Antjie Krog vs the ‘mother tongue’
Seen in the context of the hopes the ICIC and then UNESCO invested in translation as a way of securing world peace, this chapter traces the career of the leading Afrikaans writer Antjie Krog from her debut as a young avant- garde poet writing exclusively in Afrikaans to her later work as a prose writer who chose creative non-fiction and English as additional literary media. The chapter shows how Krog, like Joyce before her, betrayed the ‘genius’ of her ‘mother tongue’ from within but not the language itself, and how she then developed, again like Joyce, a conception of translation as a radical process of mutual transformation between languages and cultures. After considering some of her early work, the chapter focuses on Lady Anne (1989), A Change of Tongue (2003), and There was this Goat (2009), a collaborative project Krog co-authored with Nosisi Mpolweni and Kopano Ratele.
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