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Home > Summer School > Summer School 2022 > ARTS MUSIC FILM AND DESIGN > Being present: Dante, Butler, Watson, Mann

BEING PRESENT WHERE THEY WERE: DANTE, BUTLER, WATSON, MANN

Associate Professor Chris Thurman, School of Literature, Language and Media, University of the Witwatersrand

The lives of Guy Butler (1918–2001), Stephen Watson (1954–2011) and Chris Mann (1948–2021) intersected in various ways. These three writer-scholar-teachers were, above all, poets – and among their shared interests was the poetry of Dante Alighieri. Dante offered these South Africans an archetype, a poetic precursor, and a sense of vocation. They were inspired by his aesthetic invention and his spiritual vision. The lecture also considers the political dimensions of this affinity – and the challenge to white South Africans in particular, to borrow from one of Butler’s essays, to ‘be present where you are’.

 

Recommended reading

Butler, G. Essays and Lectures 1949–1991. 1994. Edited by Stephen Watson. Cape Town: David Philip.

Cullinan, P. and Watson, S. (Eds.). 2005. Dante in South Africa. Cape Town: UCT Centre for Creative Writing.

Thurman, C. 2010. Guy Butler: Reassessing a South African Literary Life. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.

 

ONLINE: https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/performance.aspx?itemid=1509143894

LIVESTREAM: https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/performance.aspx?itemid=1509148953

 

DATE: Monday 17 January
TIME: 1.00 pm
COURSE FEES: R75 (online)/R85 (livestream to lecture theatre on campus)