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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mythic Bushmen in Afrikaans literature: the 'Dwaalstories' of Eugène N. Marais
Author:Swart, SandraISNI
Periodical:Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Afrikaans language
About person:Eugène Nielen Marais (1871-1936)ISNI
Abstract:Previous debate around Eugène N. Marais' 'Dwaalstories' (1927) (Wandering Tales) has been about their 'authenticity'. Marais maintained that an itinerant Bushman, whom he had met while in the Waterberg, had narrated them, and that he had then written them up as a series of prose poems. More interestingly, however, the stories fill a gap in the analysis of Western writing on Bushmen. They shed light on Afrikaans depictions of Bushmen and they reveal the role played by Marais in laying a foundation for modern discourse on the Bushmen. White settler images of the Bushmen in popular writings have received historiographical analysis, but writings in Afrikaans have been omitted, distorting the chronology and content of the historiography. In Marais' tales, the 'Bushmen characteristics' known to us from later writers such as Laurence van der Post are first displayed. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]