oa Alternation - Here be Dragons': Challenging 'Liberal' Constructions of Protest Poetry

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



In addition to the apartheid State, the emergent culture of liberation had to contend with another hegemonic formation, comprising white English-speaking intellectuals who took an interest in South African literature. Liberals have been highly influential in the production and reception of literature in English, through university English departments, literary journals and literary magazines, publishing houses, the English Academy of South Africa, the Grahamstown Festival, the Market Theatre, and most of the English press. Despite their influence, the liberals have been a small group. Estimating that liberals comprise some 5% of South Africa's population, Peter Horn (1994:11) argues that a culture catering to less than five percent of the population of a nation is a limited culture and a limiting culture; it is time we saw through the proposition that culture is by nature only for the select few.

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