André P. Brink
(1935-2015) World renowned Afrikaans novelist, playwright, critic, director and literary scholar. Born André Phillipus Brink in Vrede in the Orange Free State, he studied at at the University of Potchefstroom for CHE, he has an M.A in English and a Doctorate in Afrikaans and Dutch. Spent some time in Paris in the early 1960s and became a member of the influential Sestigers movement among Afrikaans writers and the Skrywersgilde ("Writers' Guild") of the 1980s. One time chair of Afrikaans-Nederlands at Rhodes University, later professor in English at the University of Cape Town. Has been married 4 times, inter alia briefly to actress, playwright and academic Salomi Louw (1965-66) and theatre designer and costumier Alta Muller (1970-87). He has translated most of his novels into English, and enjoys a worldwide reputation as anti-apartheid activist and writer. Has won a number of awards from a variety of countries. As a critic he for a while during the 1980s was considered the most powerful writer in the country, writing and editing his own literature pages in the Rapport, the most widely read Sunday newspaper in the country. As dramatist and drama critic he has been enormously influential. His thesis, published as a book Aspekte van die Nuwe Drama (“Aspects of the New Drama” – 1974, expanded and reprinted 198*) has long provided one of the cornerstones for the development of Afrikaans playwriting and theatre criticism, and in 1996 he published Destabilising Shakespeare. As playwright he has produced 16 plays. Very influentiual have been his early one-act plays in the absurd style - Die koffer, Die tas (both meaning "The suitcase”) , and Die trommel (“The trunk”), first publiashed in 1962, then collectively published as Bagasie (“Baggage”) in 1965, his full length works in the style (Elders Mooiweer en Warm, Pavane), political-historical plays on the early South African history (Die Verhoor - “The Trial”, ***, Afrikaners is Plesierig – “Afrikaners are funloving”) and his later comic adaptations of Shakespeare (Kinkels innie Kabel – “A Comedy of Errors”) and J.M. Synge (Bobaas van die Boendoe – “Playboy of the Western World”) have become an essential part of the Afrikaans dramatic canon of the nineteen-seventies and –eighties and were often performed. His post-apartheid play, Die Jogger (“The Jogger”, 1997) won awards for performances in 1997 and was published in the same year. Brink was awarded the Hertzog Prize for Drama in 1999?/2000? for the play, with consideration of the rest of his dramatic oeuvre. He is also a formidable translator, and among his translations and adaptations for the stage are The Story of an African Farm (PACT, directed by Ken Leach, starring Annelisa Weiland at the Alexander Theatre, 1975), Hedda Gabler (19**), 'n Lang Dagreis na die Nag (Long Day's Journey into Night, 2008) Judge for the Nagtegaalprys for Drama in 2003.
Full list of plays: 1956 Die Band om ons Harte, 1961 Caesar 1962 Die Koffer 1965 Bagasie (Koffer, Tas, Trommel) 1965 Elders Mooiweer en Warm 1970 Die Verhoor 1970 Die Rebelle 1971 Kinkels innie Kabel 1973 Die Bobaas van die Boendoe 1973 Afrikaners is Plesierig 1974 Pavane 1976 Die Hamer van die Hekse 1979 Toiings op die Langpad 1997 Die Jogger 'n Lang Dagreis na die Nag (Long Day's Journey into Night, 2008)
Translations of plays:
1969 Richard III (Shakespeare), 1971 Eskoriaal (Michel de Ghelderode), 1974 Hedda Gabler (Henrik Ibsen), 1975 Die Tragedie van Romeo en Juliet (Shakespeare), The Story of an African Farm (PACT, directed by Ken Leach, starring Annelisa Weiland at the Alexander Theatre, 1975), 1976 Die Seemeeu (Anton Tsjechow), 1992 Not All of Us (Ons is nie almal so nie by Jeanne Goosen), 'n Lang Dagreis na die Nag (Long Day's Journey into Night, 2008) .
He died in February 2015.
De Beer, 1995, **,
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