Literary Journals and the Direction of the Nation



Penfold focuses on three South African literary journals to explore how these publications influenced the country’s national literature. The critical interventions made in Nat Nakasa’s The Classic show how writers within South Africa sought to enter into a pan African dialogue. Penfold then examines how Staffrider published literature that was rooted firmly within its local community and was obsessed with expressing the urgency of the present situation. Finally, the chapter considers the Medu Arts Ensemble. This group’s newsletters established literature as a weapon of the struggle, written for and by workers. Penfold concludes by arguing how these journals built on debates held in previous publications in order to imagine a nation that stretched beyond Johannesburg, across Africa, and towards Latin America.


Staffrider The Classic Medu Arts Ensemble Nat Nakasa Magazine 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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