A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

literature
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

TIME OF THE WRITER (article first published : 2001-04-3)

By all accounts, this year’s Time of the Writer festival was a great success. In an action-packed week, the 15 international and South African writers were kept busy with workshops and seminars as well as presenting their work in the evening at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

Renowned Netherlands literary figure J Bernlef, who has written numerous novels, stories, poems, plays and essays, succinctly captured his feelings about the event when it came to a close on Saturday (March 31):

"I came to the Time of the Writer festival as one of those typical European authors. A couple of years ago I visited a writers festival in Senegal. The francophone writers there spoke and wrote a sort of old fashioned French. I asked them why they did not write in their mother tongue, which is Woluf. They answered that they had to write in French in order to reach a wider audience.

So when I came here I thought the African writers I would meet would have the same problem. I myself could not imagine writing literature in a language that was not my mother tongue.

They told me that this was really not their problem. They were not striving after academic so-called correct English but instead use the heritage of the colonial past and change the English so that it would suit their goals.

In fact they said many versions of official English will flower here in Africa. I never had thought about it that way. I think they are probably right. So the festival changed my outlook on African literature. I was also impressed by the optimism and vitality with which these authors explore the traumatic past in a vital English of their own making.”

Time of the Writer was presented by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of Natal in association with The French Institute of South Africa. Sponsorship for the event was also received from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, The Hague; The Royal Netherlands Embassy, Pretoria: Pro Helvetia, the Arts Council of Switzerland; Office of Public Affairs USA Consulate General – Durban; Foundation for the Production & Translation of Dutch Literature, Alliance Française de Durban; First National Bank; BASA – Business & Art: South Africa (matching grant funding); KZN Education & Culture Directorate; Exclusive Books; Adams and Co; University of Natal, Durban and Kwela Books




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart