Antjie Krog en haar literêre moeders: Die werking van ’n vroulike tradisie in die Afrikaanse poësie
This article looks at the way in which the Afrikaans poet Antjie Krog positions herself with regard to her female precursors or literary mothers in Afrikaans literature. A short survey is done of the different descriptions of the way in which literary tradition functions: the male-centred descriptions of T. S. Eliot and Harold Bloom are mentioned as well as descriptions of the way in which a female literary tradition functions in the work of Virginia Woolf, Elaine Showalter, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Margaret Homans, Diane Sadoff and Naomi Hirsch. This is followed by an investigation into Antjie Krog’s relationship with the work of her biological mother Dot Serfontein who is also a writer, into the way in which she signals a break with the male literary tradition in Afrikaans, into her relationship with other female poets like Elisabeth Eybers and Ingrid Jonker in Afrikaans as well as with historical figures who also wrote texts (even though these texts were diaries, journals and letters rather than literary texts). The conclusion is that the existing descriptions are not able to encompass Krog’s complex relationship with her literary mothers: in her case the relationship with the female literary tradition includes connection as well as conflict and rejection.
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