[Item #5930] White on White. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Breyten Breytenbach.
White on White

White on White

San Francisco, CA: Committee on the Breytenbach Case, 1977. First Printing. Folded Single Sheet. Broadside measuring 11” x 17” folded twice into a 5 ½” x 8 ½” pamphlet featuring Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s 1977 poem “White on White” which was inspired by the struggles of Breyton Breytenbach (b. 1939), a South African artist, writer & activist against apartheid who was imprisoned for his activities in 1975 where he smuggled out Afrikaans poetry for publication, including Sinking Ship Blues (1977) (see our item #3572). His unjust imprisonment provoked a worldwide outcry that finally resulted in his release during 1982, after seven years of martyrdom. Ferlinghetti became aware of the case because of Stephen Schwartz, according to Thomas Rain Crowe, and his intense interest in international news and literature led to the formation of the Committee on the Breytenbach Case, which included Jack Micheline, Jack Hirschman, and a slurry of other writers, publishers, artists, and activists. The committee issued “A Public Memorandum on Human Rights in South Africa” in 1977 which alleged that Breytenbach was coerced to confess, held in solitary confinement, and tortured, calling on “all people of conscience in the U.S.” to protest the gross human rights violation. The historic and internationally known case contributed to the larger cause against South African apartheid law though it continued for another decade after Breytenbach’s release. He could not return to his home country until the fall of the regime, obtaining French citizenship in the meantime. He is now a global professor at NYU having taught at many prestigious universities including the University of Cape Town and Princeton. Ferlinghetti’s understandable fascination with Breytenbach and the case was just one example of the international humanitarianism that motivated the community efforts and creativity of many writers and artists of the generation. Single Sheet: First Edition, First Printing, with all points in Morgan, A41 (page 89), quantity of print run unknown. Broadside is in Near Fine condition with creasing vertical and horizontally due to the folded presentation; minor creasing to corners and moderate foxing/spotting along the “spine” when folded (see photos). Near Fine. [Item #5930]

Price: $25.00