Palace of the Peacock
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Palace of the Peacock (Guyana Quartet, book 1) by Wilson Harris
On the top of the pile…. In the whole of the novel, the form of writing was never straightforward, and it most cases, there were no concepts of past and present.
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As the multiracial crew journeys upriver, Harris delivers the story from multiple visions. In the same way as the tragic story is delivered, the ending also presents a tragedy that is enveloped with otherness and disintegration. This combination makes the impact of the tragedy somehow magnified and reduced at interchanging levels, which is also apparent in the unsteady flow of the story from one book to another.
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The ending of the story does not only represent the flow of the plot, the method of narration, the characterization techniques and the themes delivered in the four books. Rather, it also presents an ideal method in understanding the story. Basically, one can observe that in the ending of the story, the only way that Donne could possibly understand what is happening is through capitulating to imagination and irrationality of the events that transpired to him and his crew.
To comprehend the book, Harris requires the readers to a peculiar reading process — the same submission to absurdity that Donne did in the story. In Palace of the Peacock, Harris tries to motivate the readers to plunge into a different reading process — not just the usual reading that requires the deliberate comprehension of stories from the obvious delivery of scenes in a rational and logical flow. In the novel, it can be observed that new sensibilities are needed. Harris requires the readers to break free from the encapsulation of old and superficial methods of reading fictional works, as well as the stereotypes that exist in stories narrating colonial conquests.
He made use of Carribean images, traditions, and ideas in order to present a more native view of conquest. This native view is what makes the novel mystically different from other stories; this view is the reason why the books require submission to the irrationality exhibited by the scenes. The merging of these views is representative of the notion of cross-culturalism that Harris propagates.
This cross-culturalism view is the general premise represented in the unity of the multiracial crew and the natives.
Such is also the foundation of the whole story. Reference: Harris, Wilson. Palace of the Peacock. The perks. Sign up. Already a Member? Sign in here. Palace of the Peacock.
‘Palace of the Peacock’ mural unveiled at UG
Wilson Harris. Palace of the Peacock, the first of Wilson Harris's many novels, was published in , just one year after his arrival in Britain from Guyana. Related Articles. The Carnival Trilogy Wilson Harris. The Tree of the Sun Wilson Harris.
The Waiting Room Wilson Harris. Free to join Discover Faber Membership.