Uys Krige

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Mattheus Uys Krige (4 February 1910 – 10 August 1987) was a South African writer of novels, short stories, poems and plays in both Afrikaans and English. He was born in Bontebokskloof (near Swellendam) in the Cape Province and educated at the University of Stellenbosch.

From 1931 to 1935 he lived in France and Spain, acquiring fluency in both languages. He played rugby for a club in Toulon in the south of France. He returned to South Africa in 1935 and began a writing career as a reporter for the Rand Daily Mail.[1] During World War II he was a war correspondent with the South African Army in North Africa. Captured at Tobruk in 1941, he was sent to Italy, spending two years in a prisoner of war camp from which he escaped to return to South Africa.[2]

Krige is counted among the so-called Dertigers ("writers of the thirties"). He co-edited The Penguin Book of South African Verse (1968) with Jack Cope.[3] He translated many of the works of Shakespeare into Afrikaans. He also translated works by Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda, Lope de Vega and Juan Ramón Jiménez from Spanish, and works by Baudelaire, François Villon and Paul Éluard from French.[citation needed]

Uys Krige died near Hermanus in the Cape Province in 1987, aged 77.[2]

A collection of letters written by Uys Krige was published by Hemel & See Boeke in 2010 under the title "Briewe van Uys Krige uit Frankryk en Spanje".


All publications are in Afrikaans unless otherwise noted. The English translations of the Afrikaans titles are given in brackets.

  • Collected poems:
    • Kentering (Change), 1935
    • Rooidag (Red day), 1940
    • Oorlogsgedigte (War poems), 1942
    • Hart sonder hawe (Heart without harbour), 1949
    • Ballade van die groot begeer (Ballad of the great desire), 1960
    • Vooraand (The evening before), 1964
  • Novels:
    • Die palmboom (The palm tree), 1940
    • The dream and the desert (in English), 1953
  • Travelogues and war correspondence:
    • The way out (in English), 1946
    • Sol y sombra, 1948 (Sun and Shade), in Spanish, with illustrations by his brother François
    • Ver in die wêreld (Far in the world), 1951
    • Sout van die aarde (Salt of the earth), 1961
  • Plays:
    • Magdalena Retief, 1938
    • Die goue kring (The golden circle), 1956
  • One-act plays:
    • Die wit muur (The white wall), 1940
    • Alle paaie gaan na Rome (All roads lead to Rome), 1949
    • Die sluipskutter, 1951 (translated by the author as "The sniper" in 1962)


  1. ^ Uys Krige, 1910–1987 at
  2. ^ a b Uys Krige monograph at Encyclopaedia Britannica online
  3. ^ Loader, Catharina Bitter-sweet entrapment: A bird’s eye view of some prominent themes in South African literature at University oif Vienna