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Familiar Stranger
Familiar Stranger: A Life Between Two Islands | Stuart Hall
10 posts | 1 read | 1 reading | 5 to read
"Sometimes I feel myself to have been the last colonial." This, in his own words, is the extraordinary story of the life and career of Stuart Hallhow his experiences shaped his intellectual, political, and theoretical work and how he became one of his age's brightest intellectual lights. Growing up in a middle-class family in 1930s Kingston, Jamaica, still then a British colony, the young Stuart Hall found himself uncomfortable in his own home. He lived among Kingston's stiflingly respectable brown middle class, who, in their habits and ambitions, measured themselves against the white elite. As colonial rule was challenged, things began to change in Kingston and across the world. In 1951 a Rhodes scholarship took Hall across the Atlantic to Oxford University, where he met young Jamaicans from all walks of life, as well as writers and thinkers from across the Caribbean, including V. S. Naipaul and George Lamming. While at Oxford he met Raymond Williams, Charles Taylor, and other leading intellectuals, with whom he helped found the intellectual and political movement known as the New Left. With the emotional aftershock of colonialism still pulsing through him, Hall faced a new struggle: that of building a home, a life, and an identity in a postwar England so rife with racism that it could barely recognize his humanity. With great insight, compassion, and wit, Hall tells the story of his early life, taking readers on a journey through the sights, smells, and streets of 1930s Kingston while reflecting on the thorny politics of 1950s and 1960s Britain. Full of passion and wisdom, Familiar Stranger is the intellectual memoir of one of our greatest minds.
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charl08
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The main lesson my upbringing taught me was the way the tensions, ambivalences, fantasies and anxieties of a colonial culture, deeply divided among race/class/colour/gender lines, are lived out subjectively and internalised in the intended, emotionally charged, pathological world of the colonial family.

#FranzFanon
#AnnLauraStoler

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charl08
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How many voices are lost?

TrishB That‘s exactly what I thought! I don‘t know enough to know how many that may be either! 2mo
39 likes2 comments
review
TrishB
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Pickpick

Overall an informative and fascinating read. Some chapters lost a bit of flow occasionally and I would have liked a longer overview of his life (Thatcher era especially). Also, although not an academic book some parts did read more like one than a memoir. I learned a lot though and has given me a lot of food for thought. Thanks for joining me in reading @charl08 - I expect you were a lot more familiar with his writing?

charl08 You're reading much faster than me @TrishB (but hurrah for the weekend, when I will hopefully have time to read it all!) 2mo
TrishB @charl08 I wasn‘t in work today 😁 2mo
charl08 Jammy! 2mo
83 likes3 comments
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charl08
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I'm about 20 pages in and he's quoted so many people!

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charl08
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Ha! We have a story like this in my family.
(Equally fictitious!)

@TrishB

TrishB Us too!! All families.... 2mo
charl08 @TrishB yes, I suspect you are right. 😂 2mo
34 likes2 comments
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charl08
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I came to understand that identity is not a set of fixed attributes, the unchanging essence of the inner self, but a constantly shifting process of positioning.... identity is always a never-completed process of becoming ...

@TrishB

DrexEdit Nice! I was reading a Brain Pickings article the other day that talked about this same thing, albeit in a much more abbreviated way. She was looking at identity through the lens of Oliver Sacks and his patients who had no sense of self. One had to keep inventing their identity on the fly because they couldn't remember who they were. Ok, I've talked myself into stacking this book. lol! 😄 😄 😄 2mo
TrishB 👍🏻 I‘m really enjoying his insights. 2mo
charl08 @drexedit oh I love Oliver Sacks! @TrishB definitely easier to read than his academic theory! 2mo
Nute I wish that I had this in my hands right now! 2mo
charl08 @Nute I am enjoying it (and learning a lot) - hope you can find a copy. 2mo
39 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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TrishB
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Still not taught this in schools 😡

batsy Yesssss 🙌🏽 2mo
TrishB @charl08 this looks interesting 👍🏻 2mo
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TrishB @batsy we are way behind in the UK actually having some honest conversations about it, except probably at universities where international students have been at the forefront and staff researchers. Brexit has made it worse and I‘ve actually heard people say we need to go back to the days of the British Empire 😢 2mo
Ruthiella Preach! 2mo
batsy @TrishB That is so depressing 😞 I've seen some of that nostalgia for the British Empire on twitter... My only hope, as always, is the fact that there are always people who push back against such rhetoric. 2mo
TrishB @batsy I‘ll keep pushing! 2mo
batsy @TrishB ✊🏽 2mo
94 likes8 comments
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TrishB
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@charl08 just finished my last read late last night so will be starting this one today - slightly ahead of schedule! Will try and remember to post as I go along!

charl08 I love that cover image - Catherine Hall is so glamorous. Also genius historian. #awkwardfeministsegue 2mo
TrishB @charl08 I must sadly admit to not knowing a lot about her- but have been reading up on both of them this morning to fill that gap! 2mo
charl08 Her book about Birmingham and Jamaica both inspired and wrecked my hopes for my PhD. It is just brilliant. 2mo
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TrishB @charl08 I shall keep an eye out for it! 2mo
Centique This sounds amazing. Stacked! 2mo
TrishB @Centique it is so far! 2mo
94 likes1 stack add6 comments
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TrishB
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#beautifulstranger #movember
Quite a few on my kindle with beautiful in the title. Only these two with stranger. Not yet read either of them 😁

Cinfhen Gotta love that search feature on Kindle & GoodReads 💕 2mo
charl08 Not read it either. Must read it! 2mo
TrishB @charl08 I‘m train travelling end of next week if that suits you for our buddy read? I try to save kindle reads for travelling. 2mo
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TrishB @Cinfhen especially for tired people who‘ve had long days ♥️ 2mo
charl08 Sounds good! 2mo
Velvetfur Oohh, Stuart Hall was mentioned several times in that book I read recently, 'Homecoming', about the Windrush generation. 😊 2mo
batsy I'd love to read the Stuart Hall book, as well! He was amazing 💜 2mo
TrishB @charl08 👍🏻 cool I‘ll start on or about 22 Nov 😁 as in train to London then. 2mo
TrishB @Velvetfur @batsy looking forward to getting to it even more now! 2mo
83 likes9 comments
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TrishB
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These are all #99ponkindle U.K. today.

charl08 Well, that was an expensive visit to amazon... 3mo
TrishB @charl08 I don‘t get paid til tomorrow so stopped at 3! But would have just liked them all. 3mo
Balibee146 Gaaaah..... Tie my hands 😱😱😱😁 3mo
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Cathythoughts Nice one Trish ! Must have a look , Thanks 3mo
TrishB @Balibee146 just 99p 😁 3mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts 👍🏻 3mo
charl08 Someone on librarything says they've bought 16, and as I bought six, I feel restrained. Although probably shouldn't mention the main reason I didn't buy more was that I owned them already! If you fancy a joint read of one, please shout, that would be good. 3mo
TrishB @charl08 I‘m away this week where internet can be hit and miss for apps - but a future joint read sounds good. I got Familiar Stranger, Sister Outsider and The New Jim Crow. I have a couple of the others too. 3mo
charl08 Familiar stranger or the New Jim Crow would be good. (No rush!) 3mo
TrishB @charl08 will give you a shout in the next couple of weeks! 3mo
77 likes10 comments