The Antilles: Fragments of Epic Memory: The Nobel Lecture
Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on December 10, 1992. His Nobel lecture is a stirring evocation of the multivalent wholeness ... Show synopsis Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on December 10, 1992. His Nobel lecture is a stirring evocation of the multivalent wholeness of the culture of the Antilles, forged out of a violent history against a land- and seascape of immemorial dimensions. "Caribbean culture is not evolving but already shaped", writes Walcott. "Its proportions are not to be measured by the traveller or the exile, but by its own citizenry and architecture". He finds the image of this culture in the city of Port of Spain, Trinidad, "mongrelized, polyglot, a ferment without a history, like heaven". And watching a group of East Indian Trinidadians reenact the Hindu epic the Ramayana in the small village of Felicity, he meditates on the sacred celebration of joy, the rehearsal of collective memory, that is the very essence of human experience, beyond history. Walcott's lecture is a powerful reenvisionmg of the themes that have energized and informed his poetry.