Review Article

Where Roy Campbell stands

Tony Voss
Literator | Vol 34, No 1 | a378 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v34i1.378 | © 2013 Tony Voss | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 August 2012 | Published: 25 July 2013

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Tony Voss, Department of English, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

Although critical interest in Roy Campbell’s work remains lively and his place in South African literary history seems secure, he is not a vital presence in the new South Africa; his work has become peripheral to metropolitan English literature, a small manifestation of a more general shift in global culture. Where then does Roy Campbell stand? Is there a new context for his work? In a review of a range of criticism from the first decade of the 21st century, this article finds that Roy Campbell’s work can be rewardingly read in the context of the Graeco-Roman classical inheritance that he embraced and the Romance culture in which he settled. This recognition has both enriched the resonance of Campbell’s poetry and aligned him with other artists who have been re-absorbed into Europe as the colonial appropriation of Africa recedes.

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