oa Alternation - Reconsidering the Copula, 'and', in 'Literature and Politics', and Some Thoughts on 'Progressive Formalism'

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



During the course of his 1984 Sol Plaatje Memorial Lecture at the then University of Bophuthatswana, entitled 'Actors and Interpreters: Popular Culture and Progressive Formalism', the text of which was later published in his collection of essays1, Njabulo Ndebele (1991:85) made the following observation about his sense of the relation of South African literature to 'contemporary African culture in South Africa': Literature appears not to have found a place in the development of contemporary African culture in South Africa. Instead, in groping for this place, literature has located itself in the field of politics. And it has done so without discovering and defining the basis of its integrity as an art form. Its form therefore, has not developed, since to be fictional or poetic was to be political [e.a.].

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