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Re-Imagining the Guyanas

 | 
Lawrence Aje
, 
Thomas Lacroix
, 
Judith Misrahi-Barak

Writing and Imagining the 3 Guyanas

Wilson Harris: Magus of the Interior

Michael Mitchell

Texte intégral

  • 1 Harris, Wilson. ‘A Talk on the Subjective Imagination’, in Explorations. Mundelstrup: Dangaroo Pre (...)

‘One was suddenly aware of the fantastic density of place.’1

1On the surface of societies and cultures there is currently a tendency to be persuaded by simple solutions. These siren songs, however plausible, should be treated with caution, for they tend to distort the reality that lies beneath. Wilson Harris, in his critical work and in his fiction, has always distanced himself from such superficiality in order to penetrate into the interior—in physical terms into the heart of the Guyanese rainforest, and in metaphorical terms into the depths of the psyche. His purpose in doing so has been to find a language that will do justice to the resources of landscapes and societies in marginalized space, but also to fundamental concerns which are universal in nature. In this essay I will investigate how Harris’s use of language is both an essential empirical tool and a magical means to bind the outer and inner worlds together.

  • 2 Chaudhuri, Amit. ‘Being Difficult’. The Guardian, Saturday 8 October 2016, Review: 4.
  • 3 Islam, Sayed Manzu. ‘Postcolonial Shamanism: Wilson Harris’s Quantum Poetics and Ethics’. Journal (...)

2Most remarks about Wilson Harris's writing, both fictional and non-fictional, are prefaced by references to their opacity or 'difficulty'. Amit Chaudhuri, in a recent Guardian article quoting Geoffrey Hill on accessibility—‘Accessibility is a perfectly good word if applied to supermarket aisles, art galleries, polling stations and public lavatories, but it has no place in the discussion of poetry and poetics’2—points out that style began to be looked upon with disfavour because it came to be associated with elitism and hubris. We see evidence of a similar disillusion with elites and longing for simplicity in recent political events and possibly even in the decision of the 2016 Nobel literature committee. One of Harris’s most outspoken critics, Sayed Manzu Islam, claims Harris has ‘made his works off limits to “ordinary” readers by according them such singularity—which strips them of most of the devices of narrative communication—that the only readers they invite are the postcolonial critics in academia’ (61). 3 So what made Harris, in Islam's words, eschew ‘the world of common sense and its habitual mode of intelligibility’ and the ‘dreaded terrain of realism’ (61)? What made him, after years of pursuing the scientific calling of a surveyor in the interior of Guyana, where he was presumably contracted to common sense and the intelligible description of observable reality, albeit with poetic aspirations, start to create an entirely new and for Islam 'exasperating' linguistic palette?

  • 4 Harris, Wilson. ‘The Music of Living Landscapes’, in Selected Essays of Wilson Harris, Andrew Bund (...)
  • 5 Harris, Wilson. ‘The Frontier on which Heart of Darkness Stands’, in Explorations: 134–141.
  • 6 Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. London: Penguin, 1995; 20.

3The answer lies in Harris’s own dissatisfaction with his first attempts at fiction, for his first published novel, Palace of the Peacock, was not the first to be written during his years of contributions to the magazine Kyk-over-Al. As he pointed out in the radio memoir ‘The Music of Living Landscapes’ (1996), he felt the need to ‘visualize links between technology and living landscapes in continuously new ways that took nothing for granted in an increasingly violent and materialistic world’ (43)4. We note that his well-documented emphasis on living landscapes in no way implies a flight from the contemporary technological world or from political or social realities. On the contrary in Palace Harris is famously concerned with such topics as exploitation through colonialism, the tensions of race and ethnicity, the realities of displacement and expropriation, or the eclipse of indigenous cultures and marginalized traditions. Indeed it is these aspects which have ensured that this novel more than any other of Harris’s is regularly taught and discussed. The novel takes the form of a journey from the coastlands into the interior, thus echoing Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and their main characters share allusive kinship in the names of late Renaissance authors. Harris suggested, in countering Achebe’s criticism, that Heart of Darkness ‘stands upon a threshold of capacity to which Conrad pointed though he never attained that capacity himself’ (135).5 Yet the seldom recognized key to Conrad's work, which elucidates the mystery of the description of Marlow having the ‘pose of a Buddha preaching’6, the Yin and Yang principle in which the light has a centre of darkness and the darkness one of light, is comparable to the doubling of the characters in Harris’s novel, the play of difference and identity in the poet/narrator and the conquistador/colonist, the ghostly interplay of presence and absence in the already dead and yet still living crew, the elusive lure of the place and muse Mariella, the overcoming of the paradox of the horizontal and vertical through the trickster Anansi.

4In order to recreate the topography of the interior, Harris’s main technique is allusive metaphor. The rainforest of the interior is summoned up in numerous other novels, in Heartland, The Eye of the Scarecrow, Ascent to Omai, Tumatumari, The Four Banks of the River of Space and Jonestown, to name some examples. Let us look for a moment at an example from Heartland:

  • 7 Harris, Wilson. Heartland. 1964. Leeds: Peepal Tree Press, 2009; 22.

The torn skin of the water began to hiss, and the bones of the river acquired a new threatening disposition chained within the uneven moods of the sky. The open reflection at the landing was fast turning into a jagged accumulation of elements, half-air, half-earth, vegetation and shadow and stone, all staggering to make a larger, more solid still, unearthly presence than ever before. A hanging profile materialized at last and Stevenson glided upon a giant’s suspended tongue, seventy-five feet wide, licking the opposite bank of the river and leaving a delicate bubbling trail along a continuous knife-edge of trees . . . At last the eternal tone of the falls seemed to slice into his own heart and volume so that it was possible to distinguish in the echoing roots of the forest a clear and yet profound trailing note and Stevenson strained his attention to catch the disembodied branches of hiss and roar, the strangest aerial sublimations of bitterness and cruelty, apprehended vaguely time and time again in numerous, often abrupt, veins and shades of sound across mediating distances . . . 7

5Here the image created of the edge of the rainforest near a waterfall is combined with the looming corporeal presence of a giant or a monstrous snake, while threatening imagery derived from the visual ‘knife-edge of trees’ mutates into ‘slice into his own heart’ and elides into ‘bitterness and cruelty’, while ‘trail’ morphs into ‘trailing sound’ and ‘hiss and roar’.

6The technique has been developed further in Ascent to Omai, from which this extract is taken:

As the mirror of the sun translated him—endowed him with a star of memory—crumb of glass—ancient childlike dress (welded cloud)—Victor grew aware of Alias Tin in the gloom of the forest. He (Victor) had arrived in his ascent of the hill at a subsidiary watershed which branched away like a handlebar or ridge. Had it not been for the aeroplane's wing-tip, glistening on oh my like dust or milk, cloth or food, he would have missed the conversion or glimmer upon Alias Tin who stood forty yards from the wheel of the chasm like nature’s ghost. Like tinned blood, rust and grain, manna of space.

  • 8 Harris, Wilson. Ascent to Omai. London: Faber and Faber, 1970; 47.

Victor stopped—blood—No. Alias Tin was bloodless. And yet as Victor’s eye caught the light of the sky it was as if—from the distant winged past and winging future—within a series of ghosts constituting the breadwinner of space—he perceived blood cascading through the trees like the sublimation of a waterfall, ghost of nature, ghost of oh my / omai, ghost of the ridge, constable of the watershed. A strange holy/unholy compound it was reflected there dressed in a meteor, clown of divinity, idol of humanity: claim of bloodlessness: claim of blood.8

7The imagery at this point has been distilled to such kaleidoscopic density that every word enters into revisionary relationship with every other, but also extends forwards and backwards through the text as well as being simultaneously in local and cosmic dimensions, concrete and abstract concepts, and adrift among past and present. In the first instance a rainforest scene at sunset is being described, with words like sun, forest, hill, watershed, ridge, waterfall, although the waterfall is primarily imagined in the cascade of light through trees. The sun is referred to as a mirror, because the effect of its beam is like that of the mirror Victor once used to shine sunlight in his father’s eyes when he came out of the welding factory. He has been pursuing the figure of his father, who has appeared like rags of cloud, while the cloud reminds him of his absent mother’s dress, in which he used to hide as a child. Thus the dress is ancient and childlike, but connected with the welder father. Father and mother are the providers of milk and food, linked with ‘tinned’ and ‘grain’ and leading to ‘breadwinner’, both literally through the father’s job as a welder, but also ‘of space’ making him divine and an idol, but at the same time still human and a kind of clown. ‘Handlebar’ and ‘wheel’, used as metaphors for features of landscape, remind the reader that Victor, hit by a stone, felt as if he had been run over. Cloud on the ridge opens up to star, meteor and space, and to the glint of sun on an aircraft wing. This aircraft wing is related to the personified ‘Alias Tin’ glinting among the dark trees, which is a piece of aircraft wreckage set up by his father to mark a mining claim, though the word ‘claim’ opens out into the whole topic of the book: the exploited and dispossessed worker sentenced for having set fire to both the factory and his own ‘bed and board’ in an act of revolutionary violence. The wreckage of an aircraft which crashed in the past is co-existent with an aircraft reflecting the sun in the present, which is also the aircraft which will later crash with Victor on board as the judge in his father’s case. The effect of all this is to destabilize and render fluid all the relationships of metaphor, to double and reflect character in a multiplicity of phenomena, to dislocate place so that Omai is both chasm and summit, indigenous origin, temporary porkknocker settlement or possessive attribute in constant flux of becoming, stressed by words like ‘translate’, ‘conversion’ or ‘sublimation’.

8By the time we reach The Four Banks of the River of Space, the metaphor has achieved an extra dimension of subtlety to link the murdered Macusi bird dancer, the knife thrown into the air by Anselm which strikes a bird, the roasted duck in the banqueting hall, the knife in black Agamemnon, and the chair in which the judge sits during the trial. In also linking Anselm and Canaima and other characters who share the nature of ghosts in quantum parallel lives, Harris rehearses themes and riffs on the reverberations of actions within cultures ranging from Homeric Greece to British colonialism to Amerindian cosmology in order to question the nature of justice and revenge. Inspector Robot, the spirit of rational realism, is unable to see the living procession of rocks or to unravel the twinship of Anselm and Canaima.

9The theme of trial and judgement which play such a large part in Ascent to Omai and The Four Banks of the River of Space reaches its climax in Jonestown, with its extraordinary image of judgement in the heart of the interior, where the borders of Guyana, Venezuela and Brazil meet, on Mount Roraima, described in the book as ‘mother of the Guyanas’. In accepting to be judged in the place of Deacon, whose mask he wears, Francisco Bone also accepts the metaphorical equivalence of what are understood to be guilt and innocence, and the enigmatic paradox in the relationship between the Predator and the Huntsman Christ. It is for me one of the most numinous and awe-inspiring images in all of Harris’s oeuvre.

10We are of course justified in asking: what is all this complexity in aid of? And here I would like to call upon two theoretical works. The first is Paul Ricœur’s fascinating study, The Rule of Metaphor (1978). In it he takes issue with both Wittgenstein and Frye in considering the relationship between the metaphorical and the real, in proposing that:

  • 9 Ricœur, Paul. The Rule of Metaphor. London and Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978. It is inter (...)

we must reserve the possibility that metaphor is not limited to suspending natural reality, but that in opening meaning up on the imaginative side it also opens it towards a dimension of reality that does not coincide with what ordinary language envisages under the name of natural reality. (211)9

  • 10 Harris, Wilson. ‘Metaphor and Myth’ in Myth and Metaphor, Robert Sellick, ed. Adelaide: Centre for (...)

11By metaphor, Ricœur does not understand single words or phrases but wider discourse, so that the ‘referential function of a metaphor should be carried by a metaphoric network rather than by an isolated metaphorical statement‘ (244). Whereas Frye sees literary discourse and metaphor as acting centripetally, concentrating on connotations rather than denotations, in contrast to centrifugal informative discourse, and thus concentrates on poetic discourse as mood, Ricœur follows Jakobson in claiming that ‘Poeticalness is not a supplementation of discourse with rhetorical adornment but a total re-evaluation of the discourse and of all its components whatsoever’ (229). He thinks of metaphor, and of poetic discourse in general, as building a new semantic pertinence out of the ruins of literal meaning. In other words, poetic discourse has a power, often denied, to refer to a reality outside of language, and it does this using the heuristic power of fiction by analogy with models in scientific discourse. Imagination becomes the power of 'seeing as', in a new coupling of mythos, mimesis and poesis. Ricœur talks about the enigmatic ability of metaphorical discourse to ‘invent’ in two senses: ‘what it creates it discovers; and what it finds, it invents.’ (239) Metaphor creates a resemblance rather than finding and expressing it. But what then can be seen as metaphorical truth, as distinguished from literal truth or as opposed to mere falsity? What is it that makes the metaphor ‘appropriate’? Here Ricœur contends that ‘metaphor is that strategy of discourse by which language divests itself of its function of direct description in order to reach the mythic level where its function of discovery is set free’ and that metaphorical truth designates the ‘realistic’ intention behind the redescriptive power of poetic language. Ricœur believes the relationship depends on the idea of tension: between tenor and vehicle, between literal and metaphorical interpretation and between ideas of identity and difference in the interplay of the copula between them. Here Ricœur relies on a sense of the word ‘play’ which fascinated Shakespeare, though Ricœur does not mention this: the tension between everything and nothing inherent in the ‘wooden O’ which could contain the whole globe. He sees the essence of metaphor in a phrase which he borrows from Czech-speaking Jakobson: there was/there was not, bylo nebylo, the standard opening into the impossible terrain of the fiction of folk tale. This leads him to his well-known conclusion that metaphor is not an abbreviated simile, but that simile is a weakened metaphor. Living metaphor of this kind achieves what Harris describes in his essay ‘Metaphor and Myth’ as a conversion of deprivations that seem absolute into ‘cosmic paradox as well as into physical and cultural genesis.’10

12Another key to Harris's combinatory fiction can be found in the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. In their introductory chapter on the rhizome in A Thousand Plateaus, they speak of the relationship between the wasp and the orchid. Their ideas about the fluidity and identity of space and time in terms of territorializations of intensities, or deterritorializations, lines of flight and reterritorializations, are comparable to Harris's understanding of quantum relations:

  • 11 Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. 1987. London: Bloomsbury, 2013; 9.

The orchid deterritorializes by forming an image, a tracing of a wasp; but the wasp reterritorializes on that image. The wasp is nevertheless deterritorialized, becoming a piece in the orchid's reproductive apparatus. But it reterritorializes the orchid by transporting its pollen. Wasp and orchid as heterogeneous elements, form a rhizome.11

13The authors impute to the rhizome a plane of consistency outside all multiplicities, including all the dimensions that the multiplicity fills. ‘The ideal for a book,’ they conclude, ‘would be to lay everything out on a plane of exteriority of this kind, on a single page, the same sheet: lived events, historical determinations, concepts, individuals, groups, social formations.’ (8) Though they cite Kleist as an author of this type, the Harris pages we have examined fit the description perfectly. Deleuze and Guattari contrast a rhizomatic fiction of this type with the arboreal model of the binary and circular based on a single unity, and explicitly condemn Freudian rejection of multiplicity in this context.

  • 12 Bundy, Andrew (ed.). Selected Essays of Wilson Harris. London and New York: Routledge, 1999; 212.
  • 13 Harris, Wilson. ‘In the Name of Liberty’ in Selected Essays of Wilson Harris, Andrew Bundy ed.; 21 (...)

14So if we take Harris’s work to be in this sense an 'unfinished genesis of the imagination' and a rhizomatic or quantum fiction, how does it use the portrayal of the interior and in what way does it move beyond other postcolonial fictional strategies? Firstly Harris uses the interior, as has been shown above, to redefine economic, ethnic, social, historical and philosophical relationships. In contrasting political revolution, whether that of Russia in 1917 or 1989, or that of postwar Guyana, with what he calls the ‘intuitive fabric of self-knowledge, self-judgement’,12 Harris uses the essay ‘In the Name of Liberty’ to reassert his belief in the shamanic art of fiction.13 In this essay Harris argues that the ‘secular and free mind’ ironically turns into an embalmed, absolute dogma, which he compares with the body of Lenin turning into a ‘showcase Czar’ (Bundy 214). In contrast, the shaman needs to ‘surrender himself to a numinous realm in search of the inimitable, apparently ungraspable body of the law of truth. What is apparently ungraspable possesses a core of numinosity or myth that may give to shamanic fiction a far-flung reality’ (Bundy 215). Harris writes of ‘the genius of the creature that the shaman brings as his message from the depths of the unconscious’ (Bundy 216) and that this genius of the creature supplies resonance and correlative imageries to a love of Justice. If, as we have seen, the employment of metaphor makes a web of resonance and supplies correlative imageries, we are justified in tracing this back into the depths of the unconscious.

  • 14 Gilkes, Michael. Wilson Harris and the Caribbean Novel. Trinidad and Jamaica: Longman Caribbean, 1 (...)
  • 15 Maes-Jelinek, Hena. The Labyrinth of Universality: Wilson Harris's Visionary Art of Fiction. Amste (...)
  • 16 Delfino, Gianluca. Time, History, and Philosophy in the Works of Wilson Harris (2nd Edition). Stut (...)

15The journey into the interior, then, becomes a journey into the mind. This is not an original idea; Michael Gilkes points out that the journey in Palace of the Peacock is ‘a psychological and alchemical quest for inner harmony’,14 and Hena Maes-Jelinek writes: ‘The jungle, with its contrary aspects of “season” and “eternity”, is in most of Harris's novels a metaphor for the psyche, its conscious and unconscious components.’15 As Gianluca Delfino and others have pointed out, the ideas of C G Jung rather than those of Freud provide the best guide to Harris’s thinking. He writes: ‘all the themes and key concepts of Harris's philosophy [imagination, cross-culturality, memory, dream, human time, alchemical symbolism] have a parallel formulation in Jung’s writings.’16

  • 17 Jung, C.G. Collected Works Vol. 9 Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. London: R (...)

16To begin with, Jung's conception of the unconscious not merely as the locus of repressed memories and source of frustrated desires but as a numinous realm where archetypal images take shape corresponds closely with the magical interior realm to which the shaman must travel. The word ‘numinous’, used by Harris above, is a Jungian term to describe the almost ungraspable power and fascination of the contents of the psyche. For example, the idea of Ego and Shadow as adversarial twins finds parallels in many of the narrative pairings and splits, which are ubiquitous in Harris’s work. It is their interaction and self-confessional, self-judgemental revisioning which form the motor of the novels’ progressions, while other characters split, combine and reverberate sympathetically in the manner of the archetypal images which Jung saw as crystallizing out of a substrate fluid of the collective unconscious, and Deleuze sees in terms of deterritorializing and reterritorializing zones of intensity. Among these archetypes, apart from that of the journey itself, we might draw attention to the Anima/Animus syzygy, the Mother archetype both in the form of mother figures and also the various aunts scattered through the fiction, the absent or inadequate fathers and uncles, and the carnival tricksters. In these archetypes Harris succeeds in bringing numinous figures from the most diverse cultures together to explode monocultural bias. He even points to new archetypal possibilities in images like the emergence of ghosts of memory through wounds suffered in the present. Alchemical imagery used in order to express the nature of redemptive potential and the power of art abounds throughout his work. But the most striking aspect (and the one Delfino finds it difficult to understand) is his renaming of Jung’s collective unconscious as a ‘universal unconscious’. Jung defined the collective unconscious as ‘a common psychic substrate of a suprapersonal nature which is present in every one of us’.17 It was only later in his career that, with the quantum physicist Wolfgang Pauli, he connected this ‘psychic substrate’ with external phenomena in an extraordinary concept he termed synchronicity, an acausal connecting principle which might link the psyche with the cosmos, adding that it might introduce a need for a ‘new conceptual language’. It is this magical link, intimately related to metaphor, which is seen by Harris to link psyche and living landscapes, the organic and inorganic world, the smallest particle and the most distant star, if interpreted through innovative linguistic forms.

  • 18 Cf. Mitchell, Michael. Hidden Mutualities: Faustian Themes from Gnostic Origins to the Postcolonia (...)

17Sayed Islam, in spite of his initial harsh criticism, comes to the conclusion that Harris's 'positive ontology' allows literature to be both therapeutic and to convey 'utopian vision' (80) He calls Harris a ‘shaman in the dark forest of the soul.’ (65) I have argued that, through his innovative use of neglected linguistic resources, particularly through his use of metaphor, he has in fact tapped shamanic powers, which are required to interlace the inner and outer world. As Harris himself puts it: ‘The shaman—from times immemorial—is a voyager into the unconscious, the unconscious aboriginal body of the sea and of the forest that breaks through subconscious terrain into the conscious host native’ (Bundy 215). I have preferred to use the epithet 'Magus'. The word originally referred to a Persian priestly class who were able to perform magical operations. From there it came to be applied to any seeker of knowledge who, by understanding the world, attempted to change it. During the Renaissance the term was often applied to thinkers like Giordano Bruno, Marsilio Ficino, Cornelius Agrippa or Paracelsus, who investigated ways in which the physical world could be affected by the powers of the mind, through sympathetic magic, association, analogy and particularly alchemy. In Jungian terms we would say they made a study of synchronicity.18 Nowadays we are often more familiar with the term from T S Eliot's poem and the New Testament story of the three Magi, the ‘wise men from the East‘ who had foreknowledge of a new soteriological principle — though their annunciation remained unrecognized at first. They brought presents: frankincense, communicating the world of the senses from a medicinal tree, gold, the alchemical gold of the true El Dorado, and myrrh, a key to the secrets of the dead.

Bibliographie

Achebe, Chinua, ‘An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Massachusetts Review. 18. 1977. Rpt. in Heart of Darkness, An Authoritative Text, background and Sources Criticism. 1961. 3rd ed. Robert Kimbrough ed. London: W. W Norton and Co., 1988; 251-261.

Bundy, Andrew, ed. Selected Essays of Wilson Harris. London and New York: Routledge, 1999.

Chaudhuri, Amit. ‘Being Difficult’. The Guardian, Saturday 8 October 2016, Review: 4.

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. 1902. London: Penguin, 1995.

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. 1987. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.

Delfino, Gianluca. Time, History, and Philosophy in the Works of Wilson Harris (2nd Edition). Stuttgart: Ibidem, 2016.

Gilkes, Michael. Wilson Harris and the Caribbean Novel. Trinidad and Jamaica: Longman Caribbean, 1975.

Harris, Wilson. Tumatumari. London: Faber and Faber, 1968.

Harris, Wilson. Ascent to Omai. London: Faber and Faber, 1970.

Harris, Wilson. ‘A Talk on the Subjective Imagination’, in Explorations. Mundelstrup: Dangaroo Press, 1981; 57-67.

Harris, Wilson. ‘The Frontier on which Heart of Darkness Stands’, in Explorations. Mundelstrup: Dangaroo Press, 1981; 134-141.

Harris, Wilson. ‘Metaphor and Myth’ in Myth and Metaphor, Robert Sellick, ed. Adelaide: Centre for Research in the New Literatures in English, 1982; 1-14.

Harris, Wilson. The Four Banks of the River of Space. London: Faber and Faber, 1990.

Harris, Wilson. Jonestown. London: Faber and Faber, 1996.

Harris, Wilson. Palace of the Peacock. 1960. London: Faber and Faber, 1998.

Harris, Wilson. ‘In the Name of Liberty’ in Selected Essays of Wilson Harris, Andrew Bundy ed. London and New York: Routledge, 1999; 212-221.

Harris, Wilson. ‘The Music of Living Landscapes’, in Selected Essays of Wilson Harris, Andrew Bundy, ed. London and New York: Routledge, 1999; 40-46.

Harris, Wilson. Heartland. 1964. Leeds: Peepal Tree Press, 2009.

Harris, Wilson. The Eye of the Scarecrow. 1965. Leeds: Peepal Tree Press, 2011.

Islam, Sayed Manzu. ‘Postcolonial Shamanism: Wilson Harris’s Quantum Poetics and Ethics’. Journal of West Indian Literature 16:1 (November 2007): 59-82.

Jung, C.G. Collected Works Vol. 9i: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1959.

Maes-Jelinek, Hena. The Labyrinth of Universality: Wilson Harris's Visionary Art of Fiction. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2006.

Mitchell, Michael. Hidden Mutualities: Faustian Themes from Gnostic Origins to the Postcolonial. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2006.

Ricœur, Paul. The Rule of Metaphor. London and Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978.

Notes

1 Harris, Wilson. ‘A Talk on the Subjective Imagination’, in Explorations. Mundelstrup: Dangaroo Press, 1981; 58.

2 Chaudhuri, Amit. ‘Being Difficult’. The Guardian, Saturday 8 October 2016, Review: 4.

3 Islam, Sayed Manzu. ‘Postcolonial Shamanism: Wilson Harris’s Quantum Poetics and Ethics’. Journal of West Indian Literature 16:1 (November 2007): 59–82.

4 Harris, Wilson. ‘The Music of Living Landscapes’, in Selected Essays of Wilson Harris, Andrew Bundy, ed. London and New York: Routledge, 1999; 40–46.

5 Harris, Wilson. ‘The Frontier on which Heart of Darkness Stands’, in Explorations: 134–141.

6 Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. London: Penguin, 1995; 20.

7 Harris, Wilson. Heartland. 1964. Leeds: Peepal Tree Press, 2009; 22.

8 Harris, Wilson. Ascent to Omai. London: Faber and Faber, 1970; 47.

9 Ricœur, Paul. The Rule of Metaphor. London and Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978. It is interesting to note in this context that current investigations into language itself, in the shape of cognitive linguistics, imputes to metaphor a far more fundamental role in language than has previously been considered.

10 Harris, Wilson. ‘Metaphor and Myth’ in Myth and Metaphor, Robert Sellick, ed. Adelaide: Centre for Research in the New Literatures in English, 1982: 1–14; 3.

11 Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. 1987. London: Bloomsbury, 2013; 9.

12 Bundy, Andrew (ed.). Selected Essays of Wilson Harris. London and New York: Routledge, 1999; 212.

13 Harris, Wilson. ‘In the Name of Liberty’ in Selected Essays of Wilson Harris, Andrew Bundy ed.; 212–221.

14 Gilkes, Michael. Wilson Harris and the Caribbean Novel. Trinidad and Jamaica: Longman Caribbean, 1975; 39.

15 Maes-Jelinek, Hena. The Labyrinth of Universality: Wilson Harris's Visionary Art of Fiction. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2006; xiv.

16 Delfino, Gianluca. Time, History, and Philosophy in the Works of Wilson Harris (2nd Edition). Stuttgart: Ibidem, 2016; 87.

17 Jung, C.G. Collected Works Vol. 9 Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1959; 4.

18 Cf. Mitchell, Michael. Hidden Mutualities: Faustian Themes from Gnostic Origins to the Postcolonial. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2006.

Auteur

Michael Mitchell is an Associate Fellow at the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies at the University of Warwick, and a lecturer in English at the University of Paderborn, Germany. He spent many years teaching English at secondary schools in Germany. He is the author of Hidden Mutualities: Faustian Themes from Gnostic Origins to the Postcolonial, introductions to the Peepal Tree editions of Wilson Harris novels and; numerous articles on postcolonial literature, particularly the Caribbean and Wilson Harris.

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