Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 10th 2015 Contents B5
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE
ADMISSION TO PRACTISE LAW
IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
that there would be two sittings of the High Court to hear
petitions for persons wishing to be admitted to practice law before the Courts
of Trinidad and Tobago.
that these sittings will be held on
respectively in the
Convocation Hall, Hall of Justice, Knox Street, Port-of-Spain.
All persons desirous of having their petitions heard before the Court must file
their documents on or before
the Civil Court Office, Hall of Justice, Knox Street, Port of Spain.
To Seepersad Naipaul (1906-1953), the founding
father of the literary line, his first son VS Naipaul
wrote in July 1951: "You are the best writer in the
West Indies, but one can only judge writers by their
work" [Letters Between a Father and Son, 1999, p
116.] Vidia was saying that Seepersad had all the
strokes---but he was not playing a Test match innings.
Where was the novel?
This was hard. Seepersad tried to fulfill his writerly
ambitions in more dispiriting circumstances than his
sons, though to hear Vidia bemoaning what he went
through, you would not think so.
In spite of Vidia s encouragement, Seepersad never
had the time to get around to writing the novel or
autobiography he desperately wanted to deliver: "This
is the time I should be writing the things I so long
to write. This is the time for me to be myself. When
shall I get the chance? I don t know. I come home
from work, dead tired. The Guardian is taking all out
of me..." (Seepersad to Vidia, 5/10/50).
It wasn t only the Guardian. He was a selfless
provider for his family and tended to put their needs
and dreams above his own. Especially Vidia s. He was
full of anxiety. He felt trapped. His sons were the
same. All three writers suffered from depression and
anxiety, and all three had nervous breakdowns.
In Shiva s third novel (Love and Death in a Hot
Country, 1984), there is an extreme statement of the
issues and anxieties that wasted Shiva and that underlie
the work of all three writers. Dina, with the English
surname Mallingham, is a passive, depressed, educated
light-skinned woman (part Portuguese, part Indian)
for whom the country is sinking to a bottom that has
no bottom and to whom life itself has no meaning or
purpose. Her grandfather, Mahalingam, had surrendered
his name, religion and anything he could have called
his own when he became a Presbyterian. In the next
generation, Dina s father learned to live with the sense
that he had been misguided and he even progressed
further upon the weary road to false identity. Dina
suffers as a child from the void in which her father
lived with his Portuguese wife, and she finally puts
words to the condition that has sapped her of vitality:
"I grew up, you know, without allegiance to anything.
I m nothing but a mongrelised ghost of a human being
living in a mongrelised ghost of a country. There s
nothing holding me together. Every day I have to re-
invent myself." (p 160) Shiva was the bleakest of them
---A bridge between journalism and fiction
Seepersad was an insider who was able to stand
outside of his society and write about it.
In his first and brilliant period of journalism (1929-
1934), Seepersad brought the techniques of the fiction
writer, a wicked sense of fun, a little malice, and a
focus on character and situation to his work. In his
second period (1938-1946) when he did not have so
much of a byline, he had more time to work on his
short stories at home and make an acolyte of Vidia.
In his third journalistic period (1950-1953) he turned
out high-quality non-fiction on a wide variety of sub-
jects, while dying to publish his collected short stories
and to write a novel or a kind of autobiography.
He did not write his novel, but he was not a failure.
He was an outstanding journalist and a fine short
story writer. He did not have to talk the kind of nonsense
his older son did about journalism being a better form
than the novel for capturing our fast-moving times.
Continues on Page B6
Shiva Naipaul who wrote five novels including The Chip Chip Gatherers was the
younger brother of VS. He died suddenly at the age of 40 in 1985.
This is the conclusion of an edited version of
Prof Ken Ramchand's speech at the opening of
last week's literary conference: Seepersad and
Sons---Naipaulian Creative Synergies, at the
UWI Open Campus in St Augustine. The
conference, hosted by the Friends of Mr Biswas,
examined the works and cross-influences of the
writing careers of three men, all from one of
T&T's pioneering literary families, the Naipauls.
The father, Seepersad Naipaul (1906-1953), was
a journalist at the Trinidad Guardian from the
1930s to the early 1950s; his two sons
Vidiadhar (VS; born 1932) and Shivadhar (Shiva;
1945-1985) went on to notable literary careers,
shaped in part by Trinidad and by their father's
support, influence and personal example.
LITERARY CONFERENCE: SEEPERSAD AND SONS---NAIPAULIAN CREATIVE SYNERGIES ---PART II
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