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DEATH OF GUY BUTLER (article first published : 2001-04-29)

Well-known poet, writer and academic Guy Butler (83) died at his home in Grahamstown on April 26.

This internationally-renowned literary figure who contributed in a major way to the history of South African literature was the driving force behind the revival of the national arts festival in Grahamstown. He was also much involved in the building of the 1820 Settlers’ National Monument. The list of his achievements are many and varied. He wrote numerous essays, autobiographies, poems and works of fiction and non-fiction. He received many scholarships, awards and prizes from the time he wrote his first play The Dam in 1975. Other works included The Dove Returns, Take Root or Die, Cape Charade and a three-volume autobiography as well as an impressive amount of poetry.

Guy Butler studied at Oxford University and was instrumental in establishing Rhodes University’s, departments of speech and drama, journalism and media studies. He was head of the department of English at Rhodes University from 1953 to 1978. He also helped establish the Institute for the Study of English in Africa, the National English Literary Museum, the Department of Linguistics and English Language and the Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa.




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