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Wium van Zyl and Abraham de Vriesand Abraham de Vries

Stellenbosch Woordfees 2006

Wium van Zyl and Abraham de Vries talk about
Braam's new Karoo short stories, Verhale uit 'n koel voorhuis
(12 March 2006 at Protea Bookshop)

Watsonias in a wildflower garden
Watsonias in a
wildflower garden

Abraham H. de Vries

Abraham de Vries
Photo by Annari van der Merwe

One of the most important modern writers of Afrikaans prose, he also wrote poetry and
- under the pseudonym of Thys van der Vyver - three thrillers.

Abraham Hermanus de Vries was born on 9 February 1937 in Ladismith, Cape.
1955 - 1958: After matriculation in his home town he studied at Stellenbosch University and worked at the Provincial Library in Cape Town. Later, he continued his studies at the Gemeentelijke Universiteit van Amsterdam, where he attained a Drs. in Afrikaans Language and Literature. In 1986 he was awarded a D.Lit by Stellenbosch University for his thesis on Tendense in die Afrikaanse kortverhaal 1867-1984.
From 1963 till 1965 he was the Arts editor of Die Vaderland in Johannesburg.
For one and a half years after that he travelled to Holland, Greece and Israel.
He lectured at the University of Port Elizabeth, Rhodes-university in Grahamstown, University of Natal (Durban) and at the Peninsula Technikon in Cape Town. Until his retirement in 1997 he served as Head of the Department of Languages and Communication at the Peninsula Technikon, where he also started the Department of Journalism.
Apart from being a full time author he lectures regularly on Afrikaans literature on invitation from various overseas Universities: Amsterdam, Nijmegen, Wrocnav and Leipzig.

Awards:

1962: Reina Prinsen Geerligs Prize for his first three books
1967: Eugène Marais Prize for Vliegoog
1974: Perskor Prize for Briekwa
1989: De Kat/Potpourri Prize for Die Bruid, a short story which has been included in Nag van die clown.
2004: RAU-prize for creative work.
Abraham de Vries is the first to have received freedom of Ladismith.

Boeke/Books:

AP = Academic Press, Johannesburg  T = Tafelberg publishers, Cape Town  H&R = Human&Rousseau, Cape Town
Onder hoe sterreShort stories:
Hoog teen die Heuningkrans; Culemborg, I956.
Verlore Erwe; Culemborg, I957.
Vetkers en Neonlig, H.A.U.M., I96I.
Dubbeldoor, T, 1964
Vliegoog, T, I965.
Dorp in die Klein Karoo, AP, 1966.
Twee maal om die son, T, I968.
Volmoed se Gasie, H&R, I972.
Briekwa, Perskor, I973.
Bliksoldate bloei nie, H&R, I975.
Die Klein Karoo, T, I977.
Uur van die Idiote, H&R, I980
Soms op 'n reis, H&R, I987.
Nag van die clown, H&R, I989.
Plaaswinkel naby Oral, H&R, , I994
Skaduwees tussen skaduwees, H&R, 1997
Op die wye oop Karoo, H&R, 2002
Tot verhaal kom, Afrikaanse kortverhale, H&R, 2003
Verhale uit 'n koel voorhuis, 2005
Rooikoos Willemse is soek - 2. volume of plaaswinkelstories uit die Klein Karoo
Onder hoë sterre, Protea Boekhuis, 2007
Verbeel jou dis somer, Human en Rousseau, 2009
Die behoue huis - 'n Keur uit die kortverhale, Human & Rousseau, 2011

Gedigte, Poems:
Proegoed, H.A.U.M., I959.

Novelle/Novel:
Kruispad, T, I966.

Reisbeskrywings/ Books of Travel:

Die Rustelose Sjalom, H&R, I965.
Afspraak met Eergister, T, I966.
Joernaal uit 'n Gragtehuis, T, I968.

Vertalings/ Translations:
Zorba die Griek (Nikos Kazantzakis), AP
Jojakim van Babilon (Marnix Gijsen), AP
Die Vonnis ( Somerset Maugham), AP
Die Blinde uil (Sadegh Hedayat), APB
Palmwyn (Adriaan van Dis), H&R.

Bloemlesings / Anthologies:
Kort Keur (samesteller), H&R, I977; Tweede uitgawe I978; derde uitgawe I986; vierde hersiene en uitgebreide uitgawe, I988
Die Afrikaanse kortverhaalboek (samesteller), H&R, 1978; tweede bygewerkte uitgawe I980; derde bygewerkte uitgawe I985
Eeu (samesteller), H&R and T, 1996
Steekbaard (samesteller), Klipbok-uitgewers, , 1989.
Op die wyse van die taal (mede-redakteur), Vlaeberg, I989
Eeu: Honderd Jaar Van Afrikaanse Kortverhale, Human & Rousseau, 1995
Kort vertel (Eerste uitgawe 1998 deur Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut), 1998
Uit die kontreie vandaan, bundel kontreiverhale (samesteller) 2000
Die Afrikaanse kortverhaalboek (samesteller), Human en Rousseau, 2004
Alles Goed en Wel, 2007
R.K. Belcher se poësie, Van heidebos en Skepper (huldeblyk), (compiler), 2008
Die Afrikaanse Kortverhaalboek (compiler), Human & Rousseau, 2012
Die sewende hersiene uitgawe van hierdie bekende bloemlesing sluit 133 verhale van 81 skrywers in.


Thrillers (pseudonym Thys van der Vyver):
Swart Sirkel, 1961; Mense agter glas, 1965; Alibi van 'n verdagte, 1972

Translations of his work:" Das Mächen mit der BH-pistole" in Moderne Erzähler der Welt by Peter Sulzr, Erdmann Verlag, 1977
"The girl with the bra pistol" Armed Visioncompiled by Martin Trump, AD Donker, 1987
"Tin soldiers don't bleed" in A Land Apart compiled by André P. Brink and J.M. Coetzee
. "Ruins"in A Century of new South African short Stories compiled by Michael Chapman, AD Donker, 2004

(Abraham de Vries) lewer sy eie besondere bydrae tot Sestig en is die eerste beoefenaar in Afrikaans van 'n tipe kortverhaal wat nie altyd op die eerste sig sy betekenis ondubbelsinnig uitsê nie. Ook stilisties toon sy werk 'n suiwerheid en verfyning wat deur min van sy generasiegenote oortref woord.
John Kannemeyer

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