V.S. Nightfall

“I see these islands and I feel to bawl,
‘area of darkness’ with V.S. Nightfall”

— Derek Walcott, ‘The Spoiler’s Return’, The Fortunate Traveller, 1981

V.S. Naipaul always had a lot of trouble ascribing any cultural worth to the Caribbean, and his views of his birthplace seem suffused with self-hate. He continues in similar vein as can be seen from the tortuous writhings he goes through in this piece on Walcott, in a recent Guardian. He just cannot grant Walcott’s achievement any appropriate praise, and has to view it through his still-jaundiced view of the Caribbean. In Nightfall’s view it is paradoxical that Walcott became known as the poet of the islands only when his creativity was given new impetus by living in the USA, the poet’s creativity apparently having become stunted by life in the Caribbean…

Article here.


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