The precociosness of Peter Abrahams about the historical unity of United States' New Negro modernity and South African New African modernity while both still only in High School in the mid-1930s, at St. Peter's School, is what impressed Ezekiel Mphahlele most as he recollected in his classic autobiography: "The other Coloured friend was Peter Abrahams, now a writer of note. I remember him talking vividly about Marcus Garvey, taking it for granted we must know about him. And dreamily he said what a wonderful thing it would be if all the negroes in the world came back to Africa. Abrahams wrote verse in his exercise books and gave them to us to read. I admired them because here was a boy writing something like the collection of English poetry we were learning as a set book in school. . . . I regarded him as a conqueror. I had a vague feeling that his opinion of Marcus Garvey typified him as someone who was always yearning for far-away places. He used to tell us that he wanted to show the white man that he was equal to him" (Down Second Avenue, Ezekiel Mphahlele, faber and faber, London, 1959, p. 128-9). Abrahams, belonging to a later generation of the New African Movement, was the first South African to feel the impact of the New Negro Renaissance as a creative literary experience, whereas previous generations were more attuned to its political and philosophical inflections. Whereas for instance John Dube and Harold Cressy were mesmerized by Booker T. Washington's philosophy of education and Solomon T. Plaatje found compelling W. E. B. Du Bois philosophy of history and praxis, Peter Abrahams suffered the 'anxiety of influence' in the poetry of Countee Cullen, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes. Peter Abrahams poems such as "The Negro Youth" (Bantu World, December 5, 1936), "Freedom" (Cape Standard, June 28, 1938), "Heritage" (Cape Standard, March 7, 1939) show the direct imprint of Langston Hughes. These poetic affinities perhaps explain the extraordinary nature of the letters exchanged by Abrahams and Hughes in the 1950s. Abrahams represents a significant semaphore because with him the philosophical issues in the transatlantic relationships were to be complemented by those concerning literary matters. When Abrahams began writing proletarian novels in the 1940s such as Mine Boy, then still under Marxist persuasion, the influence of Richard Wright asserted itself, particularly in the form of the Native Son. One commonality between them was the investigation through literary form of the historical meaning of modernity to oppressed black people. One the great tensions in Abrahams' novel is that whereas Xuma assigns the material things of modern life as inherently and naturally belonging only to white people, Eliza rightly views them as historically belonging to the historical experience of modernity, therefore should be made attainable to anyone who has the necessary education and political acumen. Abrahams also acutely examines in the novel whether nationalism or Marxism is the real political philosophy of modernity. His veiled critique of the mis-applications of political nationalism by Nkrumahism on the incipient Ghanian modernity in the novel The Wreath of Udomo, is apropos. The most fascinating narrative in Peter Abrahams' travelogue Return to Egoli (1953), a book written in a short four-month sojourn in 1952 into Johannesburg after a fifteen-year absence since leaving the country on a self-imposed exile in 1939, was his duelling with Richard Wright concerning the American's misapprehension about the possibility of constructing a durable African modernity. Abrahams' corrective intervention was not to succeed for Wright at the 1956 First Conference of Negro Writers and Artists in Paris presented his miscomprehensions that African tradition had triumphed over African modernity, thereby encountering the violent wrath of Aime Cesaire. (A parenthetical matter: it is in Return to Egoli that we encounter the first intellectual portrait of the Sophiatown Renaissance or Drum writers in a literary text, not in Anthony Sampson's Drum: An African Adventure  or Trevor Huddleston's Naught For Your Comfort , as a legion of white South African literary and cultural historians have supposed.) But much more immediate for our purposes here is that in the Wild Conquest Peter Abrahams examined the historical divide between tradition and modernity that had preoccupied Solomon T, Plaatje in Mhudi. Peter Abrahams is arguably the most fascinating South African literary figure in the intersection of New Nego modernity and New African modernity, especially he was the most involved South African in the internationalism and politics of Pan-Africanism. Several scholarly studies have been written on him: Peter Abrahams, Michael Wade, Evans Brothers, London, 1972; The Writing of Peter Abrahams, Kolawole Ogungbesan, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1979; The Novels of Peter Abrahams and the Rise of African Nationalism, Robert Ensor, Verlag: Die Blaue Eule, Essen [Germany], 1992. There are approximately ten dissertations written in Britain, United States and Canada.