Paton, Alan

▪ South African writer

born Jan. 11, 1903, Pietermaritzburg, Natal, S.Af.
died April 12, 1988, near Durban, Natal
 one of the foremost writers in South Africa, best known for his first novel, Cry, the Beloved Country (1948), a passionate tale of racial injustice that brought international attention to the problem of apartheid in South Africa.

      Paton studied at the University of Natal and then taught school from 1925 to 1935. In 1935 Paton left his teaching position to direct Diepkloof Reformatory for delinquent urban African boys, near Johannesburg. The success of Cry, the Beloved Country, which he wrote during his tenure at the reformatory, led him to resign his post for full-time writing. Cry, the Beloved Country vividly portrays the anguish suffered by an elderly black minister who must come to terms with his faith when his son is convicted of murdering a white man.

      Both Cry, the Beloved Country and Paton's next novel, Too Late the Phalarope (1953), exhibit a characteristic balanced, economical, rhythmic prose, which has, especially in dialogue, a singing psalmodic tone. The Diepkloof period provided additional material for some short stories. During that period of his life, Paton became involved in South African politics. In 1953 he helped found the Liberal Party of South Africa to offer a nonracial alternative to apartheid; Paton was its national president until its enforced dissolution in 1968. His active opposition to the policy of apartheid led to confiscation of his passport from 1960 to 1970.

      Paton wrote a notable biography, Hofmeyr (1964), a massive study of the brilliant parliamentarian and cabinet minister Jan Hofmeyr. Towards the Mountain (1980) is an autobiography of Paton's first 45 years. In Ah, But Your Land Is Beautiful (1981), Paton returned to a fictional account of events in South Africa. The second volume of his autobiography, Journey Continued, was published in 1988 shortly after his death.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Paton, Alan (Stewart) — (11 ene. 1903, Pietermaritzburg, Natal, Sudáfrica–12 abr. 1988, cerca de Durban). Escritor y activista político sudafricano. Mientras dirigía una casa correccional que albergaba a jóvenes negros, introdujo controvertidas reformas progresistas y… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Paton, Alan (Stewart) — born Jan. 11, 1903, Pietermaritzburg, Natal, S.Af. died April 12, 1988, near Durban South African writer and political activist. While principal of a reformatory housing black youths, Paton introduced controversial progressive reforms and wrote… …   Universalium

  • Paton,Alan Stewart — Pa·ton (pātʹn), Alan Stewart. 1903 1988. South African writer noted for his novels Cry, the Beloved Country (1948) and Too Late the Phalarope (1953). He was a founder and leader (1953 1968) of the Liberal Party of South Africa. * * * …   Universalium

  • Alan Stewart Paton — (* 11. Januar 1903 in Pietermaritzburg; † 12. April 1988 in Lintrose, Natal) war ein südafrikanischer Schriftsteller und Apartheid Gegner. Leben Alan Paton setzte sich in den 1930er und 40er Jahren für junge Straftäter ein. Er war Lehrer und seit …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alan Paton — Alan Stewart Paton (* 11. Januar 1903 in Pietermaritzburg; † 12. April 1988 in Lintrose, Natal) war ein südafrikanischer Schriftsteller und Apartheid Gegner. Leben Alan Paton setzte sich in den 1930er und 40er Jahren für ju …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alan Stewart Paton — Alan Paton Alan Stewart Paton (11 janvier 1903 – 12 avril 1988) est un écrivain et un homme politique sud africain, fondateur du parti libéral d Afrique du Sud. Il est né dans la province du Natal, aujourd hui appelée KwaZulu Natal. Sa famille… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alan Patton — Alan Paton Alan Stewart Paton (11 janvier 1903 – 12 avril 1988) est un écrivain et un homme politique sud africain, fondateur du parti libéral d Afrique du Sud. Il est né dans la province du Natal, aujourd hui appelée KwaZulu Natal. Sa famille… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • PATON (A.) — PATON ALAN (1903 1988) En 1971, dans un texte publié dans Knocking on the Door (1975), Alan Paton né au Natal revient, avec une pointe d’humour attendri, sur sa jeunesse: «Pinky [«Socialo»] naquit dans une maison qui n’avait pas de fenêtres... Et …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • pâton — [ patɔ̃ ] n. m. • 1483; de pâte ♦ Techn. ou région. Morceau de pâte (spécialement destiné à former un pain). Enfourner les pâtons. Pâton surgelé. ♢ Agric. Morceau de pâte, de graisse, servant à l engraissement des volailles. ● pâton nom masculin… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Alan — alán (ant.) m. *Perro alano. * * * alán. m. desus. perro alano. * * * (as used in expressions) Alanbrooke (de Brookeborough), Alan Francis Brooke, 1 vizconde Arthur, Chester A(lan) Ayckbourn, Sir Alan Bennett, Alan Dershowitz, Alan (Morton) …   Enciclopedia Universal

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.