South African Opinion

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The South African Opinion (or S.A. Opinion) was an influentiual literary-political periodical (1934-1937; 1944-1947).

Originally launched in November 1934 by the editor Bernard Sachs, it was initially an English bi-monthly literary-political review, dealing with local and international politics and the arts. In August 1937 financial difficulties forced the closure of the publication. However, it was re-launched in to close down. According to Stephen Gray (cited by Sandwith, 2008) it resurfaced briefly as The South African Spectator and The Democrat, before being re-launched in March 1944 as a monthly publication, with "a more attractive layout, a wider pool of contributors, and interesting visual . material, that included hand-drawings, black and white photographs and wood-cuts, as well as dramatic and memorable cover pages depicting images of South African life, and some excellent political cartoons" (Sandwith, 2008:39).

In 1947 it merged with another left-leaning bi-monthly critical review called Trek, seeking to combine the best of both publications. From 1950 onwards however, the new Trek would focus exclusively on literary-cultural issues rather than political matters.


Corinne Sandwith. 1998. The Moment of Trek: Literary and Political Criticism in the South African Periodical Press, 1941-1947. Current Writing 10, I: 18-38.

Corinne Sandwith. 2008. "The work of cultural criticism: re-visiting the South African opinion" in Alternation No 15, pp 38 - 70[1]

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