Olive Schreiner

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Olive Schreiner (1889)

Olive Schreiner (24 March 1855 – 11 December 1920) was a South African author, anti-war campaigner and intellectual.


The Story of an African Farm[edit]

  • We have been so blinded by thinking and feeling that we have never seen the World.
  • This dirty little world full of confusion, and the blue rag, stretched overhead for a sky, is so low we could touch it with our hand.
  • Marriage for love is the beautifulest external symbol of the union of souls, marriage without it is the uncleanliest traffic that defiles the world.
  • Men are like the earth and we are the moon; we turn always one side to them, and they think there is no other, because they don't see it—but there is.

Quotes about Olive Schreine[edit]

  • When Olive Schreiner, aged seventeen, wrote the South African Farm, some among her friends were disappointed she had not called more upon her imagination and described wild and thrilling adventures, as her country might have suggested. "Such works," she says in her Preface to this wonderful book, "are best written in Piccadilly or the Strand; there the gifts of creative imagination, untrammelled by contact with fact, may spread their wings. Those brilliant phases and shapes are not for her to portray. Sadly she must squeeze the colour from her brush. She must paint what lies before her."
    • Mary Drew - Foreword ("Men I Have Painted" - John McLure Hamilton)
  • The Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner is often thought of as being the beginning of South African literature. She stood more or less alone.
    • 1970 interview in Conversations with Nadine Gordimer edited by Nancy Topping Bazin and Marilyn Dallman Seymour (1990)

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