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Cette page Web est Dennis Brutus





Dennis Brutus. What can be said about that man when information is lacking on him. Sure we know where he is from and few events that he has been through but we cannot know for sure anything else.

The man is born in 1924, November the 28th. He grew up in South Africa though he was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia ( now Harare, Zimbabwe). He received his B.A. in 1947 from the University of Fort Hare at Alice and then taught Afrikaans and English in high school from 1948 to 1962.  Very active against discrimination in sports, Brutus was by then known as an anti-apartheid activist. His outspoken protest led him to be shot while being arrested.  He was sent to hard labour at the prison of Robben Island in 1963.  That same year his book Sirens, Knuckles and Boots was published. 


In 1966 his work was banned from Africa. In 1969 Brutus published Letters to Martha which are fictive letters written to his sister-in-law. Recording his experience of loneliness and misery as a political prisoner like his fellow Nelson Mandela, this work was done as so because Brutus had been refused the right to write poetry.


In 1966 he went to England and then to the U.S. where he taught African literature.  His other works include Other Poems from a South African Prison (1968), A Simple Lust (1973), China Poems (1975), Stubborn Hope (1978), Salutes and Censures (1982) and Airs and Tributes (1989) to which are added several comments about globalization. In 1983 Dennis Brutus engaged himself in a protracted legal struggle for the right to stay in the U.S. as a political refugee and won.


Over the years, Brutus became more involved in anti-apartheid and related activities.   He currently speaks out on the African struggle and is a well known opponent of the World Bank, the IMF and such political organisations. Like in Africa 2000 in the New Global Context : A Commentary that can be found on internet at http://www.pir.org/ppost13.htm


One can find example of Brutus poetry at http://www.uct.ca.za/projects/poetry/capepoet.htm


Also, there is some extract of Brutus commenting on a interesting movie at http://www.bostonglobalaction.org/bankbusters.htm


We can say that Brutus life and works are dedicated to the resistance of all injustices and tends to make us question ourselves on our 'true' leaders intention toward a nation, toward human destiny. " all our land is scarred with terror/rendered unlovely and unlovable;/sundered are we and all our passionate surrender/ but somehow tenderness survives" (from Somehow We Survive)




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