May 24, 2011

Existential Threats: Regionalising Governance, Democratising Politics by Norman Girvan

I was privileged to first hear CLR at a lecture he delivered on the Mona
Campus of the UWI in late 1959. I was a first year student, an
impressionable youth, and the experience was unforgettable. His subject
was “The Artist in the Caribbean”; and he brought art, literature, politics,
philosophy, and economics together within a single unified vision of the
world and of human society. “The great artist‟, he said, “is universal because
he is national”- rooted in his or her society and reflecting and relating to the
social forces of their time and place.
It was not just his content, but his style. James spoke with knowledge,
feeling, authority, fluency and poetry. The words seemed to flow like a great
river from the mountain to the sea, sometimes changing direction and
speed, sometimes digressing, but always confident that it was headed
towards some glorious rendezvous with history. A first impression, a lasting
Years later, as a graduate student in London, I was part of a CLR James
study group that met every week at his house in London to sit at his feet—
intellectually and even literally.

Read full lecture here.

1 comment:

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