Peter Abrahams

“With Shakespeare and poetry a new world was born. New dreams, new desires, a self-consciousness was born. I desired to know myself in terms of the new standards set by these books.”

Peter Abrahams (1919-2017) was a South African born novelist, journalist, and political commentator. He lived much of his life in Jamaica.

In the above quote Abrahams defines and calls on the arrival of modernity for assistance in his own growth and awareness.

Historically, scholars define modernity as the period that arrives after the Middle Ages.

Philosophically, scholars define modernity as the group of ideas that can be defined against what was popular medieval belief. For instance, in the Middle Ages there was a right and wrong way of doing everything; the arrival of modernity brought shades of gray.

These shades of gray gave birth to the “newness” that Abrahams refers to and calls upon.

Novelty is an essential part of the epoch that has followed the Middle Ages.

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