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Van Wyk, Christopher (1957–2014) By Masemola, Kgomotso

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM1012-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 13 December 2018, from
https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/van-wyk-christopher-1957-2014

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Born in Baragwanath, Soweto, Chris van Wyk proved an influential figure on the South African literary scene. Associated with the Black Consciousness movement, his volume of poems titled It Is Time to Go Home (1979) won the Olive Schreiner Prize of 1980. In the same year he would begin his five-year term as editor of Staffrider journal, which proved such an important outlet for the black protest poetry of the period. He launched Wietie magazine, which sought to provide a platform to recuperate the Sophiatown argot known as tsotsitaal or gangster-speak. The venture was not successful, but demonstrated his skill at crossing cultural and racial boundaries through linguistic means, a type of textual experimentalism not without a foundation in lived experience. Linguistic play can also be seen, for instance, in the title of his 2004 memoir, Shirley, Goodness & Mercy: A Childhood Memoir, a Joycean title, based on the punning of proper names.

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09/05/2016

Article DOI

10.4324/9781135000356-REM1012-1

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Citing this article:

Masemola, Kgomotso. "Van Wyk, Christopher (1957–2014)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 13 Dec. 2018 https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/van-wyk-christopher-1957-2014. doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM1012-1

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