Foreword

On V.S. Naipaul

There is a lot one can say about V. S. Naipaul, not all of it about his literary work.  He was a man of stories – he could tell them as well as be at the centre of them.  His work and his views generated passionate responses – from his readers, his critics and his contemporaries.  Such passion was perhaps produced by the paradoxes he was able to sustain: he was easy to read, but some of his work was difficult to digest; he wrote with a Caribbean sensibility yet denied the region’s creative potential; he often used humour to write about the darkness of human existence, a darkness that played out in his personal life.  Perhaps, it is human nature to be drawn to dark stories, to feel the magnetic pull of intrigue even as the threat of what can hurt and unsettle pushes us away.  It is the mark of a good writer to explore that tension – it is the sign of a great writer to artfully re-create that balance.  Naipaul has, if nothing else, a legacy of great writing.  Acknowledged internationally with several honorary doctorates, a knighthood, The Booker Prize and the Nobel Prize, Naipaul pitched himself among the literary celestials.  Naipaul was also important to the region and – in spite of his many criticisms – the region was important to him.  In his Nobel speech, he observes that it is his birthplace that has ‘altered and developed’ in his writing.  Through everything, it is his writing that takes centre-stage.   As an intuitive and life-long craft, he notes that it is writing that offers ‘everything of value’.  In the spirit of Naipaul, we invite you to find what is magnetic, what is unsettling, what is valuable in what issue XIX has to offer.  In short, we invite you to enjoy good (perhaps, great) writing.  As always, we thank our patient contributors, our growing editorial team and extend a very special thank you to our long-serving (and long-suffering) team member, Angela Trotman, who has moved onto other endeavours.  Much love.


From the editors:
Nicola Hunte
Rob Leyshon
Debra Providence 
 
 

POUI, Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature
Telephone: (246) 417-4402/4/5 Fax: (246) 424-0634 E-mail: poui@cavehill.uwi.edu