Living in Hope and History: Notes from Our Century
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Internationally celebrated for her novels, Nadine Gordimer has devoted much of her life and fiction to the political struggles of the Third World, the New World, and her native South Africa. Living in Hope and History is an on-the-spot record of her years as a public figure--an observer of apartheid and its aftermath, a member of the ANC, and the champion of dissident writers everywhere.
In a letter to fellow Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe, Nadine Gordimer describes Living in Hope and History as a "modest book of some of the nonfiction pieces I've written, a reflection of how I've looked at this century I've lived in." It is, in fact, an extraordinary collection of essays, articles, and addresses delivered over four decades, including her Nobel Prize Lecture of 1991.
romanticising of black sensibilities, the existential state he claims for these is strikingly similar to the concept of living in tune with universal energy extolled in a great philosophy-cum-way-of-life, at the other side of the world, the Vedanta. Senghor goes beyond what most analysts of the human condition do in identifying the divisions separating one form of apprehension of existence from another. He not only posits a dilemma, asks a question; he proceeds to solve it in himself, to provide
Labyrinth of Empire and Exile An Exchange: Kenzaburo Oe, Nadine Gordimer How shall we look at each other then? —Mongane Wally Serote 1959: What Is Apartheid? How Not to Know the African A Morning in the Library: 1975 Heroes and Villains Crack the Nut: The Future Between Your Teeth How Shall We Look at Each Other Then? 29 October 1989—A Beautiful Day, Com Mandela: What He Means to Us The First Time Act Two: One Year Later The Essential Document As Others See Us Labour Well the
Buthelezi that was to be expected; and the unexpected dangers of Winnie Mandela’s will to power. To turn back the clock is not something I should ever wish to do, with exception in respect of Winnie Mandela. I wish we could re-run her emergence, hand in hand with Nelson Mandela, from his prison, so that this extraordinary woman whom I have known and admired through many early years could see that if she had kept beside him she would have been no mere consort, as her ambition perhaps misled her to
taking for granted electrical power ever since you were grown enough to reach a switch; but to people who live in those eighty thousand houses, touching a switch is indeed the beginning of a new life: let there be light. For myself, I have been troubled by some unforeseen turns of events, this year, but I have been neither disappointed nor disillusioned; it’s been a year of awesome achievement, set against what preceded it for generations, here. To maintain a healthy balance, of course, I quote
many of our people in Africa, but of the interchange of ideas, of solutions to a common existence, when he writes, ‘Every civilisation is born of a forgotten mixture, every race is a variety of mixtures that is ignored.’ The nurture of our writers, our literature, is a priority which should not create for us a closed-shop African ‘world literature’, a cultural exclusivity in place of the exclusion, even post-colonial, that has kept us in an ante-room of self-styled ‘world literatures’. Let our