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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The liberated zone: the possibilities of imaginative expression in a state of emergency
Author:Chapman, M.ISNI
Year:1988
Periodical:The English Academy Review
Volume:5
Pages:23-53
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:writers
state of emergency
literature
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10131758885310031
Abstract:This paper discusses the meaning of art in a state of emergency. More specifically, it examines the involvement of writers in South Africa in the 1980s. In addressing this problem, the author elaborates the differing viewpoints put forward in the debate between J. Cronin and L. Abrahams on the character and status of the COSATU 'worker poets' (Weekly Mail, March-April 1987). Abrahams sees the text as predominant in any understanding of 'poetry'. He believes that art in a state of emergency should keep alive a liberating imagination. Cronin sees the context as predominant; the actual occasions lend substance to the poems. He sees a liberated zone in Gramscian terms: in acts of opposition, in symbols of oppositional culture, in confrontational performance where images are related directly to life and, therefore, have narrative power in the real social world. After discussing the question of whether in fact writers in South Africa should not for the time being remain silent, the author returns to an examination of the possibilities of imaginative expression in an overwhelming social context and tries to reconcile the various opposing opinions. Notes, ref.
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