Original Research

Die Anglo-Boereoorlog: ’n vertekende beeld vanuit die vreemde

J. van der Elst
Literator | Vol 20, No 3 | a499 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v20i3.499 | © 1999 J. van der Elst | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 April 1999 | Published: 26 April 1999

About the author(s)

J. van der Elst, Skool vir Tale en Kunste (Afrikaans & Nederlands), Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir CHO, South Africa

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The Anglo-Boer War: A distorted image from abroad
This article deals with the Dutch author Louwrens Penning (1854-1927) who wrote 18 novels on the Boer War, even though he never visited the country until 1924, long after the Anglo-Boer War had ended One of his books, entitled De held van Spionkop, is discussed as example. Penning s images of the Boer warriors and their endeavors were highly idealised and embedded in a certain view of race relations a n d war. He created idols, like the courageous boy named Blikoortjie, which became widely known among his Dutch readers, especially the Dutch youth. He facilely ignored historic facts and rather idealized a n d fantasized. His works thus became a peculiar mixture off act and fiction. Though he was not a literary master, he succeeded in writing gripping stories which were - up to a point - reprinted time and again. Through his writings he succeeded in creating a positive image of the Afrikaner which persisted in spite of the negative outcome of apartheid. Though one cannot be sure, it may even be true that Dutch immigrants came to South Africa because of a consistently positive image of Afrikaans and Afrikaans heroes as created by Penning in his books.


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