• Marguerite Garling


Creative writers and artists frequently appear to occupy a privileged place amongst dissidents. The public nature of their work may give voice to the private dissent of a far wider number of individuals; they are thus accorded a representative role far beyond their purely artistic function, both by their supporters and, tacitly, by the government authorities who harass them. It is because they are spokesmen for oppressed or dissenting sections of the population that their work tends to be seized on abroad as a focus for campaign work and public appeals; nothing — with the possible exception of symbolic public acts of defiance — speaks more clearly or directly across national frontiers than a poem of protest or an open letter of dissent. The creative writer or artist thus occupies a position of public eminence not for his art alone, but for what it represents to large sections of the population. For some, there is no contradiction between the two: their art and their public dissent are inseparable, and they combine the two with a force that political spokesmen are unable to emulate. For others, this function is thrust upon them and sits uncomfortably on their own more private task of creation.


Creative Writer Ideological Regime Representative Role Privileged Place Public Appeal 
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Copyright information

© Writers and Scholars Educational Trust 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marguerite Garling

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