Nicolaas Petrus van Wyk Louw (1906 - 1970) MP

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Birthplace: Gunsfontein, Sutherland, Cape, South Africa
Death: Died in Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa
Occupation: Poet, Writer, Educationist
Managed by: Paul Holman
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About Nicolaas Petrus van Wyk Louw

Nicolaas Petrus van Wyk Louw was born at Sutherland on June 11th 1906. He was second in line of four brothers, of which the youngest was W E G Louw the poet. Their parents Von Moltke and Poppie Louw with their family moved to Cape Town in 1920. The young Van Wyk studied at Cape Town University and received a MA degree in German, later he became lecturer at this university. In 1948 he received an honours degree from Utrecht University for his critique and creative works. In 1949 he became a Professor of Afrikaans at the University of Amsterdam, he held this post until 1958. After that he became Head of Department Afrikaans-Dutch at the University of Witwatersrand.

He received various literary prizes: Hertzog prize for prose, drama and poetry. The S.A.B.C. prize for radio plays and the C.N.A.-literary prize. Some of his most well known works are the thesis in Afrikaans, Raka, Gestaltes en Diere, and Germanicus.

N P Van Wyk Louw died one week after his sixty fourth birthday on 18th June 1979 .


Nicolaas Petrus van Wyk Louw (June 11, 1906 in Sutherland, formerly Cape Province, now Northern Cape Province in South Africa – June 18, 1970 in Johannesburg), almost universally known as N.P. van Wyk Louw, was an Afrikaans-language poet, playwright, and scholar. He is the older brother of Afrikaans-language poet W.E.G. Louw.

One of the Dertigers, or "Writers of the Thirties," N.P. van Wyk Louw produced among his most famous works his debut 1935 volume of poems, Alleenspraak ("Monologue"), the 1937 poetry collection Die halwe kring ("The Semicircle"), the verse epic Raka, and the 1956 tragedy Germanicus.1

N.P. van Wyk Louw is quoted on the Afrikaans Language Monument in Paarl, Western Cape Province; in his quote, he views Afrikaans as a bridge that connects Europe with Africa.

The South African composer Cromwell Everson composed a song cycle, "Vier Liefdesliedjies", that used three of Louw's poems: "Nagliedje", "Net altyd jy" , and "Dennebosse".]


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NP van Wyk Louw's Timeline

June 11, 1906
Gunsfontein, Sutherland, Cape, South Africa
September 16, 1906
Sutherland, Cape, South Africa
September 18, 1930
Age 24
Cape Town, South Africa
January 1, 1932
Age 25
Age 34
June 18, 1970
Age 64
Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa