Friday, 15 June 2012

Part 2 Political Novels Debate this Sunday

In this  Sunday’s edition we continue with the debate on the nature of the political novel in the post-apartheid era. Challenging political authorities is no longer the focus, proposes Lenta during her survey of shifts in literature since 1994, though she observes that writers were initially crippled by the euphoria that political changes brought.
“Eleven languages were recognised – but what does recognition mean? Can we, or should we, make a language spoken by a small group of people “equal” to one spoken by millions? Should economic interests decide debates when the poor face starvation? All these debates were material for literature, but writers took time to think them over – there was a falling-off in literary production between 1990 and 1999.”
Coovadia proposes other cultural forms have superseded the novel.
“We don’t need political novels anymore. In fact we may not even need novels. You’d have to say that the vital energies of South African culture aren’t confined to literature anymore.”
Next week, Mbongiseni Buthelezi and Kelwyn Sole weigh in on the topic.

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