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(11/24/2008) The Pleasures Of Exile by George Lamming. London. 1960. Michael Joseph. keywords: Literature Caribbean Barbados Black. 232 pages. Jacket design by William Belcher.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In THE PLEASURES OF EXILE, George Lamming reveals the way he sees and thinks as a colonial writer who has chosen to live as an exile in London. He explains how this situation is forced upon the West Indian writer, and although this is not a literary exercise, Lamming leaves us in no doubt about the origin and development of the West Indian novel during the decade 1948 to 1958. In reporting his experience of Ghana, Nigeria and the United States he draws a picture of three different types of world whose citizens - the West Indian, the West African and the American Negro - share the common historic bond of slavery and colonialism, yet remain distinct products of their particular social and political environment. Lamming gives the word `colonialism' a universal significance by suggesting the sense in which the white coloniser inevitably becomes colonised by the very process of colonisation. Political independence is an absolute necessity if we are to make a move forward but political independence can only help towards that atmosphere in which an intelligent and creative assault must be made upon the whole edifice of cultural imperialism; for it is this particular brand of imperialism which, in Lamming's opinion, is the very basis of the colonial's psychological disorder. The book is not only a warning to the new independent states of Africa. It is a condemnation of West Indian ambivalence and bad faith. It is, above all, a frank and authentic indictment of the English conscience and, as such, it demands the attention of every English reader who would like to know how this particular stranger in our midst has seen us.

 

 

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