Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Two oceans, symbolic and real, impinge on modern Guyana. The Atlantic has tested the coastland peoples for generations. They have fought a long battle with the sea to maintain their homes. The vast interior at their back is another, equally complex, ocean that rises into a "sounding cliff" or majestic waterfall within rainforest, savannah, rock, river.

-- Wilson Harris, "The Place of the Poet in Modern Society: A.J. Seymour", in AJS at 70

I was thinking of the white sand, and of Wilson Harris.
Difficult, complex Guyana! I thought. Prehistorically-moulded. Metaphysically-inspiring. Nihilistic. Ridicule-making. Anarchic Guyana!...
"This is a kind of 'country of the mind'," John said. "It's a mentally-held landscape of very real people, an outsized Nature, a surrealistic history, overwhelming contemporary events, and an abundance of dreams. A mental Coast, a mental Interior."

-- Andrew Salkey, Georgetown Journal

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