The Globalectics of Nationalism in CLR James’ and Michelle Cliff’s Writing

David W Hart, University of Wisconsin--La Crosse


Globalectics is the title and guiding principle of the Kenyan author Ngũgĩ’s recent collection of philosophical lectures on postcolonialism, globalization, and world literature, where he describes an engagement of the global environment through the local national landscape. The global roots of nationalism in the writing of Trinidadian and Jamaican authors such as CLR James and Michelle Cliff fit well with Ngũgĩ’s concept of globalectics. Ngũgĩ asserts, “The postcolonial is not simply located in the third world. Literally rooted in the intertextuality of products from all corners of the globe, its universalist tendency is inherent in its very relationship to historical colonialism and its globe for a theater” (Ngũgĩ 55). Global contexts greatly inform James’ and Cliff’s narratives of nationalist sentiment, as illustrated in James’ The Nobbie Stories for Children and Adults and Letters from London, and Cliff’s The Land of Look Behind and No Telephone to Heaven.


CLR James; Michelle Cliff; Ngugi; globalectics; nationalism; world literature; Caribbean Literature

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