VOICES IN THE WHIRLWIND: And Other Essays by Ezekiel Mphahlele

VOICES IN THE WHIRLWIND: And Other Essays

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A long-winded but occasionally informative group of essays which wind around the usual topics of black writing (American, African, and European) anent politics, the educational system, white culture in general, etc. The author, in voluntary exile from South Africa, is best when he is most specific, as in his discussion of South African censorship, and least effective when he propagandizes about the future state of black poetry, which he believes should have sociopolitical purpose. The lengthy title essay is the worst: superficial criticisms of semi-regurgitated English aesthetic theory incoherently entwined with bits of black American or African poetry all leading to obvious and expected truisms. Nonetheless, the book is useful for identifying both the genesis and current state of the various strands of black writing, particularly poetry, which is interestingly schizophrenic in its rebellion from the tradition from which it springs.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1972
Publisher: Hill & Wang