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Book Chapter

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Greenwood Press


As commentators such as Lewis Nkosi and Malvern van Wyk Smith have noted, even though writers from South Africa occasionally engage in an exploration of traditional African values (as has preoccupied the writers of many other countries), their truly characteristic impetus is to focus readers' attention on the conflict between white masters and black servitors. As Bernth Lindfors and Reingard Nethersole have shown, South African writers have had a national obsession to describe in committed detail the practical implications of apartheid, and consequently have produced a literature that is unabashedly didactic. Those who choose to write "metapolitical" fiction are generally attacked as collaborators in injustice.

This, of course, had not always been the case, and the literature of South Africa can be divided roughly into five periods: the early frontier writing and that of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the period following the Nationalist election victory in 1948, that following the explosive response to the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, the new consciousness following the Soweto school rising of 1976 and the death of Steve Biko in detention in 1977, and the present transitional period away from apartheid.

Chapter of

English Postcoloniality: Literatures from Around the World


Radhika Mohanram
Gita Rajan


English Postcoloniality: Literatures from Around the World by Radhika Mohanram, Gita Rajan. Copyright © 1996 by Radhika Mohanram and Gita Rajan. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission of ABC-CLIO, LLC, Santa Barbara, CA.



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