argues, is that ‘literature itself contributes to the
ambitious enterprise of the making of history’. Lamming
‘sees literature as a kind of imaginative record that
paradoxically substantiates and challenges historical
narratives’, p. 2.
Paul Gilroy, The BlackAtlantic: modernity
the collective experience of migration and diaspora.
Migrants coming to Britain after the war brought with them not only
memories of the West Indies: they brought, too, other stories, of other
places. Above all, they embodied (to varying degrees) the complex
histories of what retrospectively has been termed the blackAtlantic. 39
In the years which encompassed the decolonisation of the
Malik, The Meaning of Race , p. 72.
Paul Gilroy has argued persuasively for the
necessity of rethinking modernity in the light of an experience of
slavery actively legitimated by racial theory ( The BlackAtlantic. Modernity and Double Consciousness , London, Verso,
1993). The same argument obtains for the experience of