By Jane Watts
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Additional info for Black Writers from South Africa: Towards a Discourse of Liberation
74 If he writes in passion, then he inevitably forfeits the trust and confidence of his reader: Certainly I do not deny when I am reading that the author may be impassioned, nor even that he might have conceived the first plan of his work under the sway of passion. But his decision to write supposes that he withdraws somewhat from his feelings, in short that he has transformed his emotions into free emotions as I do mine while reading him; that is, that he is in an attitude of generosity. 7 5 What Eliot and Jung conceive of as the prerequisites of great art- the surrender of the artist's personality to the forces of the collective unconscious or the consciousness of the past - Sartre sees as an obligation on the part of the artist to the reader, in a contract which involves the freedom and the generosity of each, in order that the final goal of art might be achieved; 'to recover this world by giving it to be seen as it is, but as if it had its source in human freedom'.
The Case for a New Approach 29 ATTEMPTS TO FIND SOLUTIONS: TOWARDS A NEW IDEOLOGY OF LITERATURE A time of change: from protest to consciousness While scholars have been at pains to point out the existence, not only of a long oral tradition of African literature in South Africa, but also of a body of written works which precede the twentieth century, the production ofliterature by black writers has gathered momentum over the last fifty years or so. And over that period there have been swift and far-reaching changes of direction.
Tradition is only valuable inasmuch as it is alive. The incorporation of dead relics will hardly profit a modern African literature. But it is into this trap that some of those educated in a European tradition (which they later reject) nostalgically fall. Nkosi is rightly suspicious of that 'cry of anguish for a "lost Africa"' that comes from certain of the educated class: Traditional Africans do not find the need nor the time to write books extolling the African way of life. They are too busy living it.