Thursday, January 26, 2012
"MY GLEE OVER MY NEW BOOK" - Pule Lechesa
By Nthabiseng Lisele
PULE LECHESA, hailed by many literary pundits as a literary giant of note in the Free State and abroad has succeeded against all odds to carve a niche for himself as a fecund writer of substance. He has done so by churning out impressive literary essays, a book of poetry, short stories and so forth. In this latest remarkable book, Essays on Free State Black literature, Lechesa outlines the breath-taking literary revolution that has taken place in the Free State province – which has happened on a rare scale unlike any other community in Black Africa. He also focuses on the contribution of the Free State writers at the grassroots level to mainstream poetry.
Here Nthabiseng Lisele fired a few questions at the excited author….
This is your fifth book, how do you feel about your latest release?
I’m very excited because it’s been long working on this book and finally it’s out! I’m more relieved that it’s been released and focuses on quintessential literature.
What is special about this book as distinct from other books you’ve written before?
This book celebrates the good work of the previous writers so you can say inter alia I’m honouring many of them on my book – and adding to the corpus of literature in Africa.
How long did it take you to write and complete this book?
It took me 5 years to complete it. For the past 5 years I’ve been compiling essays and reviewing other authors which brought the completion of this book.
What do you think is the importance of Literature in the society?
There is an odious saying that: “if you want to hide important news from a Black man, hide it in the book!”. So I believe that if our society can indulge more into reading, and it can be any book, they can get knowledge. And Literature is playing that role of informing, educating, feeding the mind of the society with brilliant ideas and broad knowledge.
You are known worldwide as a tough, ruthless, literary critic. Are you not afraid of writers hating you?
No, ma’am (laughing)… Their hatred won’t stop me from writing but instead will help me correct errors I might have committed obliviously. Writers love to massage their egos and in civilized societies it is the norm that if writers are wrong they should be corrected. For an example, if there’s a certain chapter I stated that it is winter season but only to find out that I said one of the story’s characters was wearing a sleeveless shirt, I’m confusing my readers and I deserve to be corrected.
Do you think you are playing an important role in the advancement of Literature?
Yes, I know so; because knowledge is power and people need to be empowered. And history of Literature should be run throughout this present generation until another generation takes over.
Briefly, who are the major writers that you have featured in your latest book?
Hector Kunene, Jafta JahRose, NMM Duman, Sipho Mnyakeni, Omoseye Bolaji – I have many essays and interviews with him in the book; Deon-Simphiwe Skade, Flaxman Qoopane, Ntate Kgang Motheane. Most writers are at least mentioned; including young Teboho Masakala...there are many literary allusions worldwide in the book.
How will you describe the current state of writing in the Free State?
I think we are on the right track. For example, recently, celebrated international critics like Achal Prabhala have noted the impressive literary trends here and continue to put us on the map. The world, Universities, internet etc continue to highlight the great things happening here in the Free State.
* Published in Free State News