Watch a Moving Interview with Andre Brink and Ingrid Jonker’s Loved Ones, Talking About Flame in the Snow
The love letters of André Brink and Ingrid Jonker, two of the most treasured figures in South African literary history, will soon be available to readers all over the world, published in the new book Flame in the Snow.
Karina M Szczurek, Brink’s widow, and Simone Garcia Marques, Jonker’s daughter, chatted to Therese Benade on kykNET’s lifestyle programme Kwêla, sharing more about their respectful loved ones and the process behind this highly anticipated book.
Szczurek, a Polish writer and literary critic who was married to Brink for nine years, explained why these letters are being published now, 50 years after Jonker’s death and in the same year as Brink’s passing. She says he always knew, albeit it subconsciously at first, that these letters would be of interest to the public:
“The fact that he kept the letters, and the fact that he also made copies of his own letters to her, I think, indicated that the awareness was there. Then, shortly before his death he approached the publisher and said that he was ready”.
Managing the Flame in the Snow project has brought Szczurek a lot of joy and comfort as she felt as if she was still working with her late husband. She first saw the letters when Brink was working on his memoir and says she always knew and accepted that they, and who they are linked to, were an important part of who he was.
During the interview, conducted in Brink’s study, Szczurek also shares more about the haunting painting of him and Jonker which can be seen on the cover of the limited special edition of Flame in the Snow and shows viewers the actual letters and other artefacts Brink kept for all these years.
Flame in the Snow was translated from Afrikaans by Leon de Kock and Karin Schimke, with the original words available in Afrikaans as Vlam in die sneeu: Die liefdesbriewe van André P Brink en Ingrid Jonker.
The second part of the interview takes place in Afrikaans, with Simone remembering her mother. She walks with Benade from her mother’s flat to the place where she died in Three Anchor Bay. She says she still misses her deeply, but finds solace in knowing that she is celebrated all over the world. Sitting on the spot where Jonker most likely walked into the ocean, Simone says:
“Mens kan verstaan, sy was nie gesond gewees op daardie tyd nie. Soos ek hier sit, jy weet, dan dink ek ja … my ma het in God se trane verdrink hier by die see.”
Go to the kykNET website to Watch the moving feature of Flame in the Snow – The Love Letters of André Brink & Ingrid Jonker:
- Flame in the Snow: The Love Letters of André Brink & Ingrid Jonker translated by Leon de Kock and Karin Schimke
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