Tuesday, July 05, 2005

From the Guyana project

Many nations fashion for themselves a "myth."

It is often a picture compounded of some fact and a great deal of imagination, of a glorious period in their past history when heroic deeds were done and their forefathers were adventurous and conquering.

Or, it may be a "myth" about the future of the great potentialities that lie in the womb of their country, ready to be brought forth if the present generation would only act as a willing midwife.

This, too, is compounded of facts and dreams and its function is to stir men to acts of creation and adventure.

Guyana has never had a myth of the first type.

But for some time now it has enjoyed portraying to the world a "myth" of the second type.

And that myth has a geographical location--a local habitation and a name.

Guyanese call it the "hinterland" or, to bring that name a little more up-to-date, "our continental destiny".

Whenever Guyanese have been disturbed by the realities around them they have tended to retreat into a mood of wistfulness.

It helps to deaden the ache of knowing that in this large land the lauded potential sits cheek by jowl with real poverty; and that we spend our lives between the waters before us and the bush behind us, grumbling about a lack of space but fearful of lunging into the vast "frontier".

-- From Bobby Moore's brief essay "Frontier--Myth and Reality" in the May 26, 1966 Guyana Graphic Independence Souvenir

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