Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Case of same tune but different song

Yesterday, in the Express, there was a letter by Merle Hodge ("Govt officials, stop the verbal abuse"). I think she made some great points by calling on our national leaders to pull back from hitting out at a good friend of my family too, Verna St Rose Greaves, over statements she, Verna, made.

However, I'm sorry to report Merle's latest letter contradicts what she wrote to the Express earlier this year: on March 26, in a letter headlined "What Kamla has to deal with", she explained that jamming from enemies and friends is what women must expect when they enter politics, so they mustn't be afraid to absorb the blows when they come.

But, Ms Hodge is a novelist who'd previously (when interviewed by Kathleen M Balutansky) also said that Caribbean women novelists simply aren't able to distinguish between writing and activism because Caribbean societies are very inferior to metropolitan ones, so her shifting position shouldn't be an issue.

Nevertheless, she has a command of the English language and for that I admire her (as I admired the late Wayne Brown ), so I shall begin to end by quoting something she wrote when she was quite young, "In...both, one finds the same impudence, the same sense of humour delighting in underlining accepted incongruities, the same rebelliousness and resentment of authority and restraint".

That was taken from her 1967 University of London thesis ("The Writings of Léon Damas and Their Connection with the Négritude Movement in Literature"), which she rounded off by saying- "We are but one same sum, one same and single blood."

Jayerson Skinner