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Monday, March 19, 2007

Lloyd Best--one of the truly great men of the Caribbean, and one of our truly great minds--has died. Eulogists and obituary writers will labour to describe the Caribbean's intellectual debt to him. I am still struggling to understand how much I personally owe him, and why. I first met him a short five years ago, after I started writing for the Trinidad and Tobago Review. His genuine interest in me, my opinions, my experiences, surprised me at first, and then gave me an important kind of confidence at a time when I needed it. He did the same for dozens, maybe hundreds of others. We will desperately miss--because we desperately need, now more than ever--his hard-won but lightly worn knowledge, his insight, his optimism, his humour, his integrity. No one has understood the Caribbean better, and few have lived so selflessly. If I call myself a Bestian, it's because I realise how far behind him I was--but also because he was generous enough to make me think I could one day hope to catch up.

2 comments:

Jonathan said...

My own debt to Lloyd is immense. He did so much for me, in ways I can't even begin to describe. We are all that much poorer today because of his passing.

Mark said...

Well said, Nicholas.