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Order The Eye of the Scarecrow by Wilson Harris
An unnamed diarist, writing in London, in 1963, reflects on episodes of his life in British Guiana that profoundly altered his vision and understanding of the world. There are childhood incidents, such as time he pushed his friend into a canal, but finds no blame is attached to his role; there is his youthful witnessing of a march of workers in 1948, protesting the killing of their comrades by the police during a bitter strike, and his momentary, but disconcerting perception that his friend is an empty scarecrow of a man, a vision that leaves him with “a curious void of conventional everyday feeling.”
There begins a radical exploration of the indeterminacy of memory and the capacity of the imagination to see beyond the everyday, to tap into the interplay between the material and the spiritual, the conscious and unconscious mind. Though Harris challenges the reader by removing the props of linear narration, he compensates by offering a poetic richness of sensuous association.
With an introduction by Michael Mitchell
Wilson Harris was born in New Amsterdam in British Guiana, with a background which embraces African, European and Amerindian ancestry. Unquestionably the Anglophone Caribbean’s most original and visionary writer, Harris has published an extensive body of fiction, poetry, and some of the most suggestive Caribbean criticism. Resident in the UK in 1959, since his retirement he has been in demand as visiting professor and writer in residence at many leading universities. He was knighted in 2010 for his services to literature.
Published: 30 August 2011