The Ghost of Memory

Wilson Harris
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ISBN 9780571232406 Format Hardback
Published 16/11/2006 Length 112 pages

About Book

I had been shot. A bullet in my back. I fell. Where did I fall? I fell from a great height, it seemed, into a painting in a gallery in a great City. I found myself returning across centuries and generations to the end of my age. I had been caught by the Artist in what seemed the womb of unexpected being in which one becomes sensitive to the end one has reached and to a new beginning. It was an end, it was a new beginning one was called upon to probe and discover.

We may dream, while still alive, of dying. But the dream is soon forgotten as are the edges and corners of a re-lived life of which we dream. It is buried in the unconscious. We know that life fades into death but, in what degree, does life re-live itself as it dreams of dying?

The Ghost of memory is a novel about life and death or rather - to put it somewhat differently - about the close, almost indefinable cross-cultarlities between moments of life and death.
This is played out through a man who is mistakenly shot as a terrorist - he sees himself

  • About Wilson Harris

    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 Liège (2001). He has twice been winner of the Guyana Prize for Literature.

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