Saturday, February 17, 2007

CLR James on Kanhai

"Cricket is an art, a means of national expression. Voltaire says that no one is so boring as the man who insists on saying everything. I have said enough. But I believe I owe it to the many who did not see the Edgbaston innings to say what I thought it showed of the directions that, once freed, the West Indies might take. The West Indies in my view embody more sharply than elsewhere Nietzche’s conflict between the ebullience of Dionysus and the discipline of Apollo. Kanhai’s going crazy might seem to be Dionysus in us breaking loose. It was absent from Edgbaston. Instead the phrases which go nearest to expressing what I saw and have reflected upon are those of Lytton Strachey on French Literature: ‘(the) mingled distinction, gaiety and grace which is one of the unique products of the mature poetical genius of France.’

Distinction, gaiety, grace. Virtues of the ancient Eastern Mediterranean, city-states, islands, the sea, and the sun. Long before Edgbaston I had been thinking that way. Maybe I saw only what I was looking for. Maybe."

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1 comment:

Tatiana said...

Well written article.