Can Literature Make a Difference?
An interviewer once asked Gordimer if literature can make a difference. She responded:
“Has it not always done this? Most people don’t make the distinction between literature and propaganda. Propaganda has its place. It seeks to persuade people. But literature, poetry, novels, stories—these are an exploration of life."
“Albert Camus said: ‘The moment when I am no more than a writer, I shall cease to write.’ He was saying that if you are a writer, you are also a human being, a citizen, and therefore you have social responsibility as well. This doesn’t mean you’ve got to write propaganda, but that you should explore life. That is what he, and other great writers, did so magnificently. We couldn’t really live without the result of their exploration.”
- Find one piece of Gordimer’s quote that interests you and explain your choice in one to two paragraphs. Make a connection to the story if possible.
- Share your work. Read and comment on a couple of your classmates’ paragraphs.