Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Debating the Canon of Literature
Image from Wikipedia
A social historian and essayist, the Afro-Trinadadian C. L. R. James journalist, C.L.R James was an influential figure in the study of post-colonial literature. Some of his most famous works include Beyond the Boundary and The Black Jacobean, which this year are celebrating their fiftieth and seventieth anniversary, respectively.
To mark the event, WORLDbyes, an online TV education charity, has organised the CLR James Project will feature documentaries, live-stream events, workshops, and read-a-thons. To open the event, they are beginning with a debate about James's place in canon literature. Every Cook Can Govern will be held at the Kia Oval in London with tickets costing £10 for adults or £5 concessions. The debate discusses James's life and the impact of his work. I also asks the question, 'Should CLR James be fodder for a new 21st Century canon?'
While James was against European colonialism, he was an advocate of Western education, stating that 'I, a man of the Caribbean, have found that it is in the study of Western literature, Western philosophy and Western history that I have found out the things that I have found out, even about the underdeveloped countries.' He considered canon literature to include writings by Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Melville, and Césaire, but there is something rather exclusive about this list. They are all white males. Is there a place on the list for people like James?