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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in an April 25, 2024 photo.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in an April 25, 2024 photo.
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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is, yet again, urging Vincentians to read and to read widely.

He made the call recently as he shared on NBC Radio insight from the book “The Rebel’s Clinic: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon” by Adam Shatz, which he said he had just read.

He noted that Fanon was born in Martinique and studied medicine and psychiatry, in France then went to Algeria, then a French colony, where he got involved in the anti-colonial struggles.

“… there’s a lot of psychiatry in it and there’s a lot of politics, a lot of analysis of colonialism, the colonial mind, its functions. It’s an excellent book,” Gonsalves said.

“I encourage people to read and read and read,” he said, noting that from time to time he would speak about the books that he is reading.

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“I’m always reading. I’m always reading more than one book at the same time,” Gonsalves said. 

 “And there is a culture which has developed with the rise of Facebook and Twitter … and reading is not really encouraged,” the prime minister said.

“If you want to destroy a culture, a civilisation, you can burn books, burn all of them. But another way you can do it is to discourage people permanently not to read books.

“And I hope the young people listening to me, read and study, reflect. And not only to read books which are nonfiction but to read writers of the creative imagination.”

He said he once shared a book with a pharmacist who rejected it, saying he does not read novels.

“… he said, ‘Man, Comrade, I don’t read storybook, man. I only read nonfiction’,” the prime minister said. 

“But fiction helps you out of your particular milieu, out of a particular context, to take your minds to the outer limits of your creative imagination and to let you dwell among the unbounded elements and enlarge your mind,” Gonsalves told listeners.

He said he once met a university graduate in literature who said she does not read   Shakespeare.

“She said no, she’s only interested in modern writers,” Gonsalves further said, adding that the graduate considered St. Lucian Nobel laureate Derek Walcott’s poetry as “too complicated”.

“Now, it’s a good person. Unfortunately, the mind is still too closed,” Gonsalves said.

“Not as closed as my friend, the pharmacist, but still closed. I’m encouraging reading and reading good books,” he said, adding that some people would say that they read romance novels such as Mills and Boon.

“But at least you’re reading and I hope it gets through to somewhere else,” Gonsalves said.

He said he knows some people complain about Harry Potter novels.

“But I encourage children to read Harry Potter novels. Not that they’re going to believe all the fantastic tales of the writer, … witchcraft and all the rest of it. But the truth of the matter, they’re fantastic stories,” he said,

He said he once met a boy who was not interested in reading but developed the habit after reading a Harry Potter novel.

“He got hooked on reading. The thing became like sweet music to him,” the prime minister said.

10 replies on “PM Gonsalves again urges Vincies to read widely”

  1. ….probably the most useful and most truthful compilation of consecutive utterances issuing forth from this source in decades

  2. Tommy Joseph says:

    When those that help to kill it is now trying to revive it then you know for sure we are in deep do do , question : how did we get here ??

  3. Anthony G Stewart PhD says:

    Where are the community libraries? Where are the librarians? Our actions are well read.

  4. Take warning says:

    It’s my opinion that ar we go only read the book title being , the sex offenders of svg.

  5. U really genuinely want us to read widely? Don’t wish for dat because any how we start reading widely u will never b able to lard over us ever again. So way u see we can only read no furda than d 2 shilling after labouring on yo plantation don’t wish for anything else

Comments closed.