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Author Focus

Hennie Aucamp

Biographical info

Hendrik Christoffel Lourens (Hennie) Aucamp (1934-2014) was a South African writer and poet who gained prominence as an academic, playwright, short story and cabaret writer.

(Read an obituary of Hennie Aucamp that appeared in Die Burger.)

He was born January 20 1934 in Dordrecht in the Eastern Cape and grew up on the farm Rust-mijn-ziel in the Jamestown district. He studied at the Universities of Stellenbosch, Leuven (Belgium) and Colombia (New York). He attained the qualifications BA, SOD, MA and DEd. He worked at the Faculty of Education of the University of Stellenbosch for thirty years. He retired in 1994. Aucamp made his prose debut in 1963 with Een somermiddag: landelike sketse en vertellings.

He received several awards for his writing, including: Tafelberg Prize (1970); WA Hofmeyr Prize (together with Chris Barnard, 1974); ATKV Playwright Prize (1980); Hertzog Prize (1982); Fleur du Cap Prize for best South African script of the year (1987); Recht Malan Prize (1997). He has been called the father of literary cabaret in South Africa.

Hennie Aucamp passed away on 20 March 2014.

Did you know?

· The writer Margaret Bakkes is Hennie Aucamp’s second cousin. They both grew up in the Stormberge.
· Amanda Strydom called her cabaret, ’n Vuur gevang in glas, an “offering of gratitude to Hennie Aucamp” and she often mentions him as her mentor. Aucamp in turn regards Strydom as his muse. He described her in a programme note in January 1997 as “the dream of every cabaret writer: a classically schooled actress who is also an excellent singer”.

Awards

Tafelberg Prize (1970) – ’n Bruidsbed vir tant Nonnie
W.A. Hofmeyr Prize (1975) – Hongerblom and Wolwedans
ATKV Drama Prize (1980) – Papawerwyn
Hertzog Prize for prose (1982) – All his prose
Fleur du Cap Prize for best South African Play of the Year (1987) – Blomtyd is Bloeityd
Recht Malan Prize for non-fiction (1997) – Gekaapte tyd
Fleur du Cap Lifetime Award (2004) – For his contribution towards the growth and development of South African theatre
Afrikaans Onbeperk Award from the KKNK (2004)
ATKVeertjie Award (2004) – His contribution to Afrikaans literature Gustav Preller Medal (2006) – For literary theory
South African Literary Award: Lifetime Literary Achievement Award (2010)

List of titles

Prose
1963 Een somermiddag
1965 Die hartseerwals (stories and sketches)
1967 Spitsuur
1968 Karnaatjie (travel sketches and essays)
1970 'n Bruidsbed vir tant Nonnie (short stories)
1972 Hongerblom
1973 ’n Baksel in die more (with Margaret Bakkes)
1973 Wolwedans
1976 Dooierus
1978 Enkelvlug
1981 Volmink
1986 Wat bly oor van soene?
1989 Kommerkrale
1992 Dalk gaan niks verlore nie
1994 Pluk die dag
1995 Gewis is alles net 'n grap
1996 Rampe in die ruigte (fabels)
1996 Gekaapte tyd (diary)
1997 Allersiele (diary)
1998 Beeltenis verbode
2000 Ook skaduwees laat spore
2001 Bly te kenne
2001 In lande ver vandaan
2003 In die vroegte – Herinneringe en refleksies
2004 Skuinslig (diary)
2005 Dryfhout
2007 ’n Vreemdeling op deurtog
2008 Vlamsalamander

Poetry
1977 Die lewe is 'n grenshotel: ryme vir pop en kabaret
1984 Die blou uur
1987 Teen latenstyd
1999 Koerier
1999 Lyflied – 'n keur uit Aucamp se liedtekste (compiled by Daniel Hugo)
2002 Hittegolf: wulpse sonnette met 'n nawoord

Literary theory
1978 Kort voor lank (essays about short prose)
1984 Woorde wat wond (theoretical work)
1986 Die blote storie
1991 ’n Boekreis ver (commemorative book gedenkboek om Tafelberg-Uitgewers se 40ste bestaansjaar te herdenk)
1992 Windperd: opstelle oor kreatiewe skryfwerk
1987 Dagblad (geselekteerde boekresensies)
1994 Die blote storie II
 

Cabaret and Plays
1980 Papawerwyn en ander verbeeldings vir die verhoog
1980 Met permissie gesê (cabaret)
1986 Slegs vir almal
1987 By Felix en Madame (play)
1988 Sjampanje vir ontbyt (play)
1989 Punt in die wind
1990 Brommer in die boord
1994 Dubbeldop: kabarettekste en essays
1996 Van hoogheid tot traagheid; of, Die sewe doodsondes

Compilations
1971 Op die Stormberge
1973 Bolder
1978 Blommetjie gedenk aan my
1982 Vir vier stemme (bibliophile edition)
1990 Wisselstroom
1995 Sewe sondes, nee meer
1997 Hoorspelkeur
1997 Wys my waar is Timboektoe
1998 Borde borde boordevol

Compilations of his works
1979/90 In een kraal (compiled by Elize Botha)
1987 Brandglas (compiled by Charles Fryer)

Translations

1963 Ou Ramon by Jack Schaefer
1983 House Visits: A Collection of Short Stories (compiled and translated by Ian Ferguson)

Books By This Author