Eugène Nielen Marais
Contribution to South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance
Besides his internationally known behavioural field studies (The Soul of the White Ant, The Soul of the Ape and My Friends, the Baboons - the first of which has been dramatised), he is best remembered for his enthralling, but sombre lyric poetry and his short stories (of which some have also been dramatised).
His scientific study The Soul of the White Ant has been adapted for stage performance, while his own life has been the subject of a number of works
A complex character, he himself has been the subject of many works of academic study and creative writing. For example two fine biographies - a gripping novelized version by Leon Rousseau called Die Groot Verlange("The great longing" - published in an English version as The Dark Stream by Human and Rousseau, 1982), and
Two impressive films have also been made, both concerned with a particularly traumatic period in his life when he spent a few months on the Van Rooyen family's farm to deal with his addiction problem: The Guest (written by Athol Fugard and directed by Ross Devenish, 1976, published as The Guest: An episode in the Life of Eugène Marais, 1977, also released in Afrikaans as Die Besoeker: 'n episode in die lewe van Eugène Marais) and Die Wonderwerker (written by Chris Barnard and directed by Katinka Heyns, 2012), while a stage play (** ) by ** deals with Marais and his relationship with C. Louis Leipoldt and recently a second biography called ** by **.
Return to ESAT Personalities M
Return to South African Theatre Personalities
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page