In a number of reviews and articles published in the 1940's Herman Charles Bosman expressed his appreciation for the Afrikaans language and for Afrikaans literature. He fiercely attacked what he described as a tendency in Afrikaans literature, especially the work of Van Wyk Louw and Opperman, to intellectualize and to write "un-Afrikaans" poetry, following the European modernist trend. He pleaded for an Afrikaans literature that is true to the continent, the "spirit of the Afrikaner" and more romantic. In several essays Louw reacted against this kind of criticism (although there is no proof that his reaction is directly against Bosman's criticism). Louw explains that Afrikaans literature cannot be but from Africa and that the European roots of Afrikaans (and the Afrikaner) also cannot be ignored. This essay explores these views from the 1940's in the light of more recent Afro-centrism versus Euro-centrism debate.
This article was written by Prof. Willie Burger before he joined the University of Pretoria