It was followed by The Schoolmaster 1968 , about the impact of the arrival of a new teacher in a remote community. What a marvel this book is; a gem; a delight. I'm gla While I usually go for character-focused narratives that favor depth over breadth, it was obvious early on in this novel that Lovelace wanted to give a panoramic view of Trinidad and introduce us to many, many characters along the way. Is Just a Movie blended a brilliant juxtaposition of performance and death in it's titular chapter which held an enormous promise to what could've followed but the promise was broken as you weave through I'm glad that this was my introduction to Earl, seeing that other titles for the author garnered more favorable reviews! Earl Lovelace has been the recipient of many prizes and awards for his fiction and plays including The Independence Literary Award, Pegasus Literary Award, Chaconia Medal and The Commonwealth Writer's Prize. What a marvel this book is; a gem; a delight. Sonnyboy and Kangkala sense an affinity when both want their cinematic death to be something greater than a keeling over at the first shot fired.
Whilst we are invited to remember one of his rousing speeches: 'Make no peace with slavery. As with The Dragon Can't Dance, there is no easy solution or resolution to defining the collective needs of modern Trinidadian society, a society that like his character, Alford, may have some of its spiritual roots in an African past but nevertheless has to remake that history within the context of a national identity that is equally Indian, Chinese and European. LibraryThing Review User Review - suzabelle - LibraryThing I found this book somewhat tedious to read and too many characters. For Is Just a Movie, he has won the Grand Prize for Caribbean Literature by the Regional Council of Guadeloupe. In the town of Cascadu, Trinidad, the 1970 Black Power rebellion has failed. His decision to live and work at home and to write in a popular idiom which derives from an indigenous calypsonian and carnivalesque tradition, is a feature which marks all of his published work. The novel's title shows how the magic of Lovelace's concreteness is manifested in his language, a language not learned in school.
A multitude of voices accompany single encounters, acting as a reminder that there are a whole host of ways in which reality can be perceived. It is writing that unhurriedly allows us to see ourselves as we are, blemishes and beauty marks alike, and to grow in the power of that incredible knowledge. KingKala, a singer, returns from detention and is sidelined in the calypso tent, his music dated and unfashionable. This subtle marriage of the literal and the fantastical is woven together with an unblinking skill; it convinces utterly, making no digression seem unnecessary, no tall tale excessive. The tragedy of our time is to have lost the ability to feel loss, the inability of power to rise to its responsibility for human decency. Not Lovelace at his absolute best but still streets ahead of most novels.
Moreover, whatever the force of the figure of Aldrick as metaphorical dragon in the novel, dancing the dance of history, the community it seems is still not redeemed. This satire, while biting, is tempered with a pathos and humor which directs us to the fundamental humanity we have come to recognize in all of Lovelace's writing. This is the kind of book that demands more than one reading. I was thinking that if what distinguishes us as humans is our stupidity, what may redeem us is our grace'. As is apparent in early novels such as While Gods Are Falling 1965 or The Schoolmaster 1968 , Lovelace's work has demonstrated from the outset an unwavering commitment to explore the complex political tensions at work in an island culture that has been born out of a history of slavery and indenture, to examine the 'pitfalls', as Frantz Fanon once famously put it, 'of a national consciousness'.
Despite the fact that we are shown in different ways that 'All o' we is one', such ideals are not easy to achieve amongst a slum community driven by competing self-interests, a history of poverty and destitution combined with a nihilistic vision that seems only briefly to be alleviated by the annual cycle of preparations for Carnival, a ritual that has over time been emptied out of its political potency. As a calypsonian, King Kala, as he is erroneously called because he once won the calypso crown, participates in a more efficacious collective ritual: Carnival. His first novel, While Gods Are Falling, was published in 1965 and won the British Petroleum Independence Literary Award. The men who led it with courage and determination have seen their dreams of social change shattered, their purpose suddenly uncertain. The dazzle of talent on display in this his latest novel is in its own way absurd. Read the full review by visiting our website: Not a review as I haven't read this yet, but I was in Trinidad when Lovelace won the Bocas prize for this book, and I heard the judges say that this is a great master's greatest work, and I heard Lovelace read from the book and I loved what he read, and I have a soft spot for Earl Lovelace anyway, so this book is on my to-read list for sure. Is Just a Movie starts off considerably strong and then meanders into smaller streams of details and paragraphs that just didn't engage me as a reader, instead of the inverse.
In Trinidad, in the wake of 1970's Black Power rebellion, we follow Sonnyboy, Singer King Kala, and their town's folk through experiments in music, politics, religion, and love--and in their day-to-day adventures. In Is Just a Movie, he writes at the top of his considerable literary powers, picturing the Caribbean's poor and powerless defending their ever-embattled humanity with resourcefulness and tenacity. And weaving its way all through the book is calypso, with its role as a medium for protest, social commentary and celebration. Among these former revolutionaries is KingKala, a poet-kaisonian returning from detention to find that his former comrades-in-arms have either fled or adapted strange new personas. Lovelace's loose writing is meticulously crafted but it retains its casual elegance.
Lovelace's loose writing is meticulously crafted but it retains its casual elegance. The backdrop is always the political, economic and social fortunes of Trinidad and Tobago, but to the forefront are the people of Cascadu forging their lives and, most importantly, a community. The narrative never focuses doggedly on Sonnyboy alone, allowing the stories of the other inhabitants of Cascadu to be told in vivid, enduring detail, with equal measures of humour and sobriety. You may unsubscribe at any time by following the unsubscribe link in the newsletter. After teaching at a number of other American universities, Lovelace returned to Trinidad in 1982, where he now lives and writes, teaching at the University of the West Indies. Lovelace makes you want to be Trinidadian. A multitude of voices accompany single encounters, acting as a reminder that there are a whole host of ways in which reality can be perceived.
We can only do this from where we are. He worked for the Trinidad Guardian, then for the Department of Forestry and later as an agricultural assistant for the Department of Agriculture, gaining an intimate knowledge of rural Trinidad that has informed much of his fiction. Yes, some writers do have it all. There is a sharp critique of the divisiveness of identity politics that seeks to highlight the positionality of power in regards to globalization. Told in language that soothes and thrills, Is Just a Movie is a novel replete with symbols by which Trinbagonians can map their multiple places in history.
Lovelace understand Trinidad and its people, its music, its history and its psyche in ways that have made him one of the most important writers to have emerged from the Caribbean in the last seventy years. Is Just a Movie manages to combine all the elements of the best calypso-a postmodernist sense of the world, a earthbound wit, a capacity for complex tragedy and a haunting humanity. Books are often labelled as life-affirming: Is Just a Movie is the real deal. In the town of Cascadu, Trinidad, the 1970 Black Power rebellion has failed. Not Lovelace at his absolute best but still streets ahead of most novels.
Lovelace's loose writing is meticulously crafted but it retains its casual elegance. As a calypsonian, King Kala, as he is erroneously called because he once won the calypso crown, participates in a more efficacious collective ritual: Carnival. I can't wait to read other Lovelace books. For as we see at the opening to one of his most impressive novels, The Dragon Can't Dance 1979 , a book which examines the mythical and ritualistic elements of Carnival as it is experienced and lived by the bleak lives of the inhabitants of 'Calvary Hill' in Port of Spain, small acts of resistance however difficult can provide the means to personal and social liberation. The everyday grit of ordinary circumstance is pitted against the suggestion of otherworldly happenings.