Unassimilable Strangeness: The Afrikaans Poetry of Olga Kirsch

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Date

2013

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Department of Dutch and South African Studies, Faculty of English

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Abstract

The Afrikaans poetry of Olga Kirsch (1924-1997) makes an important and lasting contribution to Afrikaans literature, despite its “unassimilable strangeness.” In a genre dominated until then by men, Kirsch introduces the voice of a woman poet; more importantly, she is the only Jewish poet in Afrikaans. And Kirsch seals her ‘strangeness’ by her early, initial critique of apartheid policies. Kirsch also wrote in English and Hebrew, but her published output in Afrikaans is more significant and will ultimately determine her place in the national canon and the cultural consciousness of post-apartheid South Africa.

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Keywords

Olga Kirsch, Afrikaans, Jewish poet, woman poet, gender studies, Afrikaans literature, war poetry

Citation

Werkwinkel vol. 8(1), 2013, pp. 101-123

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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego