It’s nearly a year since our friend and comrade Stuart Christie died. We’ve posted a handful of his writings to mark the anniversary. His review of The Sash looks at the problem of religious sectarianism in Glasgow: ‘one has to admire the courage of the actors who can get up in Glasgow and tear into their lines that strip the Orange and Papist legends down to their pubic hair.’ (The Sash, Hector MacMillan [Book Review] https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/7pvnw9 )
Alans Burn’s book The Angry Brigade doesn’t get much love: ‘If an author wrote a novel concerning a group of upper-class opium smoking “drop-outs” and presented it as “The Luddites” (or “Molly Maguires”) it could not stand as historical fiction but on its merits as a novel. Such merits Mr Burns does not possess.’ (The Angry Brigade, Alan Burns [Book review] https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/m0chp8 )
Maybe the most interesting piece is not by Stuart, but his reposting of ‘Advice to My Anarchist Comrades (1901)’ by Élisée Reclus: ‘If you throw yourself into the fray to sacrifice yourself defending the humiliated and downtrodden, that is a very good thing, my companions. Face death nobly. If you prefer to take on slow and patient work on behalf of a better future, that is an even better thing. Make it the goal of every instant of a generous life. But if you choose to remain poor among the poor, in complete solidarity with those who suffer, may your life shine forth as a beneficent light, a perfect example, a fruitful lesson for all!’ We think that, in particular, chimes with Stuart’s attitudes. https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/31zf26
Over the last year have edited (and written an introduction for) A Life for Anarchy: A Stuart Christie Reader. The book contains a selection of Stuart’s writings (shorter political pieces and biographical tributes he wrote) and some of the tributes his friends and comrades paid to him.
‘We hope this book will give you a sense of the richness and complexity of his life. We also hope it will act as a memorial, given that we haven’t been able to meet up and celebrate his life. […]
‘We know that this is not the final word on Stuart’s life. Seeing the materials that people are sharing with us and the Stuart Christie Memorial Archive, we feel as though we are constantly learning more. We hope this reader gives you a sense of the breadth of his experiences, and celebrates his humanity, his morality and his intuitive grasp of anarchism.’ (from the introduction)
Published by AK Press, it’s 280 pages long and copies will be available later in the year. Money from each copy sold will go to Stuart’s daughter, Branwen. We’ll share more information when we have it.
Kate Sharpley Library Collective
[Photo: Stuart working on Sanday]