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Corinne Sandwith Examines Literary-Cultural Debates in Early Apartheid SA in World of Letters

World of LettersWorld of Letters retrieves an important but largely forgotten history of readers, reading practices and cultural debates in early apartheid South Africa. Corinne Sandwith pursues this history in the ephemeral spaces of oppositional newspapers, literary magazines, debating societies and theatre groups.

What emerges from the diverse fragments is a rich tradition of public debate in South Africa on literature and culture. What also surfaces are a host of readers and critics – such as AC Jordan, Dora Taylor, Jack Cope and Ben Kies – whose lively cultural interventions form a significant part of South Africa’s literary-cultural and socio-political heritage. Offering a combination of historical narrative, critical analysis and biography, this elegantly written book recovers these neglected reading and debating communities in order to bring them into the present and to reclaim their constitutive role in both the literary archive and the public sphere.

“This is a compelling, lucid, and engaging study that seeks to cast light on a series of complex – and often overlooked – contexts in which cultural criticism and political debate were imbricated in a fascinating manner . . . It will make an important contribution to South African studies.” — Andrew van der Vlies, Senior Lecturer in the School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London, and Research Associate in the Department of English Literature, Rhodes University

“This project is long overdue. This is the first in-depth analysis of the entire corpus of liberal and left-wing literary-cultural writings in this period.” — Archie Dick, Professor of Information Science, University of Pretoria

About the author

Corinne Sandwith is senior lecturer in English Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.

Book details

 

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