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Christo Volschenk

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"The Story of an African Farm" by Olive Schreiner

Olive Schreiner is a well-known name in South Africa, largely (but not only) thanks to this book. She wrote it while working as a governess on a farm of an Afrikaner or boere family in the arid Great Karoo region of South Africa in the late 19th century. It was an immediate success, yet quite controversial because she wrote critically of the boere for their a-cultural lifestyle without books or other forms of cultural activity. Schreiner was, of course, correct in her criticisms. But for people struggling to survive in hostile natural conditions with very little means and the nearest neighbor 30 kilometers away, cultural activity was a luxury. For most of the time between 1653 and 1949 the focus of the boere was on survival. Continue reading .

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