and graphic artist Breyten Breytenbach published 29 poems, prose texts and three drawings in the Dutch experimental periodical Raster (first edition: 1967). H. C. ten Berge, writer, poet and Rasters main editor, attributed Breytenbach an unusually prominent position in his magazine. In the Dutch language area of the late sixties and early seventies, Breytenbach was mostly known for his political engagement within the anti-apartheid movement. Ten Berge, however, also praised his work for its formal and experimental aesthetic qualities. According to Ten Berge experiment and engagement are related to one another in a very unique way. By examining the position of Breytenbach in Raster, the paper presents a documentation of the exceptional literary relationship between Breytenbach and Ten Berge, as well as their shared interest in certain motifs in poetry, the use of a specific metaphoric language (e.g. perception of nature and body) and a common belief in the power of poetic language.

Keywords: aesthetics and politics; Afrikaans poetry; Breyten Breytenbach; Dutch poetry; experimental literature; literary engagement; Raster
AJOL African Journals Online