Rickey Singh reviews George Lamming’s Reader for Jamaica’s Observer.
Readers of the inspiring works of George Lamming, one of the best known authors, essayists and social commentators of the Caribbean, are in for a treat with the release of the latest publication of a collection of his thoughts by the leading publishing enterprise in the English-speaking Caribbean — Ian Randle Publishers (IRP).
Edited by Anthony Bogues, one of a trio of well-known Jamaica-born West Indian intellectuals and thinkers, The George Lamming Reader has been released by IRP as a refreshing new series on ‘Caribbean Reasonings’.
The Lamming Reader is focused on the aesthetics of decolonisation while other titles in the series include MG Smith’s Social Theory and Anthropology in the Caribbean and Beyond (edited by Professor Brian Meeks). The other series editor is the historian and writer, Professor Rupert Lewis.
There will be a formal launch of The George Lamming Reader at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination on Thursday evening to coincide with the Inaugural George Lamming Distinguished Lecture to be delivered by Professor Bogues on the theme, ‘The radical imagination and the Caribbean intellectual tradition — from the Haitian revolution to the sovereignty of the imagination’.
The latter dimension of Bogues’ presentation — sovereignty of the imagination — has been one of the challenging discourses associated with Lamming’s frequent engagements with institutions and public fora across the Caribbean.
Dedicated to the memory of the late distinguished Caribbean citizen Rex Nettleford (a friend of Lamming), the publisher’s blurb on The George Lamming Reader explains that this much-needed publication on his works examines the history of the Caribbean and the categories which “continue to shape and influence Caribbean identity in our contemporary world”.
For Bogues, professor of African Studies at Brown University, USA, and director of the Caribbean Centre for Caribbean Thought at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, Lamming is “a seminal Caribbean intellectual and thinker”. And to write about him is to “immediately confront the entire scaffolding of 20th century Caribbean intellectual, cultural, political and literary life…”
In releasing at this time the Caribbean Reasonings series of publications, Ian Randle is keeping faith with readers worldwide in the consistent offerings of a rich variety of publications it markets across and beyond the Greater Caribbean region.
By systematically exposing readers to critical thoughts on all aspects of Caribbean life, IRP has evolved, over the years, as a major pillar in the education of the region’s people about themselves and how they are viewed by others, including the former colonial powers.
In the process, IRP has produced some of the most important publications on the contemporary Caribbean, and over the past decade in particular, that will remain relevant among essential reading materials which leaders in the public and private sectors and civil society organisations should find quite useful.
These would include, for example, Contending with Destiny — The Caribbean in the 21st Century; The Caribbean Community — An Introduction: Caribbean Community — Beyond Survival; The Political History of Caricom; Governance in the Age of Globalisation; Caricom Single Market and Economy — Genesis and Prognosis; Caribbean Security in the Age of Terror — Challenge and Change; and The Caribbean — An Intellectual History.
Currently, in addition to adding new publications like Gordon Lewis’ Race, Class and Ideology in the Caribbean, IRP has been releasing reprints, with helpful updates and introductions on such historical publications as Report of the Moyne Commission, viewed as a seminal document on the economic, social and political developments of the Caribbean.
Some of its more recent publications include Mother India’s Shadow Over El Dorado (Indo-Guyanese Politics and Identity); The Black Diaspora of the Americas (Experiences and Theories of the Caribbean); Soils of the Caribbean; and for those fascinated with cricket, there is a Caribbean College Edition of C L R James’ Beyond A Boundary with an introduction by Professor Hilary Beckles, principal of the UWI Cave Hill campus.
For the original report go to http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Lamming-in-Caribbean-reasonings_9111237#ixzz1R3MaSAKn