“What do they of cricket know, who only cricket know?”

Zen Marie and Andrew Lamprecht consider seminal writings on cricket in a discussion as part of GIPCA’s Great Texts public lecture series. They will examine two books about cricket written over a century apart and very different in intent, style and content, yet in a peculiar way tied together by the narratives and realities of colonialism, class, and agency.

K.S. Ranjitsinhji’s The Jubilee Book of Cricket (1897) and Herschelle Gibbs’s To the Point (2010) form the basis of their investigation. The former, a homage to the the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, the ‘Empress of India’, and the noble sport of cricket, was written by Ranjitsinhji, an Indian prince who played for the English national team, becoming the first ‘non-indegene’ to represent a nation in sport. The latter book, a ‘ghost written’ autobiography, describes a contemporary South African figure who perhaps needs less introduction, having achieved as many accolades as he as courted controversy.

Marie and Lamprecht’s presentation will take the form of an exchange of readings and ideas that will seek to go beyond the boundary that cricketing literature conventionally occupies. The cross-readings will tease out connections and contradictions inherent in the form of cricket – and beyond over the hundred years that separate the two books.

The discussion will be framed by the work of C.L.R. James – influential Trinidadian-born social theorist, political activist, historian and journalist. James’s Beyond a Boundary, first published 50 years ago and still considered a seminal work on cricket, asks in the Preface: “What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?”, taking up the challenge of commenting on the game in social, historical and autobiographical contexts.

Zen Marie lectures at the WITS School of Arts, where he tutors senior undergraduate students and supervises Masters students. He studied photography at the Market Photo Workshop and thereafter completed a BAFA degree at the University of Cape Town. Alongside this artistic training, Marie went on to pursue two post-graduate studies: a two year studio residency at de-ateliers in Amsterdam, and a Masters degree at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, based at the University of Amsterdam. Marie works on projects and exhibtions, both locally and abroad, that use performance, installation and writing to explore a range of ideas relating to city and nation.

Andrew Lamprecht is a Senior Lecturer in at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. He is well-known as a writer, critic and curator, with a special interest in Contemporary South African Art and the intersection of history and art practice. Lamprecht serves on a number of committees and boards, including the ISANG Acquisitions Committee, SARAH Advisory Committee and as a Commissioner for Freedom of Expression for the Paris-based, UNESCO-affiliated International Association of Art Critics (AICA). As a curator, he has curated three exhibitions for Iziko, most recently, Tretchikoff: The People’s Painter.

Great Texts lectures will take place on Thursdays for the month of May. This lecture will take place on Thursday 16 May 2013 at 17:30 at Hiddingh Hall, University of Cape Town (UCT) Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town; and is free. Refreshments will be served from 17:00; no booking is necessary. For more information on the Great Texts series, please contact 021 480 7156 or fin-gipca@uct.ac.za.

Zen Marie & Andrew Lamprecht audio recording available for download.

Venue: Hiddingh Hall

Address: UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31 Orange Street, Cape Town, Western Cape, 8001, South Africa