(Theodore) Wilson Harris Biography
Wilson Harris Comments:
(1972) Palace of the Peacock through The Guyana Quartet and successive novels up to The Sleepers of Roraima and The Age of the Rainmakers are related to a symbolic landscape-in-depth—the shock of great rapids, vast forests and savannahs—playing through memory to involve perspectives of imperiled community and creativity reaching back into the Pre-Columbian mists of time.
I believe that the revolution of sensibility of defining community towards which we may now be moving is an extension of the frontiers of the alchemical imagination beyond an opus contra naturam into an opus contra ritual. This does not mean the jettisoning of ritual (since ritual belongs in the great ambivalent chain of memory; and the past, in a peculiar sense, as an omen of proportions, shrinking or expanding, never dies); but it means the utilization of ritual as an ironic bias—the utilization of ritual, not as something in which we situate ourselves absolutely, but as an unraveling of self-deception with self-revelation as we see through the various dogmatic proprietors of the globe within a play of contrasting structures and anti-structures: a profound drama of consciousness invoking contrasting tones is the variable phenomenon of creativity within which we are prone, nevertheless, to idolize logical continuity or structure and commit ourselves to a conservative bias, or to idolize logical continuity or anti-structure and commit ourselves to a revolutionary bias. Thus we are prone to monumentalize our own biases and to indict as well as misconceive creativity. A capacity to digest as well as liberate contrasting figures is essential to the paradox of community and to the life of the imagination.
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