A.G. Visser

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Andries Gerhardus Visser
Borsbeeld van Dr. A.G. Visser.JPG
Born (1879-03-01)1 March 1879
Fraserburg district, South Africa
Died 10 June 1929(1929-06-10) (aged 50)
Occupation Doctor, Poet
Nationality South African

Andries Gerhardus Visser (1 March 1878– 10 June 1929) was a well-known early Afrikaans poet. He was popularly known as the "Singer of the Suikerbosrand".

Biography[edit]

Visser was born on the farm Zaaifontein in the Fraserburg district of South Africa. An intense drought drove his parents from their farm in Carnarvon and he was born in a tent in the farmyard, under the shadow of a pear tree. He attended school in Daljosafat at the same time as two other notable writers, Totius and D.F. Malherbe.

He received teacher's training at Normaal College in Cape Town en studied medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland from 1901 to 1906. He worked as a doctor in Carnarvon (1907–1909), Steytlerville (1909–1916) and Heidelberg (1916–1929). He became close friends with the poet Eugene Marais while in Heidelberg.

He married twice; in 1913 with Lettie Conradie, who died in 1920, and again in 1927 with Marie de Villiers. He died on the 10th of June 1929.

Literary career[edit]

Visser was already published at eighteen in Ons Kleintji. His work is not regarded as part of the Eerste Taalbeweging, rather as the part of the poetry from the period until 1930.

He twice won the prestigious Hertzog Prize for literature, for both his first and second anthologies.

His verse is notably simple and musical, making use of traditional verse forms such as the rondeel, intertextual references and techniques such as the switching of idioms, epigrams and spellings.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Gedigte. (J.L. Van Schaik, 1925).
  • Rose van herinnering en ander gedigte. (J.L. van Schaik, 1927).
  • Die purper iris, en ander nagelate gedigte. (Nasionale Pers, 1930).
  • Uit ons prille jeug. (Nasionale Pers, 1948).
  • Bloemlesing uit die gedigte. (Van Schaik, 1955).
  • Kinderkeur. (Van Schaik, 1967).
  • Roos en lanset: ’n keuse uit A.G. Visser. (Van Schaik, 1978).
  • Versamelde gedigte. (Tafelberg, 1981).

Bibliography about him[edit]

  • A.G Visser, digter en sanger. (Nienaber, P.J. Uitgewer Afrikaanse persboekhandel, 1950).
  • Sanger van die suikerbosrand; die lewensverhaal van A.G. Visser. (Langenhoven, P.H. Uitgewer Voortrekkerpers,1950).
  • A.G. Visser in woord en beeld. (Venter, E.A. 1978. Selfgepubliseer, 1978).
  • Geskiedenis van die Afrikaanse literatuur. I. (Kannemeyer, J.C. Uitgewer Academica,1978).
  • A.G. Visser – 'n vertolkingsdimensie. (Schutte, Paul. Uitgewer P.U. vir C.H.O., 1979).
  • Perspektief en profiel, II. (Venter, Leona. A.G. Visser. In: Van Coller, H.P. (red.). 1999. Uitgewer J.L. van Schaik, 1999).