Green in Black-and-White Times

Conversations with Douglas Livingstone

By Michael Chapman

In conversations-serious, humorous, ironic, ribald-internationally acclaimed poet-scientist Douglas Livingstone and leading literary critic Michael Chapman struck up a warm and, at times, iconoclastic friendship. Over lunch they exchanged opinions, insights, and anecdotes, not only on poetry, science, and society, but also on personal aspects of modern life: love and loss, sexual and spiritual intimations, and city living; generally, on the value of our 'uncommon humanity.' Their conversations are recollected in this book, which will take readers through the black-and-white times of political turbulence in South Africa of the 1970s and 1980s to a climate, after apartheid, more attuned to Livingstone's abiding concern: how, as both scientist and poet, to heal the Earth, our only home. Along the way, we meet a cast from Jan Smuts, Mohandas Gandhi, and Albert Luthuli to Alan Paton, Mazisi Kunene, Breyten Breytenbach, and the 'Soweto' poets. Topics shift from Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka to the TV soap, Dallas. With clarity and wit, Michael Chapman intersperses the conversations with a fresh consideration of a unique achievement: Douglas Livingstone's journey into the 'two cultures' of art and science. [Subject: Literature, African Studies, Criticism]

Publication Date: 9/19/2016
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781869143190