n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die Akademie se letterkundepryse

Volume 45, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


The South African Academy for Arts and Sciences awards various literary prizes, the most important being the Hertzog Prize for Literature and the Eugène Marais Prize for first or second volumes. The fact that some periods and genres are more productive than others complicates the situation. It is also difficult to maintain a balance between subgenres, such as the novel and the short story.
The Hertzog Prize awards have frequently been criticised. The Academy has been accused of overlooking certain writers, of allowing politics to play a part in decisions, of missing the opportunity for rectifying mistakes made in the past, and of a lack of openness.
Comparisons reveal, however, that the Academy Prizes are largely handled in the same way as other prizes, and that the procedure followed by the literary commission is even more refined and transparent than in other instances.
The reception of the awards and the judgement of the literary canon lead to the conclusion that in the case of both the Hertzog and the Eugène Marais Prizes, more acceptable than disputable awards have been made over the years.

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