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Home > Winter School > Winter School 2021 > ARTS AND HUMANITIES > Dante, Butler, Watson, Mann

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

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

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 19491991. 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.

 

 

DATE: Wednesday 28 July
Time: 1.00pm–2.00pm
COURSE FEES R75
PLATFORM: MS TEAMS