The Literature Polic

| August 25, 2010

Title: The literature police: apartheid censorship and its cultural consequences
Author:  Peter D. McDonald
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009
Check It Out:  Z658.S6 M33 2009

From the Publisher: ‘Censorship may have to do with literature’, Nadine Gordimer once said, ‘but literature has nothing whatever to do with censorship.’ As the history of many repressive regimes shows, this vital borderline has seldom been so clearly demarcated. Just how murky it can sometimes be is compellingly exemplified in the case of apartheid South Africa. For reasons that were neither obvious nor historically inevitable, the apartheid censors were not only the agents of the white minority government’s repressive anxieties about the medium of print. They were also officially-certified guardians of the literary. This book is centrally about the often unpredictable cultural consequences of this paradoxical situation.

About the Author: Peter D. McDonald is a Fellow of St Hugh’s College and a Lecturer at the University of Oxford. He has written extensively on the history of ‘literature’ as a category from the nineteenth century to the present day, on publishing history, and on the relationship between literary institutions and the modern state. His other principal publications include British Literary Culture and Publishing Practice, 1880-1914 (Cambridge, 1997) and Making Meaning: ‘Printers of the Mind’ and Other Essays by D F McKenzie, co-edited with Michael Suarez (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002).

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