Companions of the Day and Night
'He ascended, eyes riveted, nailed to the steps leading up to the top of the pyramid of the sun. How many human hearts he wondered had been plucked from bodies there to feed the dying light of the sun and create an obsession with royal sculptures, echoing stone?...It was time to take stock of others as hollow bodies and shelters into which one fell...' In "Companions of the Day and Night" (first published in 1975), Wilson Harris revives figures from his earlier "Black Marsden" - chiefly Clive Goodrich, the 'editor' of this text, who constructs a narrative from the papers of a figure known as "Idiot Nameless": a wanderer between present and past, taking an Easter sojourn in Mexico that lasts both for days and for centuries. The results have the strangely hypnotic power characteristic of Wilson Harris' fiction.
- Electronic book text
- 15 Nov 2012
- FABER & FABER
- Faber Finds
- United Kingdom
Wilson Harris was born in 1921 in the former colony of British Guiana. He was a land surveyor before leaving for England in 1959 to become a full-time writer. His exploration of the dense forests, rivers and vast savannahs of the Guyanese hinterland features prominently in the settings of his fiction. Harris's novels are complex, alluding to diverse mythologies from different cultures, and eschew conventional narration in favour of shifting interwoven voices. His first novel Palace of the Peacock (1960) became the first of The Guyana Quartet, which includes The Far Journey of Oudin (1961), The Whole Armour (1962) and The Secret Ladder (1963). He later wrote The Carnival Trilogy (Carnival (1985), The Infinite Rehearsal (1987) and The Four Banks of the River of Space (1990)). His most recent novels are Jonestown (1996), which tells of the mass-suicide of a thousand followers of cult leader Jim Jones; The Dark Jester (2001), his latest semi-autobiographical novel, The Mask of the Beggar (2003), and one of his most accessible novels in decades, The Ghost of Memory (2006). Wilson Harris also writes non-fiction and critical essays and has been awarded honorary doctorates by several universities, including the University of the West Indies (1984) and the University of Liege (2001). He has twice been winner of the Guyana Prize for Literature.