IN DEFENCE OF PROTEST FICTION: A PROPAGATION
International Journal of Technical Research and Applications
This paper is a commentary on the nature of Protest Fiction during the Apartheid years and the criticism this literary art-form attracted. It is argued here that Protest Fiction is a worthy branch of literature and that some conditions, rather than so-called literary conventions, determine and define the type of literature some writers produce. Protest Fiction writers were certainly aware of the conventions of literature as defined from a Euro-American point of view and they deliberately
... deliberately ignored them and chose to define their art-form from their own perspective. This commentary defends Protest Fiction and propagates for the inclusiveness of literature. It argues against critics arrogating upon themselves the right to define what constitutes acceptable literary forms. It is the view of the writer in this commentary that even in post Apartheid South Africa, Protest Fiction remains relevant and serves as a rich historical record of the past. In fact, there is a dire need for the resurgence of Protest Fiction to record the ills of our society today. Literature, like all the other art-forms, cannot really be seen from one point of view as it subscribes to different schools of thought, with the schools constantly at loggerheads in relation to technique and content of a narrative. But it must be clear here that the role of a narrative depends largely on its persistence to complexity of a given historical situation without exhausting itself by an indulgence or preoccupation with the history itself, for then it will inevitably trap itself within that given historical time-frame. This then gives rise to a saturation of what to write about and we then end up with a genre whose main characteristic, it would seem, is repetition. This on the surface is Njabulo Ndebele's stated position.