n English in Africa - Campbell then and now : the case of the politically incorrect poet

Volume 30, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



Has not all that need be said about Roy Campbell been said? To summarise, supporters of his vivid imagery ignore his conservative politics : art is regarded primarily as art. In contrast, politically driven criticism subsumes art under Campbell's rightish temperament. I have been involved in such quarrels : quarrels that have substance in South Africa where the categories of art and society are not easily disentangled. I found myself in the mid-1980s defending Campbell's art against the sociological imperative at the same time as justifying his oeuvre against my own distaste for his crasser utterances.

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