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Posts Tagged ‘South African writers’

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This song is one of my favourites, sung by Laurika Rauch, also one of my favourite South African artists. Laurika is a legend in South Africa and many South Africans love her for her music…and I’m definitely one of them. If you click on the page-link that says…”don’t miss this song”, you can listen to her singing another song together with Valiant Swart…and I’ve translated that song for you to understand the song that’s about a sun catcher… This song is about her as a young girl, where she says she used to believe in Santa ….she saw Santa walking through the corn fields one day and her brother asked if Santa was from Clocolan….then one day  she saw Santa’s suit…and she realised that he wasn’t real…all her dreams were scattered… she also sings about girls having dreams about their future partners and she wrote a letter to Santa …describing him her dream partner…


WOW! This image is from THIS SITE where you can see more fantastic breathtaking images! This is the road to Clocolan…the small town Laurika mentions in her song…in her song her little brother asks her if Santa was from Clocolan…
 

EK HET IN MY KINDERJARE VAS GEGLO IN KERSFEESVADER
IN WERKLIKHEID RY HY MOS MET ‘N SLEE
MAAR HIER STAP HY DEUR DIE MIELIES, MET ‘N STREEPSAK
EN ‘N KIERIE
EN MY BOETIE VRA, “BOER HY BY CLOCOLAN?”
KOOR:
WAAR IS JOU RENDIER EN SILWER SPORE?
WAAR IS ONS DROME VAN GISTERAAND?
VLIEG OOR DIE BOME MET MY DROME
KYK HOE GLINSTER DIE MAAN

DIE WINDE VAN DIE WINTER HET MY KINDERHART ONTNUGTER
EK EN BOETIE KRY ‘N ROOI JAS IN DIE LAAI
JONK VAN JARE, OUD VAN DAE, HUIL EK HARTSEER
IN MY KAMER
WANT DIE FANTASIE HET SOOS ‘N DROOM VERDWYN

KOOR

IN ‘N BRIEF VAN LATER JARE, SKRYF EK “LIEWE KERSFEESVADER
ELKE MEISIE HET ‘N SPESIALE WENS
VIR ‘N MAN SO SOET SOOS SUIKER, MET ‘N MOTOR SONDER DUIKE
EN SOEN HY JOU DINK JY DIS NET ‘N DROOM”

KOOR

EK STAP TOE OP ‘N AAND LAAT, MET ‘N KÊREL UIT DIE VRYSTAAT
AL BESTUUR HY ‘N OU BAKKIE, SÊ EK “KERSFEESVADER, DANKIE!”
WANT AL SY SOENE IS SOOS SUIKER, EN IN SY HANDE ‘N DIAMANT
VLIEG OOR DIE BOME MET MY DROME
KYK HOE GLINSTER DIE MAAN

HIER’S ONS KINDERS OM DIE BOOMPIE, HULLE WAG NOU VIR DIE OOMPIE
MY DOGTERTJIE IS NET ‘N BIETJIE BANG
MAAR HY STAP SOMMER UIT DIE BRANDERS, JA DIE TYE HET VERANDER
MY SEUNTJIE VRA, “WOON HY IN JEFFRIESBAAI?”

KOOR
Read what Wipneus says in her post about “dreams” HERE , but it’s an entry in Afrikaans. The link will open in a new window.

Image:Childrenshospital.org

On THIS LINK you can read about dreams….The link will open in a new window.

From the book “Dreams”…by Olive Schreiner…

 And God laughed at me; and I wondered why he laughed.

God said, “Come, and I will show you Heaven.”

And partly I awoke. It was still and dark; the sound of the carriages had
died in the street; the woman who laughed was gone; and the policeman’s
tread was heard no more. In the dark it seemed as if a great hand lay upon
my heart, and crushed it. I tried to breathe and tossed from side to side;
and then again I fell asleep, and dreamed.

God took me to the edge of that world. It ended. I looked down. The
gulf, it seemed to me, was fathomless, and then I saw two bridges crossing
it that both sloped upwards.

I said to God, “Is there no other way by which men cross it?”

God said, “One; it rises far from here and slopes straight upwards.

I asked God what the bridges’ names were.

God said, “What matter for the names? Call them the Good, the True, the
Beautiful, if you will–you will yet not understand them.”

Please click HERE to read the entire book …”Dreams” online written by a South African writer…Olive Schreiner….the link will open in a new window….and on THIS LINK  you can read more about her…the link will open in a new window.

Image:http://zar.co.za/schreiner.htm
other works of Olive include:


The Story of an African Farm as Ralph Iron, 1883
Dreams, 1890
Dream Life and Real Life, 1893
The Political Situation (with S C Cronwright-Schreiner), 1896
Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland, 1897
An English South African’s View of the Situation, 1899
Women and Labour, 1911
Stories, Dreams and Allegories, 1923
From Man To Man, 1926
Undine, 1928

 

Olive Schreiner rose to international fame as the first major South African writer of fiction, as an eloquent advocate of feminism, socialism, pacifism and free thought, as a trenchant critic of British imperialism and racism. Perhaps best known for her novel ‘The Story of an African Farm’, Schreiner wrote political and social treatises as well as allegories and short stories.

She was born into a poor family of a Boer father and English mother, the ninth of 12 children. She lived a life of incredible hardship: her father was a missionary of implacable religious zeal and her mother aggressively attempted to maintain a European sensibility as the family nomadically wandered from mission to mission throughout the Transvaal. Schreiner was self-educated; her early influences included the philosophers Herbert Spencer and John Stuart Mill, and the naturalist Charles Darwin.”..read on the link I’ve given about her…more…

On THIS LINK you can visit the site of the movie based on her book…”The Story of an African farm”…
The link will open in a new window.

by Gustavus Hindman Miller.
Fireside; 1st Fireside Ed edition, 1985 | 592 pages | PDF | 1.4MB 
Click on the link to download the dictionary of dreams…the link will open in a new window.
the_dictionary_of_dreams_10_000_dreams_interpreted


 
What do you believe about dreams….read this interesting article if you want to dream like an Egyptian! I’ve got a Dutch dream book…more like a dictionary, but quite old…unfortunately packed away in SA…would love to have it so I could blog it..it was always interesting to read what they say if you dream about something, what it means… it has happened to me twice that I dream about people and funerals..then it was when there was really going to be a funeral in the family! The first time it happened was when I was a student…and a couple of days later, my beloved grandma died! After the second time, I really believe that there is some meaning we can attach to dreams!

 

Image: eso-garden.com

DREAMING LIKE AN EGYPTIAN

by Robert Moss

The ancient Egyptians understood that in dreams, our eyes are opened. Their word for dream, rswt, is etymologically connected to the root meaning “to be awake”. It was written with a symbol representing an open eye.

The Egyptians believed that the gods speak to us in dreams. As the Bible story of Joseph and Pharaoh reminds us, they paid close attention to dream messages about the possible future. They practiced dream incubation for guidance and healing at temples and sacred sites. They understood that by recalling and working with dreams, we develop the art of memory, tapping into knowledge that belonged to us before we entered this life journey, and awakening to our connection with other life experiences.

The Egyptians also developed an advanced practice of conscious dream travel.

Trained dreamers operated as seers, remote viewers and telepaths, advising on affairs of state and military strategy and providing a mental communications network between far-flung temples and administrative centers.

They practiced shapeshifting, crossing time and space in the dreambodies of birds and animals.

Through conscious dream travel, ancient Egypt’s “frequent flyers” explored the roads of the afterlife and the multidimensional universe. It was understood that true initiation and transformation takes place in a deeper reality accessible through the dream journey beyond the body.
Please click on
THIS LINK to read the entire article. The link will open in a new window.

 DO BABIES DREAM?

Babies dream, says Dr. Charles P. Pollak, director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital in the New York Times.

In what seems like a rather gutless attempt to explain why he thinks babies dream, Dr. Pollack says, babies sleep because babies experience REM sleep (I have experienced REM sleep, too, any time you put in one of their last five albums). Because infants have REM sleep, Dr. Pollack says, “It is a well-based inference that babies are dreaming in REM sleep.”
Click HERE to read about babies’ dreams…The link will open in a new window.

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Image…Wikipedia
Click HERE on this post to read my translation of his poem “Dans van die reën” in English…The link will open in a new window. “The Dance of the rain”…and you can read about this book on the link too.

Dance_in_rain_peerflydotcom

EUGÈNE Marais was a South African poet, a story-teller, a journalist, a lawyer, a psychologist, a natural scientist, a drug-addict, and a great genius — an abused and forgotten genius, and the world is the worse off for that.”
Read “Soul of the Ant” HERE online.

 

Eugene Marais was one of  South Africa’s more talented writers/poets. I love his poems although I haven’t read his books. I borrowed “The Soul of the Ant” one day – when I was at Primary – but I guess I was too young to read such a book, so I didn’t finish it and read only the first few pages. Some of his poems is about nature like the ‘Winter’s Night’ (translated in English here) and the “Dans van die reën” which is -translated: ‘Dance of the rain.‘ In this poem, he describes the animals’ reaction when the rain is on its way and he describes the rain and her ‘dance.‘ Marais is just brilliant in the way he played with words/metaphors etc. Sadly, he committed suicide in 1936.
Read
HERE on Wiki  more about him. The link will open in a new window.
On the bottom of this post you will find a link to a post on my blog – in English – about Eugene Marais…he was a naturalist, scientist, writer and poet. He made a study of  ants and you can see the book he wrote “The soul of the Ant” on that link…and his other book…”The soul of the Ape”
 

Author: Julee Dickerson Thompson
ISBN: 865432597
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Africa World Press (March 1997)

The following translation of Marais’ “Winternag” is by J. W. Marchant:

“Winter’s Night”

O the small wind is frigid and spare
and bright in the dim light and bare
as wide as God’s merciful boon
the veld lies in starlight and gloom
and on the high lands
spread through burnt bands
the grass-seed, astir, is like beckoning hands.

O East-wind gives mournful measure to song
Like the lilt of a lovelorn lass who’s been wronged
In every grass fold
bright dewdrop takes hold
and promptly pales to frost in the cold!

Eguene N Marais
WINTERNAG
by Eugene Marais

O koud is die windjie
en skraal.
En blink in die dof-lig
en kaal,
so wyd as die Heer se genade,
le die velde in sterlig en skade
En hoog in die rande,
versprei in die brande,
is die grassaad aan roere
soos winkende hande.

O treurig die wysie
op die ooswind se maat,
soos die lied van ‘n meisie
in haar liefde verlaat.
In elk’ grashalm se vou
blink ‘n druppel van dou,
en vinnig verbleek dit
tot ryp in die kou!

DIE DANS VAN DIE REËN – Eugene Marais
Lied van die vioolspeler. Jan Konterdans.
Uit die Groot Woestyn
O die dans van ons Suster!
Eers oor die bergtop loer sy skelm,
en haar oge is skaam;
en sy lag saggies.
En van ver af wink sy met die een hand;
haar armbande blink en haar krale skitter;
saggies roep sy.
Sy vertel die winde van die dans
en sy nooi hulle uit, want die werf is wyd en die bruilof groot.
Die grootwild jaag uit die vlakte,
hulle dam op die bulttop,
wyd rek hulle die neusgate
en hulle sluk die wind;
en hulle buk, om haar fyn spore op die sand te sien.
Die kleinvolk diep onder die grond hoor die sleep van haar voete,
en hulle kruip nader en sing saggies:
“Ons Suster! Ons Suster! Jy het gekom! Jy het gekom!”
En haar krale skud,
en haar koperringe blink in die wegraak van die son.
Op haar voorkop is die vuurpluim van die berggier;
sy trap af van die hoogte;
sy sprei die vaalkaros met altwee arms uit;
die asem van die wind raak weg.
O, die dans van ons Suster!

[Uit: Versamelde gedigte – Eugene Marais]
Read on THIS LINK on my blog more about Eugene Marais…Article in English…The link will open in a new window.

dvdreen_laurinda

I don’t know Laurinda Hofmeyr’s music, but she’s got an album with the song…”Dans van die reen”. I hope one of my blogger-visitors from SA would be able to tell me more…

Snitte:
1. Lied van die bruidegom – Johan Myburg
2. 26 November 1975 – Breyten Breytenbach
3. Op reis na die Suide – Breyten breytenbach
4. Inbrand – Breyten Breytenbach
5. Die dans van die reën – Eugène N. Marais
6. Kind – Rabindranath Tagore
7. Ek sal sterf en na my vader gaan – Breyten Breytenbach
8. ‘n Halwe engel – Breyten Breytenbach
9. Last grave at Dimbaza – Fanie Olivier
10. Die reis – Breyten Breytenbach
11. Lied van die bruidegom (improvisasie)

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His book translated into Flemish here.

 

Read ON THIS LINK about Marais.Have you read….”The soul of the white Ant”…or…”Die siel van die Mier!” by Eugene Marais… if not….you have a gap in your culture…:))….get “The soul of the white ant..” and read it…

And……on THIS LINK you can read his poem…”Dans van die reen”…which I translated into English for my blogreaders….”Dance of the rain”…enjoy!

Where is the soul of a termite, or the soul of man?
“Someone once said that all behaviourism in nature could be referred to as hunger. This saying has been repeated thousands of times yet is false. Hunger itself is pain – the most severe pain in its later stages that the body knows except thirst, which is even worse. Love may be regarded as a hunger, but it is not pain.
“What protects animals, what enables them to continue living, what assures the propagation of race? A certain attribute of organic matter. As soon as one finds life, one finds this attribute. It is inherent in life; like most natural phenomena it is polarised, there is a negative and a positive pole. The negative pole is pain; the positive pole is sex. This attribute may be called the saving attribute of life; and it is here where one comes closest to what appears like a common purpose beyond nature.” (Eugène Marais, The Soul of the White Ant, 1989:261)

Eugène Nielen Marais[1] (1871-1936) was a South African lawyer, naturalist, poet, and writer. Although Marais is remembered by South Africans more for his contribution to Afrikaans literature than for science, he has been described as being a scientist far ahead of his time.

He began life after leaving college as a journalist, then studied medicine for four years, but eventually took up law and was called to the bar by the Inner Temple. He was a scholar and a man of culture.

However, it was not only as jurist that Marais distinguished himself as a brilliant (yet eccentric) character in South African history. He has been described as “… a human community in one man. He was a poet, an advocate, a journalist, a story-teller, a drug-addict, a psychologist, a natural scientist.”

In 1910, he abandoned his law practice and retreated to the remote Waterberg (‘Water Mountain) – the mountain area north-west of Pretoria. Here he studied two creatures – termites and baboons that, on the face of it, had nothing in common. Both fascinated him, as did all wild creatures.

Settling near a large group of chacma baboons, he became the first man to conduct a prolonged study of primates in the wild. It was in this period that he produced My Friends the Baboons and provided the major inspiration for The Soul of the Ape.

His studies of termites led him to the conclusion that the colony should be considered as a single organism. Although Marais could not have known it, he was anticipating some of the ideas of Richard Dawkins (1941— ). He also observed chacma baboons at length and he was the father of the scientific study of the behaviour of primates. Because Marais refused to translate his works into English, they remained almost unknown outside of southern Africa, which is the only place in the world where Afrikaans is spoken to any degree.

Termites are social insects and are most closely related to the cockroaches with which they share a close common ancestor (?). They are among the most important groups of animals on land because they play a vital role in breaking down dead plant material. They have symbiotic flagellates or bacteria in their hindguts that are able to break down plant cellulose to a digestible form and in the subfamily Macrotermitinae the termites culture and eat fungi in their nests using dead plant material.

Ants (order: Hymenoptera; family: Formicidae) are often confused with termites because they are also social, and termites are sometimes called ‘white ants’ (a confusing term). Ants, like wasps (from which they evolved (?)), have a constriction half way down their body whereas in termites the body is uniformly broad. The prominent mounds you see in the South African countryside are made by termites not ants. Whereas ant workers are all females, in termites, workers can be both male and female. In ants, mating occurs before the nest is founded and the male dies after mating – he does not become a king, and live and mate with the queen in the new colony, as in termites.

Marais published his conclusions about termites as a series of speculative articles, written entirely in Afrikaans and appearing only in local newspapers, as The Soul of the White Ant. While observing the natural behaviour of these creatures, he noticed that firstly, the whole termitary (a termite nest) had to be considered as a single organism whose organs work like those of a human being.

Termitaries, as one sees them so frequently in Central and Southern Africa, are tall, compacted columns of earth sometimes four to five metres high. Within the terminary lives the society, with its castes and its ranks, in countless numbers.

Marais concluded that all members of the colony and the terminary itself form what is essentially a single living organism. The terminary itself is the body. The various castes in the society have the functions of the body’s organs, with fungus gardens contributing the digestive tract, soldiers and workers the cells of the blood stream, the queen the brain as well as the reproductive organs, and even the sexual flight executing the function of sperm and eggs. How all communicate (pheromones, telepathy?) we do not know, but the ‘soul’ of the termite – the psyche, we should say – is the property of the entire society. He concluded secondly that the actions within the termitary were completely, instinctive.

His work on termites led him to a series of stunning discoveries. He developed a fresh and radically different view of how a termite colony works, and indeed, of what a termite colony is. This was far in advance of any contemporary work. In 1923, he began writing a series of popular articles on termites for the Afrikaans press and in 1925; he published a major article summing up his work in the Afrikaans magazine Die Huisgenoot.

He published The Soul of the White Ant (1937) and then My Friends the Baboons (1939) which was posthumously published after he had taken his life.

His book Die Siel van die Mier (The Soul of the Ant, but usually given in English as The Soul of the White Ant) was plagiarised by Nobel Laureate Maurice Maeterlinck, who published The Life of the White Ant in 1926, falsely claiming many of Marais’ revolutionary ideas as his own. Maeterlinck was able to do this because he was Flemish and therefore understood Dutch, from which Afrikaans was derived. Maeterlinck was as a consequence one of the few people in Europe who had read Marais’ original texts.

Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949) was a leading literary figure of the time. In 1911, he won the Nobel Prize for literature following the success of his play The Bluebird. In 1901, he had written The Life of the Bee, a mixture of natural history and philosophy, but he was a dramatist and a poet, not a scientist.

In 1926, one year after Die Huisgenoot published Marais’ article, Maeterlinck stole Marais’ work and published it under his own name, without acknowledgement, in a book titled The Life of the White Ant, first published in French and soon afterwards in English and several other languages.

Maeterlinck’s book was met with outrage in South Africa. Later, in 1935, Marais wrote to Dr Winifred de Kok in London. She was beginning her English translation of The Soul of the White Ant, “You must understand that it was a theory which was not only new to science but which no man born of woman could have arrived at without a knowledge of all the facts on which it was based; and these Maeterlinck quite obviously did not possess. He even committed the faux pas of taking certain Latin scientific words invented by me to be current and generally accepted Latin terms.

“The publishers in South Africa started crying to high heaven and endeavoured to induce me to take legal action in Europe, a step for which I possessed neither the means nor inclination. The press in South Africa, however, quite valorously waved the cudgels in my behalf. The Johannesburg Star [South Africa’s biggest English-speaking daily newspaper] published plagiarised portions that left nothing to the imagination of readers.

“The Afrikaans publishers of the original articles communicated the facts to one of our ambassadorial representatives in Europe and suggested that Maeterlinck be approached. Whether or not this was done, I never ascertained. In any case, Maeterlinck, like other great ones on Olympus, maintained a mighty and dignified silence.”

Marais took legal action against Maeterlinck but gained little satisfaction.

Marais began writing Soul of the Ape in 1916, but never finished it. It was published posthumously years later. His theory was that, unlike termites, baboons – and by extension all primates – had the ability to memorise the relationship between cause and effect. They could therefore vary their behaviour voluntarily. While termites were instinctive, the mind of baboons was based on ‘causal memory’.

The reason for this difference, according to Marais, was natural selection. According to him, natural selection was not, as Darwin had insisted, ‘the survival of the fittest’, but rather ‘the line of least resistance’. Those species best able to adapt to their specific environment survived, while those not able to, would become extinct. Natural selection, therefore, had the tendency to both localise and specialise species.

The conclusions to which he came were new and radical and might well have had an influence in Europe. However, Marais was half a hemisphere away, half a century too soon and writing in a language no one could understand.

The Soul of the White Ant was brought under the attention of the world only by being seemingly plagiarised by a Belgian Nobel prize laureate, Maurice Maeterlinck. The Soul of the Ape was incomplete and originally only published in South Africa.

Maeterlinck’s The Life of the White Ant, in which he describes the organic unity of the termitary and compares it with the human body. This theory aroused great interest at the time and was generally accepted as an original one formulated by Maeterlinck. The fact that an unknown South African observer had developed the theory after many years of indefatigable labour was not generally known in Europe.

The 1927 files at The Star to which Marais referred were checked and confirmed by American author and social anthropologist Robert Ardrey (1908-1980) forty years later. “Maeterlinck’s guilt is clear”, Ardrey wrote. It is easily confirmed by a comparison of the two books. Marais’ point is indisputable: his picture of the termitary is startlingly original, it could not possibly have been hypothesised or inferred without a great deal of original research, at the very least – and yet there it is in Maeterlinck’s book.

Yet it is impossible to ignore the fact that Marais’ work is revolutionary, especially if one takes into account the time and place in which it was written. Robert Ardrey says in his introduction to Marais’ work on ants and baboons published in 1973, “As a scientist he was unique, supreme in his time, yet a worker in a science unborn.”

He was master of a science that was only invented fifty years later (ethology). It was sixty years before anyone else attempted to study what he had studied (ape societies in the wild). He described natural mechanisms and systems that were not identified by mainstream science until forty years later (pheromones), and neither science nor society has yet caught up with many of his findings and conclusions. Marais made no direct contribution to entomology, but his ghost continues to haunt the discipline.

His fourth book, The Soul of the Ape, completed in 1919, might just have made him world famous if it had been published then, but in fact half a century was to pass before it appeared in book form in 1969, thirty-three years after his death.

Their observations and the insights Marais gained from them formed the basis of a serious work later to be called The Soul of the Ape.

They also led to a more popular work, Burgers van die Berge (Citizens of the Mountains, translated as My Friends the Baboons), first published in book form in 1938, two years after Marais’ death.

In 1948, twelve years after Marais’ death, Nikolaas Tinbergen[2] (1907-1988) reformulated Marais’ extremely important concept of the phyletic (inborn) and causal (acquired) memory.

Thirteen years later, in 1961, Washburn and De Vore[3] published a lengthy article, ‘The Social Life of Baboons’, in the Scientific American. Though some of their observations were contested, they were seen as the first serious observers of baboons in the wild (meaning not in captivity), a title which surely Marais had earned fifty years before. His notes on baboon behaviour in The Soul of the Ape are regarded as honest and reliable by modern ethologists.

When The Soul of the Ape was finally published in 1969, it was too late.

Read the rest of the article….HERE on Authorsden. The link will open in a new window.

Winter’s Night

Oh the small wind is frigid and spare
and bright in the dim-light and bare
as wide as God’s merciful boon
the veld lies in starlight and gloom
and on the high lands
spread through burnt bands
the grass-seed, astir, like beckoning hands.

Oh East-wind gives mournful measure to song
Like the lilt of a lovelorn lass who’s been wronged
In every grass fold
bright dewdrop takes hold
and promptly pales to frost in the cold!

Translated by J.W. Marchant

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