Fonds BC1089 - Pereira Collection of Pauline Smith Papers

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Pereira Collection of Pauline Smith Papers


  • 1970-1995 (Creation)

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Biographical history

Ernest Pereira was Professor of English at the University of South Africa and the President of the English Academy of Southern Africa.

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He became heavily involved in the organising of the centenary celebrations in 1982, of the birth of the South African born writer Pauline Smith. In particular he undertook to compile a volume of her miscellaneous prose, which was to be number five in a set of uniformly bound volumes of her work published by Balkema to mark the centenary. The original intention was that the first three volumes of the set would be re-issues of previously published works, and that the other two volumes would be compilations mostly of unpublished works:
1. The Little Karoo
2. The Beadle
3. Platkops Children (stories, sketches & verses, based on PS' childhood. Introduction by Sheila Scholten)
4. South African Journal 1913-14 edited by Professor Harold Scheub
5. Miscellaneous Prose including several stories; extracts from PS' 1905 diary; extracts from PS' 1934 "Wagon trip"; AB..... a minor marginal note. Compiled by Professor Ernest Pereira (see Balkema catalogue 1982 in 2.1)
Unfortunately these commemorative books were never published as a set as intended, due to problems with the publisher. These problems are documented in the large amount of correspondence between the publisher, Mr Balkema, who was old and frail, and also living in Holland for much of the time, and the prospective contributors.
The end result was that Balkema, in 1981, published a new edition of The Little Karoo, with an introduction by Arnold Bennett; a preface by William Plomer; and a new foreword by Guy Butler: and also a facsimile reprint of Platkops Children, with an introduction by Sheila Scholten.
David Phillip eventually took over the publishing of a new edition of The Beadle, but this only appeared in 1989.
What was to have been the fifth book in the commemorative set - the Miscellaneous Prose, compiled by Ernest Pereira, did not see the light of day until 1993, when it was eventually published by University of Natal Press as The Unknown Pauline Smith.
As the title indicates this book contains much of her work that had never previously been published, and "spans the full range of her creative life from the early 'Platkops' stories to her last uncompleted novel".
Even more delayed, the intended fourth volume of 1982, based on PS' South African Journal 1913-14, has yet to be published.
Much background research and preparation work was done in anticipation of publication, and the fruits of these labours are preserved in this collection. These include rough, galley, and final proofs for The Unknown Pauline Smith, on which Professor Pereira and Shelia Scholten collaborated closely. This collection contains their correspondence. It also contains notes and drafts of Professor Pereira's addresses, speeches and broadcasts in connection with the centenary, and various items of memorabilia.
These papers complement the Pauline Smith Papers, which the University of Cape Town Libraries already holds. The original collection contains material which had belonged to Pauline Smith, whereas this later collection is about Pauline Smith, and was accumulated after her death.
One of the values of this collection to researchers, lies in its in-depth critiques and opinions from recognised authorities in the literary field.


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  • English

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  • English



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