Using the terminology of Lionnet and Shih in Minor transnationalism , and as corroborated by Louise Viljoen, one could refer to the English anthology as a tool which Breytenbach uses to present, and promote, his work in the English-language world domain in certain ways. Within this research perspective, the Dutch edition at Podium can also be seen as a way to offer his poems, translated into Dutch, to a Dutch-speaking audience. Anthologies such as Windcatcher and De windvanger can be read comparatively with each other, and alongside the separate collections of poems published between and , from which the writer made the selection.
These two perspectives are important for this research essay. On the one hand, there is the literary-institutional aspect: the way in which a writer is present in a literary landscape; how writers, through anthologies from their work, for instance, create an image of their own authorship at a certain moment in time. On the other hand, there is the poetical aspect: when an author draws up an anthology of his own work, he makes choices. Poems may be omitted or rewritten, while others may be presented in new constellations.
Die windvanger - Breyten Breytenbach
These research perspectives — the institutional and the poetic-aesthetic — complement each other, particularly from my viewpoint as researcher, who has the luxury of being able to pore over three separate collections of poems that bear the same title, two of which are anthologies circulating in foreign circuits, ie circuits other than that of the Afrikaans language area. Research into contemporary transnational text and writer movements between Afrikaans and Dutch is in its infancy. This article constitutes a very modest start. In this academic consideration, I present some preliminary observations and nothing more than a brief research proposal.
For this case study, I make use of a double perspective, comparative in nature.
Writers sometimes combine previously published work and make changes to older texts for new editions. The first comparative perspective here concerns the different editions of a literary work.
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Variant material provides insight into the development of a writer's poetics. I illustrate my point with a concrete example. The Afrikaans work, Die windvanger , is a publication of a separate kind — it is an original collection of poetry — in contrast to the American and Dutch editions, published by Harcourt Inc Orlando, USA and Podium Amsterdam respectively.
Windcatcher and the Dutch De windvanger are, despite what the title suggests, not translations of the Afrikaans publication. I use the fact of these different publications as a starting point to present cultural and sociological thoughts on transnational movements of texts, and the distinction between vertical and lateral transcultural shifts in writer careers and text movements. From a comparative perspective, the present case offers, in addition to a print edition -comparative study in the linguistic sense three editions for three language areas , also a geographical crossover of literature: from the Afrikaans language area to Dutch, and also to English.
South African literary events
Let me start with a Dutch expression that sounds more negative than intended: opportunity makes the thief. Writers seize moments to present their published work in different ways for themselves and for the cultural community, or the general public, if you like. Some authors are more proactive in this than others. In many cases, a comparative study of different prints of the same literary text shows many variations on the same theme, ranging from minor word variations to new or modified verses and poems.
After all, the poet today is no longer the poet he or she was back then. Usually, a few years lapse between poetry published for the first time and a compilation or a collection.
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Poetic and aesthetic shifts in an oeuvre are evident in the compilation of alternative readings of literary texts. We cannot read the mind of a writer. Moreover, it is not just about changes in the text. Even the composition of compilations, and hence the compilation principles, the choice of motto and instructions, or the title of a novel or a poem, can change over the years.
For this contribution, I will confine myself to the genre of poetry. Writers utilise reshuffling or recycling techniques in the course of having their work reissued. They may pursue very different strategies, hold very different beliefs and use different procedures during the process of revising previously published poetry.
For example, canonical Flemish writers Hugo Claus and Paul Snoek seized every opportunity — that is to say, the reissuing of a volume of poetry or the publication of an anthology — to make changes to their texts, sometimes adding poems to a volume, or deleting poems, adjusting the composition of poem series, etcetera. In international literature, there are countless examples of writers who use the event of recompilation of their poetry, and reissues, as an opportunity to rewrite their work.
In Afrikaans poetry, as far as I can tell, limited attention has been paid to the study of reissue versions within the oeuvres of writers.
The collected poetry of Ina Rousseau and the different reprints of her poetry have been examined in great detail in a thesis submitted to the University of Stellenbosch Kleyn , and the prose of Etienne Leroux has been the subject of a doctoral dissertation. An issue of Stilet contains contributions by John Kannemeyer, who taught editing at Stellenbosch for a few years, and HP van Coller. I am, undoubtedly, overlooking a few case studies, but this kind of research into Afrikaans poetry seems fairly thin.
I brought up the case of Elisabeth Eybers from a comparative literature point of view, and posted the following research question on the poetry weblog Versindaba:. A print-comparative study can be organised for Elisabeth Eybers and, without a doubt, for more South African writers.
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I am currently rereading three revised prints of Versamelde gedigte , and This is not the time or place to delve into the details of her bibliography, but, given the stature of Eybers as a literary personage, it can be said that her poetry deserves our attention from a textual-comparative perspective. Besides text and composition versions the text material , we can also turn our attention to the poetic-strategic principles that underlie the publication of a poetry compilation. Voice over : a nomadic conversation with Mahmoud Darwish by Breyten Breytenbach Book 4 editions published between and in English and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide Mahmoud Darwish, the Palestinian poet August , was a friend.
We had been together a few weeks earlier in Arles, the south of France. Even at noon the foyer of the hotel where we stayed was as if drained of light by dusk. He knew how serious his condition was - it was either the very risky operation or the possibility of dying at any moment from an exploding aorta, and with an ironic smile he speculated about his chances of survival.
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That night, as the sun was setting in a yellow flood over the ancient open air Roman theater and as birds began singing the accumulated sweetness of a summer's day, he publicly read one last time from his work. The poems were shot through by an ongoing conversation with death. Immediately after his passing, I started writing the above series as fragments of a continuing dialogue. In West Africa it was then the onset of the rainy season moving north, the 'petit hivernage, ' when black-blue clouds would skitter and close the skies The journey continues and the conversation will carry on, in the attempt to look for Mahmoud Darwish among the words.
Katastrofes by Breyten Breytenbach Book 12 editions published between and in 3 languages and held by 81 WorldCat member libraries worldwide In Katastrofes, Breyten se eerste gepubliseerde prosawerk, is bekende elemente wat in sy digkuns ook figureer. Die windvanger by Breyten Breytenbach Book 6 editions published between and in 3 languages and held by 76 WorldCat member libraries worldwide Hier vind die leser weer gedigte oor temas soos reis, tyd, liefde, dood.
Lewendood : kantlynkarteling by 'n digbundel : die eerste bundel van die ongedanste dans by Breyten Breytenbach Book 4 editions published in in Afrikaans and held by 71 WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Voetskrif by Breyten Breytenbach Book 5 editions published in in Afrikaans and held by 70 WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Die ysterkoei moet sweet by Breyten Breytenbach Book 14 editions published between and in 3 languages and held by 62 WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Nelson Mandela by Jean Guiloineau Book 3 editions published between and in 3 languages and held by 61 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.