Sunday, May 1, 2016

Tradition, the Writer and Society: Critical Essays

Harris, Wilson. Tradition, the writer and society: critical essays, London: New Beacon, 1967.

From the George Padmore Institute:
The essays explore notions of Caribbean tradition, history, language and heritage both in what they say, and in how they say it. The writing is provocative, often abstract, and demands the reader’s full attention. Its intent is less a practical move towards the creative autonomy in Caribbean literature, than an individual exploration of the possibility of renewing the practice of fiction and art more generally beyond existing conventions (Bundy, 31).

Sir Theodore Wilson Harris (born 24 March 1921) is a Guyanese writer. He initially wrote poetry, but has since become a well-known novelist and essayist. His writing style is often said to be abstract and densely metaphorical, and his subject matter wide-ranging. Harris is considered one of the most original and innovative voices in postwar literature in English.
Literary critics have stated that although reading Harris's work is challenging, it is rewarding in many ways. Harris has been admired for his exploration of the themes of conquest and colonization as well as the struggles of colonized peoples. Readers have commented that his novels are an attempt to express truths about the way people experience reality through the lens of the imagination. Harris has been faulted for his novels that have often nonlinear plot lines, and for his preference of internal perceptions over external realities.

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