eye

The latest addition to my website is Wilson HarrisThe Eye of the Scarecrow. This is another strange novel from Harris, about a trip into the Guyanese jungle to find a lost city. As with his other works, plot very much takes second place to imagery and we get, once again, some wonderful images, including dreams, ghost-like appearance and the images of the jungle. The narrator is currently (1964) living in the United Kingdom but is writing about his boyhood in then British Guiana in the 1920s and about 1948, the year of the big strike. He has a friend K., an engineer, who lost his parents while young. K. leads an expedition into the jungle to find a lost city, Raven’s Head, which some developers are eager to develop. They rely on a larger than life woman, Hebra, to help them and they quarrel over her. It is not clear what happens but it seems that Hebra is killed and the narrator, as happened to both his father and step-father, is injured in the jungle and nearly dies. Looking back from 1964, while writing to K., he can only conclude, as we must, that it is not clear what happened and that it is language that that is both the aid and the stumbling block.