Andries Gerhardus Visser
|Born||1 March 1879|
Fraserburg district, South Africa
|Died||10 June 1929(aged 50)|
Visser was born on the farm Zaaifontein in the Fraserburg district of South Africa. An intense drought drove his parents from their farm in Carnarvon and he was born in a tent in the farmyard, under the shadow of a pear tree. He attended school in Dal Josafat at the same time as two other notable writers, Totius and D.F. Malherbe.
He received teacher's training at Normaal College in Cape Town, then studied medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland from 1901 to 1906. He worked as a doctor in Carnarvon (1907-1909), Steytlerville (1909-1916) and Heidelberg (1916-1929). He became close friends with the poet Eugene Marais while in Heidelberg. He was a South African Freemason. He married twice; in 1913 with Lettie Conradie, who died in 1920, and again in 1927 with Marie de Villiers. He died on 10 June 1929.
Visser was already published at eighteen in Ons Kleintji. His work is not regarded as part of the Eerste Taalbeweging, rather as the part of the poetry from the period until 1930.
He twice won the prestigious Hertzog Prize for literature, for both his first and second anthologies.
His verse is notably simple and musical, making use of traditional verse forms such as the rondeel, intertextual references and techniques such as the switching of idioms, epigrams and spellings.