Monday, December 27, 2010

Nadine Gordimer: Writers and responsibility

"The writer is eternally in search of entelechy in his relation to his society. Everywhere in the world, he needs to be left alone and at the same time to have a vital connection with others; needs artistic freedom and knows it cannot exist without its wider context; feels the two presences within - creative self-absorption and conscionable awareness - and must resolve whether these are locked in death-struggle, or are really foetuses in a twinship of fecundity. Will the world let him, and will he know how to be the ideal of the writer as a social being, Walter Benjamin’s storyteller, the one ‘who could let the wick of his life be consumed completely by the gentle flame of his story’?"

Read the entire lecture: 'The Essential Gesture: Writers and Responsibility' (October, 1984) by Nadine Gordimer

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