Herman Charles Bosman
Publisher:Human & Rousseau
We read this book during secondary school and I loved these stories of “Oom Schalk Lourens”…”oom” means “uncle”… I think I should get myself this book again! I know I have one…packed away…very old copy…my dad used to go around at bookshops…when he was young…think I take after him in that way…lol!
Herman Charles Bosman was one of South Africa’s best (yeah, I know I always call the story writers and poets the “best”…because I try to focus on the best if not the “very” best! lol)… classical story writers….read on Wiki about him… see you later…
Herman Charles Bosman (February 3, 1905 – October 14, 1951) is the South African writer widely regarded as South Africa’s greatest short story writer. He studied the works of Edgar Alan Poe and Mark Twain, and developed a style emphasizing the use of irony. His English-language works utilize primarily Afrikaner characters and point to the many contradictions of Afrikaner society in the first half of the twentieth century.
Bosman was born at Kuilsrivier, near Cape Town to an Afrikaner family, although he was raised with English as well as Afrikaans. While Bosman was still young, his family moved to Johannesburg where he went to school at Jeppe High School for Boys in Kensington. He was a contributor to the school magazine. When Bosman was sixteen, he started writing short stories for the national Sunday newspaper (the Sunday Times). He attended the University of the Witwatersrand submitting various pieces to student’s literary competitions.
Upon graduating, he accepted a teaching position in the Groot Marico district, in an Afrikaans language school. The area and the people inspired him and provided the background for all his best known short stories; the Oom Schalk Lourens series and the Voorkamer sketches. The Oom Schalk Lourens series features an older character with that name. the Voorkamer series are similarly all set in the Marico region.
During the school holidays in 1926, he returned to visit his family in Johannesburg. During an argument, he fired a rifle at his stepbrother and killed him.
Bosman was sentenced to death and moved to Death row at the Pretoria Central Prison. He was reprieved and sentenced to ten years with hard labour. In 1930, he was released on parole after serving half his sentence. His experiences formed the basis for his semi-autobiographical book, Cold Stone Jug.
He then started his own printing press company and was part of a literary set in Johannesburg, associating with poets, journalists and writers, including Aegidius Jean Blignaut. Needing a break, he then toured overseas for nine years, spending most of his time in London. The short stories that he wrote during this period formed the basis for another of his best-known books, Mafeking Road.
At the start of the Second World War, he returned to South Africa and worked as a journalist. He found the time to translate the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam into Afrikaans.
Read HERE on Wikipedia…more about him…
Herman Charles Bosman’s best-loved stories about the Marico District are published here for the first time in the form intended by the author. This text of Mafeking Road – edited by Craig MacKenzie – is the first to appear from the original versions, with an introduction and notes on the texts.
Bosman’s storyteller figure Oom Schalk Lourens takes us into the world of the concertina-player who leaves the Marico for fame and glory; the girl who returns from finishing school to dazzle and dupe the Marico yokels; the Boer War soldier with a tragic story to tell about his son; the legendary leopard of Abjaterskop; the man who kills his wife and buries her under the dung floor of his voorkamer …
Jealousies, hatreds, loves and betrayals – the entire range of human emotions are laid bare in a manner at once humorous and satirical, romantic and ironic. Mafeking Road reveals to us a world quaint and distant … and yet powerfully familiar.
Herman Charles Bosman, who died of a heart attack in 1951, is one of South Africa’s most famous story-tellers. This is a classic collection of his short stories. As a person he had a unique way of seeing life, an intense excitement that he managed to convey in his stories. His books are pre-eminent in the field of South-African literature.
Read on THIS SITE more and you can view more books written by him in English as well as in Afrikaans.
You can order the book HERE from Kalahari.net….
Please click HERE to visit the Groot Marico on your next trip…this is HC Bosman-world…and read about Patrick Mynhardt…
Patrick Mynhardt was the Honory Life President of the HC Bosman Literary Society.
(for the witty teller of folk-tales:
-Mark Twain, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” (1867) and other sketches and stories.
-Sholom Aleichem, Tevye’s Daughters, and other stories (c.1905-1916).
-O.Henry, Heart of the West (1907).
Click on THIS LINK to read more….