Monday, June 08, 2015

C.L.R. James

A comment asked me if I knew of anyone (besides me) who might dream of C.L.R. James.

I used to know people in Detroit who knew James from his time in the US, and I wouldn't be surprised if they dreamed about him. He was a very impressive guy. He could easily haunt one's dreams. His book on Moby-Dick got me to read M-D, which I very much enjoyed. He saw the Pequod as an ocean-going factory with a multicultural crew. (Multicultural sounds so weird in a 19th century context. -- A crew of sailors from all over the world.) So you get a job at a factory, and you realize that the boss is insane, which is a common experience. And you cannot walk out the factory gates, because you are on a ship.

Of course, there are many times when you can't walk out the factory gates. You know you won't be able to find another job. You can't afford to leave this job, even though the boss is insane.

Anyway, it's great way to read Moby-Dick.

I put a character based on James in my novel A Woman of the Iron People. It's a bit part, based on the one time I met James, and the character is in no way equal to James as a historian and thinker.


Post a Comment

<< Home