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Breyten Breytenbach

Autor(a) de The true confessions of an albino terrorist

80+ Works 836 Membros 6 Críticas 3 Favorited

About the Author

Breyten Breytenbach teaches in the Creative Writing Department at New York University.
Image credit: Nightscream

Obras por Breyten Breytenbach

Mouroir: mirrornotes of a novel (1984) 79 exemplares
A Season In Paradise (1976) 64 exemplares
Dog heart : a memoir (1999) 46 exemplares
Memory of Snow and Dust (1989) 42 exemplares
Intimate Stranger (2009) 42 exemplares
Return to Paradise (1992) 39 exemplares
All one horse (1989) 34 exemplares
Lady One: Of Love and Other Poems (2000) 22 exemplares
End papers (1986) 16 exemplares
Notes from the Middle World (2009) 14 exemplares
Sporen van de kameleon : roman (1989) 6 exemplares
Woordwerk (1999) 6 exemplares
Met andere woorden (1977) 6 exemplares
Katastrofes (1981) 5 exemplares
Eklips (1983) 5 exemplares
Denkend vuur (1996) 5 exemplares
Voetskrif (1976) 5 exemplares
Imagine Africa (Volume 1) (2011) 4 exemplares
Die Ysterkoei Moet Sweet (1983) 4 exemplares
Die beginsel van stof (2011) 4 exemplares
Om te vlieg 3 exemplares
Plakboek (1994) 3 exemplares
De zingende hand (2017) 3 exemplares
Hart-Lam (1991) 3 exemplares
Lewendood 2 exemplares
Die Hand Vol Vere 2 exemplares
Woordvogel 2 exemplares
Boklied (1998) 2 exemplares
Oorblyfsel 2 exemplares
Kouevuur (1981) 2 exemplares
Ritorno in paradiso (1994) 1 exemplar
Painting the Eye (1997) 1 exemplar
Catastrophes (2013) 1 exemplar
Die huis van die dowe (1982) 1 exemplar
Feu froid (1983) 1 exemplar
Métamortphase (1987) 1 exemplar
Die Toneelstuk (2001) 1 exemplar
Lady one [sound recording] (2002) 1 exemplar
Mondmusiek (2001) 1 exemplar
Boek : dryfpunt (1987) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness (1993) — Contribuidor — 329 exemplares
The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry (1996) — Contribuidor — 304 exemplares
The Best of McSweeney's {complete} (1800) — Contribuidor — 141 exemplares
Granta 14: Autobiography (1984) — Contribuidor — 71 exemplares
Granta 12: The True Adventures of The Rolling Stones (1984) — Contribuidor — 44 exemplares
Rue Du Retour (1982) — Prefácio, algumas edições35 exemplares
African Literature: an anthology of criticism and theory (2007) — Contribuidor — 23 exemplares
De dag dat je brief kwam Amnesty International poëziebundel (1988) — Contribuidor — 17 exemplares
Nederlands buitengaats; een taalreünie — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares
Adriaan van Dis : vrijtaal (2003) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
In het spoor van de raaf : zeventien dichters over een gedicht — Autor, algumas edições1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum



This is a selection of poems by South African dissident poet Breyten Breytenbach, written 1964 to 1977, translated from Afrikaans by Denis Hirson.

The poems are grim, humorous, dreamlike and full of fear. Breytenbach left his native country in 1960 and lived in Paris for years. He was jailed in 1975 when he returned to white-ruled South Africa with a false passport to attempt an act of sabotage on behalf of the dissident African National Congress. The South African government had already labeled him a criminal because of his marriage to a Vietnamese woman, Yolande Ngo Thi Hoang Lien. So-called interracial marriage was a crime then.

This volume was published as part of an award given to Breytenbach in 1978, which provided for a selection of his work to be published in seven European countries. This is the British edition. A few poems are printed in the original Afrikaans as well as an English translation — soos byvoorbeeld / for example:

Dames en Here, vergun my om te stel aan Breyten Breytenbach,
die maer man met die groen trui; hy is vroom
en stut en hamer sy langwerpige kop om vir u
'n gedig te fabriseer

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Breyten Breytenbach,
the lean man in the green sweater; he is devout
and braces and hammers his oblong head
to fabricate a poem for you

I found it ca. 1985 as a college student, having picked up an interest in Afrikaans and the dissident Afrikaner poets while working on an Amnesty International campaign against human rights abuses by the apartheid regime.
… (mais)
Muscogulus | Feb 4, 2024 |
In the late 1990s, Breytenbach returns from exile to rediscover his heritage in Boland, the region of the Western Cape where he grew up. There's a certain amount of treading on eggshells in the first part of the book, as people who twenty years earlier were calling him the worst names they could think of and ostracising his parents now start queueing up to have their photographs taken with him, but this isn't really a returning-celebrity book, it's a thoughtful, rather freeform, investigation of the Afrikaner culture Breytenbach identifies with and its place in the new South Africa.

It's a kind of mosaic of anecdotes, recollections, news items: sketches of ancestors like the formidable midwife Mrs Keet, his great-grandmother, or of local characters like the outlaw Koos Sas, constantly on the run from the law in the 1920s; lyrical observations of scenery and plants; reflections on the death of old friends; conversations with neighbours or tradespeople; stories of appalling rapes, murders and robberies. And above all it's about the one thing that seems to tie all these things together, the Afrikaans language and its ability to give things apt and witty names.

Breytenbach is obviously saddened and frightened by the crime and brutality he sees in the new South Africa, but he's also only too well aware of the injustice and brutality that white people mostly didn't care to see in the old South Africa. Probably wisely, he confines himself to reporting what he sees and doesn't try to tell us that things are better or worse. Still less to suggest how to solve the problems.

What does come out between the lines, though, is that he doesn't see how the old culture of the "white" Afrikaner families can survive as a separate identity (as he keeps reminding us, they are all more or less "brown" in fact, after centuries of living among Africans). And he doesn't really see that it needs to: a culture is defined by its past, not its future. There is value in the Afrikaans tradition, even if the next generation of children grow up wearing shoes.

A beautifully-written, seductively mournful book.
… (mais)
thorold | 1 outra crítica | Apr 5, 2020 |
Mandela is vrijgelaten en Zuid-Afrika verandert. Tijd voor Breytenbach om terug te keren naar zijn land. Hij gaat op zoek naar wat er terug te vinden is van de geschiedenis van zijn familie. Een zoektocht in een prachtig land dat helaas ook al eeuwenlang heel gewelddadig is.
wannabook08 | 1 outra crítica | Oct 20, 2009 |
Breyten Breytenbach is not a man who stays away from causing a wave or making a ripple. But he seems more likely to be driven toward throwing himself into the water as a cannon ball to get things rolling. He was born in Cape Town, South Africa. While attending University of Cape Town he became a committed opponent to apartheid. When he was just under twenty he moved to France. When he went to South Africa for a visit he was captured and imprisoned for 7 years under the Terrorism Act, that is when he wrote The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist. Currently he divides his time between the US, Europe and Africa and is a professor of the graduate level creative writing at New York University. He is a poet, writer, painter and activist, he is known as "South Africa's most important poet of the sixties".

After reading Moriour I can see why he and his writing was important during that time. A time when race issues were flaming and life in South Africa was disjointed and hard. He does not write inside a neat box making sure that his readers understand every nuance and intonation. He concentrates on the message, but not wrapping it up pretty or even simply. Several times throughout the reading I would read a page and wonder what happened. I figured out soon that I was not meant to understand everything, just to gloat on the beauty of the richness in his plump words. If you enjoy artistic writing, poetic prose and an author who writes with a voice full of wisdom then for you Mouroir is a must read. You too will become captivated in its dream-like scenes and sequences, which will surround you even after the book is placed back on the shelf happily read.

I will leave you with a quote:

"For a long time the unfinished story haunted me. I wanted to be able to complete it because I was keen to fit it in with the other writings, get my characters in perspective, fill my notebook so as to be able to hand it in. One doesn't get any younger. The flesh starts riding you bareback, drags you down towards the sods" (p. 237)

(quote from Advanced Reading Copy, final book my contain changes and a different page listing)
… (mais)
1 vote
Bbexlibris | Apr 9, 2009 |



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