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By Jane Watts

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Extra resources for Black Writers from South Africa: Towards a Discourse of Liberation

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Nor were many structuralists worried about how the product was actually consumed- about what happened when people actually read works of literature, what role such works played in social relations as a whole. 69 But where black writing is concerned, the material conditions of its making and consumption are crucial to an understanding of what it is all about. No critical account can be rendered without taking these into consideration. 42 Black Writers from South Africa Black writing and theories of artistic consciousness This apprehension of consciousness as an active and purposeful force is the reason why Jung's notion of the objectivity and impersonality of the artist is totally foreign to black writers' ideas about writing.

As soon as the unconscious processes of oppression are brought into consciousness, the oppressor begins to lose his power. In this way, the black writer achieves what Sartre calls 'the liberating creativity of art'. 47 By using autobiographical material in a totally different way from that of the European tradition, South African writers are able to help their readers out of this deadlock upon their consciousness and urge them into grasping that small degree of freedom they have left - the freedom not to be what they have been conditioned to be.

But Jung's 'collective man', carrying and shaping the unconscious and psychic life of, not mankind, but his own people, is exactly their apprehension of the artist: though they would give this a much more practical, less metaphysical implication than Jung would. There is also an element in their image of the artist that would concur with Eliot's view of the need for artists to work towards the extinction of their own personality. But whereas, for Eliot, the artist undergoes this selfsacrifice for the platonic ideal of Art, South African writers do so for People: they submerge their personality, the better to represent the community, just as they forego their individual needs and aims in order to further the movement to which they are committed.

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