Sir Laurens van der Post (Sir Laurens Jan van der Post) Biography
(1906–1996), (Sir Laurens Jan van der Post), Voorslag, Venture to the Interior
South African writer, born in Philippolis, South Africa, educated at Grey College, Bloemfontein. Together with Roy Campbell and William Plomer, he founded in 1926 the short-lived anti-racialist magazine Voorslag. He served in the British Army with distinction during and after the Second World War. Van der Post is best known for his vivid accounts of expeditions into remote parts of Africa in travel books such as Venture to the Interior (1952), The Lost World of the Kalahari (1958), and The Heart of the Hunter (1961). These works, which share with his novels much visionary speculation about the nature of man, were derived from the theories of C. G. Jung about whom he wrote in Jung and the Story of Our Time: A Personal Experience (1975). His first novel, In a Province (1934), dealt with racial antagonism and the dehumanizing effects of Marxism in South Africa; other works of fiction include The Face Beside the Fire (1953), Flamingo Feather (1955), The Hunter and the Whale (1967), and A Mantis Carol (1975). The three linked stories in The Seed and the Sower (1963) concern the experiences of two characters in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Among other works are The Dark Eye in Africa (1955); the travel books Journey into Russia (1964), A Portrait of all the Russias (1967), and A Portrait of Japan (1968); The Night of the New Moon (1970); the semi-autobiographical Yet Being Someone Other (1982); and A Walk with a White Bushman (1986), which contains wide-ranging conversations with broadcaster Jean-Marc Pottiez. About Blady: A Pattern Out of Time (1991) blends fact and fiction and is substantially autobiographical; The Voice of the Thunder (1993) is a collection of essays; Feather Fall: An Anthology (1994) is a selection of other writings.