C.L.R. James and Creolization: Circles of Influence

By Nicole King | Go to book overview

FACTIONS AND FICTIONS
CONSIDERATIONS OF THE “NEGRO QUESTION”

The novelist does not only explore what had happened. At a deeper level of intention than literal accuracy, he seeks to construct a world that might have been; to show the possible as a felt and lived reality.

George Lamming, In the Castle of My Skin

George Lamming's words penned in the 1983 introduction to his classic novel of 1953, In the Castle of My Skin, speak to some of the power held by novelists writing from anticolonial positions. James recognized and called attention to that particular reservoir of power at different points of his career. In this chapter, I examine James's views on the “Negro Question, ” his reliance on specific narrative techniques to express these views, and his usage of a creolist methodology to compose new and revise more standard Leninist responses to the query. This discussion places James in conversation with Richard Wright, who approached the question of black struggle with a similar combined reliance on politics and fiction; who, as a friend of James, shared many of the same concerns; and who, like James, eventually chose a path that diverged from the dominant arteries of the formalized Left in 1940s America.

Citing Frantz Fanon's debt to the Marxist dialectic of subject and object in his discussion of the struggle between the colonizer and the colonized in The Wretched of the Earth, Edward W. Said depicts such circles of influence as “the partial tragedy of resistance, that it must to a certain degree work to recover forms

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C.L.R. James and Creolization: Circles of Influence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Abbreviations xix
  • C.L.R. James and Creolization 1
  • Mapping Creolization 3
  • Double or Nothing - The Two Black Jacobins 30
  • Framing Community - Minty Alley, La Rue Cases Negres, and Class Consciousness 52
  • Factions and Fictions - Considerations of the “negro Question” 78
  • Family Matters - Nation, Federation, Integration 102
  • Metaphors of Nationalism - Music, Sport, and Racial Representation 118
  • Coda 143
  • Notes 145
  • Works Cited 153
  • Index 165
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