Herman Charles Bosman. Between the Lines, by Valerie Rosenberg
Gordon Voster, Herman Charles Bosman's friend, wrote this introduction: When I first wrote Herman Charles Bosman's life story, Sunflower to the Sun, I put in just about all my research findings.
In this publication, approximately 26 years later, I needed to prioritise and streamline the material, and also to deal with information I hadn't really wanted to find (and wished that I could un-find). Above all, I wanted to share the story of the Bosman explosion over the past 20 odd years ... as well as some favourite passages. As Gordon Vorster, Bosman's friend, disciple and drinking mate, once wrote to me: Let's open a bottle of wine. There now - it's a common Chateau Libertas, and I've taken down one of the pale Van Dyk brown-stemmed glasses that came from the old Langham Hotel where Herman and I often drank. I wish I had a rough claret from a bottle with a red triangular label. He liked that.
If I were to write a biography of Herman, the first sentences would go something like this: Herman Charles Malan Bosman was probably born, spawned of what were possibly parents. His mother was X and his father may possibly have been Y. I think his father was Edgar Allan Percy Bysshe John Francois Oscar Fingal O'Flaherty Wills de Sade Rossetti Dante Shakespeare Oliver Onions. And he had a sister, night, and a brother, desert. And he was educated, in his own soul, by fine fires. He hated, he loved, he praised and condemned, was voluptuary and priest. He wrote waves and clouds, winds and the sun's rays, a Kalahari thorn and a Marico dust. But he also wrote an adultery, a seduction and a murder. Bosman was a man, a woman, an angel, a devil, a tenderness, a cruelty, a brave man and a coward, an emasculated satyr, a womaniser, a racist and a liberal. He searched for purity in filth, and, like Wilde, found stars in the gutter.
You are probably shocked or dismayed by what you have found, but I expected it to happen that way. It is impossible to think that a three-year probing of Bosman's life would produce only the known facts or factors, and what has been found is only the natural result of properly investigating a life more multi-faceted than the most intricately cut diamond. And he is many-faceted, most intricate as a subject, so you must try to present all the facets you can without fear.
I am sure that Herman himself would have been delighted by all these colours you have found to paint his portrait. So, now there is a lens to bring him into focus, remove forever the shadowy image, show him sharp and clear, and then you will have found out how wraith-like he really is.
This is an extract from: Herman Charles Bosman. Between the Lines
Book title: Herman Charles Bosman
Subtitle: Between the Lines
Author: Valerie Rosenberg
Cape Town, 2005
Hardcover, dustjacket, 15x23 cm, 264 pages, several bw-photos
Rosenberg, Valerie im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Between the Lines is a biography of Herman Charles Bosman, one of South Africa’s best short story writers and essayists.
Mafeking Road und andere Erzählungen sind liebenswert schräge Kurzgeschichten aus der südafrikanischen Provinz, der nichts Menschliches fremd ist.