n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Denker in dialoog : N.P. van Wyk Louw

Volume 46, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


Van Wyk Louw's prose, especially his opinions on the essential relationship between the arts and South African society, ranks among his publications with the highest current interest. I ground my ideas about the values of Van Wyk Louw's essays for our time on the topical subjects he discusses and on his specific way of communication with his listeners (via the radio) and his readers. Van Wyk Louw is not a prophet who looks for disciples. His essays function as a call for dialogue, as an invitation to reflect on various questions together with the author. His essays and studies are conversations on a high level. Van Wyk Louw calls them "open conversations" with unrestricted freedom to speak and with the obligation to consider other opinions seriously. Van Wyk Louw's way of thinking finds its expression in the Socratic procedure of questions, answers and new questions. This dialectic method includes dialogues with vitalistic philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Henri Bergson. Van Wyk Louw creates a space of freedom in human thinking and contributes to the purity and honesty of our reflection on ethics, politics and aesthetics. He is, therefore, truly a man of our time.

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