“To a nationalist fighting oppression, dialectical materialism is like a rifle” – Mandela

martinplaut

What a lost prison manuscript reveals about the real Nelson Mandela

New light is shed on the president’s politics, smoothed over in ‘Long Walk to Freedom’
By Rian Malan 18 January 2014: Spectator
BIO-MANDELA-RALLY

This is a story about Nelson Mandela, and it begins on Robben Island in 1974. Prisoner number 466/64 is writing up his life story, working all night and sleeping all day.  Finished pages go to trusted comrades who write comments and queries in the margins. The text is then passed to one Laloo Chiba, who transcribes it in ‘microscopic’ letters on to sheets of paper which are later inserted into the binding of notebooks and carried off the island by Mac Maharaj when he is released in 1976.

Outside, the intrepid Mac turns the microscopic text into a typescript and sends it to London, where it becomes the Higgs boson of literary properties, known to exist but…

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