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n South African Journal of Cultural History - "I shall take the leap to the great beyond..." : Johannes Fagan's studies and suicide in London (1916-1920)

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-0745
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Abstract


Dié artikel poog om die omstandighede van die studie en selfmoord van die Suid-Afrikaanse komponis Johannes Fagan (1898-1920) te rekonstrueer. Ten tyde van sy dood was hy 'n student aan die Royal College of Music (RCM) in Londen waar hy in September 1916, tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, begin studeer het. Fagan sou in daardie tyd baie berigte oor die oorlog en die dood van RCM-studente moes aanhoor. In sou hy Gurney se melankoliese gedigte, aangestuur van die front af, kon lees. Hy sou elke termyn se hoogs inspirerende openingstoespraak van die direkteur van die RCM, Hubert Parry, kon hoor. Na twee RCM-termyne het Fagan weens swak gesondheid vir twee jaar na Suid-Afrika teruggekeer. Tydens sy tweede studietydperk was hy 'n komposisiestudent van Vaughan Williams. Fagan is baie swaar getref deur die skielike dood van sy Engelse verloofde aan griep. Sy doodsertifikaat meld dat hy dood in sy bed aangetref is en dat hy sianied gedrink het. 'n Kort artikel hieroor het in van Vrydag 23 Julie 1920 verskyn. Afgesien van sy inskrywingsvorm by die RCM, is die doodsberig wat in verskyn het, die enigste plek waar Fagan se naam in die dokumente en publikasies van die RCM aangetref kan word.

The article aims to reconstruct the circumstances surrounding the studies and suicide of the South African composer Johannes Fagan (1898-1920) while he was a student at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London. Fagan started studying in September 1916 during World War I. He would have been confronted by many reports about the war and the death of RCM students. In he would have read melancholy poems by Gurney, sent from the front. He would have attended the very inspiring opening addresses of the Director, Hubert Parry. After two terms of study, Fagan returned to South Africa for two years, owing to ill-health. In his second period of study he was a composition student of Vaughan Williams. Fagan was severely affected by the sudden death through influenza of his English fiancée. His death certificate states that he was "Found dead in his bed", and that he "Swallowed Cyanide solution poison". A short article about his death appeared in of Friday 23 July 1920. Apart from his enrolment form, the fine obituary in is the only place where Fagan's name can be found in the documents and publications of the RCM in London.

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/content/culture/21/1/EJC30685
2007-06-01
2016-12-10

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