It is with great sadness that UCT and its extended community notes the passing of celebrated author and Honorary Professor André P Brink.
Brink – known not only as a novelist, but also a critic, translator, and academic – made an extraordinary contribution, not only to the Department of English during his tenure here, but also to South African literature more broadly.
Our deepest condolences go to his wife, Karina Magdalena Szczurek, to his friends and family.
UCT Emeritus Professor JM Coetzee, writing of the significance of Brink's life and work, in Encounters with André Brink, compiled by Karina Magdalena Szczurek.
"Now that the outline of South African history in the second half of the twentieth century is beginning to settle down, we can begin to see what historical role André fulfilled as the leading figure among the Sestigers, the generation of Afrikaans writers and intellectuals who flowered in the 1960s. Through his writing, in which he imported into the Afrikaans novel the methods and concerns of European and American modernism, but equally well through the life he lived as a public intellectual (a much-abused term that happened to fit very well in his case) and to a degree as a political intellectual, he played no small part in bringing Afrikaners out of the complacency and cultural torpor of the post-1948 dispensation into the dangerous but exciting world of the post-colonial. In punishment for his activities he was for years harassed and persecuted by the agencies of the state. He stood up to his persecutors – bravely, it seemed to me – and gave as good as he got."
Former UCT staff member Helen Moffett, writing on Brink's life and passing, in Books LIVE.
"I salute you, you magnificent, brave, generous, huge-hearted man. You gave grand hugs and endless encouragement. Wherever you are now, 'in the slumber that does not remember or forget', or poling across the River Styx and no doubt extracting a story from Charon the boatman, I wish you well on your journey."
Photo by Seamus Kearney.
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