n English in Africa - By way of an introduction : a memoir of Douglas Livingstone

Volume 40, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



My own campaign to advertise the interest of Douglas Livingstone's poetry, and by extension the value of contemporaneous South African English literature, involved me in a long, rewarding haul and the resultant fervent friendship. My Douglas Livingstone collection I have deposited with the Humanities Research Center at the Austin campus of the University of Texas, where it has joined their holdings like those of British periodicals such as the archives of . It includes the typescript of an unpublished play called "The Crusaders," as well as two revised texts of his radio drama, (which became one of the five playscripts in , the anthology of "New South African Drama," which I edited for Ad. Donker in 1978, though the collection was carried by Herman Charles Bosman's long-lost , and then current stage-plays by Fatima Dike, Athol Fugard and Pieter-Dirk Uys). There is the typescript of the much corrected foreword he had written for my debut slim volume, of 1974, justifying his selection for the Mantis Poets series. One of the poems I submitted to him and rather liked had to go extinct like its subject, the "Blue Whale," because he would let through no superficial double entendres which he reckoned I might later regret. Also included were various talks he had passed on. The correspondence part of the collection, comprised mainly of letters in his characteristic inky scrawl, with a few postcards and notes covering the period of over two decades, runs to more than ninety items.

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