Nadine Gordimer | Critical Review by The Times Literary Supplement

This literature criticism consists of approximately 2 pages of analysis & critique of Nadine Gordimer.
This section contains 373 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Review by The Times Literary Supplement

SOURCE: "Alone, Obsessed, Outsmarted," in The Times Literary Supplement, No. 3308, July 22, 1965, p. 609.

In the following excerpt, the critic highlights the theme of lonliness in Not for Publication.

Although Miss Nadine Gordimer's scene in her short stories is often South Africa, and her themes therefore often have to do with the colour bar, she is not an explicitly "liberal" writer: she nearly always writes of the best, the most humane side of her characters—even the thick-headed policemen who arrest the gallant Mrs. Bamjee for her anti-racialist activities in "A Chip of Glass Ruby" are decently abashed and sorry (as far as their natures will allow them) for what they have to do. Miss Gordimer's real theme is loneliness—the loneliness of all kinds of exile (of, for example, "free" South African Nationalists who are being trained in sabotage in a free republic, or of a German au pair girl in a sympathetic London family), including the kind of exile that comes simply from possessing one's own identity in a world composed of others similarly endowed. This latter theme is finely explored in "Good Climate, Friendly Inhabitants", which describes the impact of a shady, faintly sinister young man on the life of an aging female garage worker. In this story the woman overtly shares the vulgar and humanly degrading prejudices of most of her white compatriots about "colour", yet Miss Gordimer demonstrates, with an irony that is restrained to exactly the right degree, and which totally avoids any propagandist overtones, just how strongly her essential self remains unprejudiced: it is a Negro fellow-worker who saves her from the consequences of her own helplessness in the hands of the heartless young white man.

And Miss Gordimer is versatile: at the end of "A Company of Laughing Faces" she achieves a moment of genuine horror when she describes, in a memorable image, the consequences of a seemingly innocent gregariousness on the part of a foolish mother, who is determined that her shy daughter should enjoy a holiday, and of a not particularly vicious sexual advance on the part of a brash boy who crudely misinterprets the girl's willingness to be with him alone. Not for Publication is unsentimental and scrupulously observant….

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This section contains 373 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by The Times Literary Supplement
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