Tuesday, March 16, 2004

The Scotsman reports today that Derek Walcott has been robbed in Paris:

Mr Walcott, 73, spoke of being left in a Kafka-esque limbo after his partner, Sigrid, had her bag snatched in Paris.

The thief got away with the couple's passports, travel documents, money, and, critically, Mr Walcott's green card, allowing him to travel and work in the United States.

Mr Walcott has returned from Europe to his home in St Lucia in the Caribbean, but was due to travel to Scotland via the US, where he has an apartment in New York and a teaching job in Boston.

He and Sigrid had to show newspaper cuttings about his work to airline officials at the airport before they were allowed to board their plane and leave France.

"Day by day it gets more devastating," he said. "One of the worst things is [the loss of] my green card. My second application took almost a year to come through, and now I have to do it again.

"The most frightening thing is this contemporary thing of identity--unless you have papers, you don't exist. Very Kafkaesque."

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