05 July, 2011

Heartland by Wilson Harris (1964)

Perhaps the only thing more impenetrable than the Guyanese jungle of which Harris writes is his prose. His writing has been described as enigmatic and visionary, but I found it dense, long-winded and frankly, pretentious. I actually think he was trying to write a South American Heart of Darkness (no, really). If so, it’s not altogether unsuccessful, but the pages are just so laboured with the most extraordinary sentences that serve to obfuscate more than illuminate (a bit like this one). I probably ought to read Heartland again, but no - life’s too short. Some books are neglected for a reason.

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