Sam Selvon


As a writer who has used dialect with great success as a literary form I was surprised when the matter came up at one of the sessions and was fl1ppantly dismissed by a new novelist from the Caribbean. My regret at not taking up the point then is not for my dialect work- which stands on its own merit and has been acclaimed in England and America- but that the students might have been misguided into a belief that the dialect is frivolous and has no lasting value: indeed, that it has none at all according to the remarks made. I think I can say without a trace of modesty that I was the first Caribbean writer to explore and employ dialect in a full-length novel where it was used in both narrative and dialogue. I was boldfaced enough to write a complete chapter in a stream-of-consciousness style (I think that's what it is called) without punctuation and seemingly disconnected, a style difficult enough for the average reader with 'straight' English



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