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Tydskrif vir Letterkunde

versão On-line ISSN 2309-9070
versão impressa ISSN 0041-476X

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ROTH, Egonne. Lessons in writing the biography of the crossover poet, Olga Kirsch. Tydskr. letterkd. [online]. 2017, vol.54, n.1, pp.63-76. ISSN 2309-9070.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/tvl.v.54i1.4.

Olga Kirsch was an English-speaking Jewess who wrote and published poetry in Afrikaans. As such she exemplifies a crossover poet who introduces the voice of the other into a national canon-in her case, the only Jewish voice in Afrikaans poetry. Three questions were raised in the research and writing of her biography. The first concerns the extent to which she, as a Jew, was influenced by the dominant culture in which she grew up. The second seems more complex: What influence has Olga Kirsch had on the dominant culture-was she able to influence the South African Afrikaans culture and literature in any way? Third, to what extent does the multi-culturalism of Kirsch affect the process of research and writing her biography; are there problems specific to writing the biography of a cross-cultural writer?

Palavras-chave : Afrikaans poetry; cross-culturalism; Judaism; life writing; literary influence; Olga Kirsch.

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