Black Writers from South Africa: Towards a Discourse of by Jane Watts

By Jane Watts

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Indeed, even the realist writers themselves, by making the universe they presented and the concepts sustaining that universe appear natural, rather than imposed structures, have reinforced the liberal humanist tradition which has emerged as the aesthetic of bourgeois capitalism: From the infant school to the University faculty, literature is a vital instrument for the insertion of individuals into the perceptual and symbolic forms of the dominant ideological formation, able to accomplish this function with a 'naturalness', spontaneity and experiential immediacy possible to no other ideological practice.

It is that of the suppressed proletariat in a society which ensures that for the Africans education is not the ladder to success. Thus South African writers retain a powerful link with the masses which African writers in an independent state have forfeited in exchange for their education. But the masses in South Africa are not the same as the masses in other African countries. Ache be recognises this special dilemma of the South African writer in his call for African writers to turn to the past to provide them with the foundations for writing about the present: Perhaps they are right to feel this way ...

And even those literary movements and critical theories which stress the disjunction between art and life (the art for art's sake war-cry or the autonomy tht::ories of art) have contributed to the maintenance of a particular social ordeF. Indeed, even the realist writers themselves, by making the universe they presented and the concepts sustaining that universe appear natural, rather than imposed structures, have reinforced the liberal humanist tradition which has emerged as the aesthetic of bourgeois capitalism: From the infant school to the University faculty, literature is a vital instrument for the insertion of individuals into the perceptual and symbolic forms of the dominant ideological formation, able to accomplish this function with a 'naturalness', spontaneity and experiential immediacy possible to no other ideological practice.

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