The Enigma Of Arrival

This morning I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2022/05/09/flos-take-on-the-house-in-the-wood/

The rest of the day was spent on finishing reading “The Enigma Of Arrival”, by V.S.Naipaul.

The sub-title ‘A Novel’ is necessary, otherwise, particularly as the first person narrator drives in England as a 17 year old Trinidadian, as did the writer.

This outstanding work chronicles the life history of the man interlaced with that of the writer.

It was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who believed https://derrickjknight.com/2014/01/25/all-is-flux-nothing-stays-still/

Naipaul demonstrates this in the book. Through three decades he follows the changes in the experiences of a Wiltshire village in which he settles; the gradual dwindling of the significance of a decaying Manor House and its denizens; the development of changes to buildings, countryside, and gardens; the comings and goings of residents, personnel, and their relationships; interwoven lives and deaths.

Simultaneously he progresses the evolution of a neophyte to a maturing author through the device of returning to triggered memories and describing them afresh in later contexts, layering them like the patina of a precious, fondly handled piece of antique treen.

The writer contrasts the cycles of natural seasons with those of humanity and its artefacts; plants like ivy return naturally, whereas others, such as roses need careful maintenance, as do buildings.

The language flows beautifully; bucolic and gardening descriptions are thoroughly delightful. His characterisation has depth and understanding.

I would have been very happy to have possessed the skill to have written this book.

As I was drafting this, Elizabeth e-mailed me a few more photographs from yesterday’s trip.

The forest floor picture fitted quite well with Naipaul’s theme.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausages in red wine; boiled new potatoes in their skins; crunchy carrots; and tender broccoli, green and runner beans, with which she drank Diet Cola, Flo drank Elderflower Cordial, and I drank Mendoza Malbec 2019.

Published by derrickjknight

I am a septuagenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs

37 thoughts on “The Enigma Of Arrival

  1. Great photos, Elizabeth! Love the photos of Derrick and Flo! The tire track photo and the forest floor photo are so unique and cool! Thank you for bringing us smiles and joy with your photos!

    Derrick, I always enjoy when you share books with us! Your reviews are great and you’ve shared some books for me to find and read. I’ve appreciated it over the years. 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  2. Funnily enough, I follow the Dalai Lama on Twitter, (the only person I do) and yesterday he actually said that the only constant thing in life was the law that change was constant and unavoidable.
    I really liked the forest floor photograph. It was the sort of thing that you could look at for a very long time.

  3. I love Elizabeth’s photos of you and Flo in the woodland and the natural designs on the forest floor. “The writer contrasts the cycles of natural seasons with those of humanity and its artefacts…” sounds intriguing.

  4. The header photograph of the forest floor was enigmatic for me when I opened this post: arrival … mmm … before proceeding any further I looked for sprouting acorns, wriggling worms or beetling beetles …then all was revealed 🙂

  5. Naipaul is such an amazing writer and an even more complicated person. I read a really interesting biography about him. Many of these stunning authors are such complicated humans in their ‘real’ lives. I find this even more fascinating than their books. You read a lot. So do I. Take good care Derrick.

  6. You have surprised me by taking up the other book of Naipaul for reading. To be sure, he is the master of details, of transitions in humans and society. Although I am in possessor the book, I am yet to indulge into it: your excellent brief has primed me for the job.

  7. That garden looks like a wonderful place to rest and rejuvenate, just enjoying the visuals.

    I enjoyed your book review, and learned a new word, “treen”. “Simultaneously he progresses the evolution of a neophyte to a maturing author through the device of returning to triggered memories and describing them afresh in later contexts, layering them like the patina of a precious, fondly handled piece of antique treen”, is a beautiful passage, Derrick.

  8. It sounds like an interesting book, Derrick; thank you for an intriguing review. Elizabeth’ photos are as beautiful, as yours and Flo’s. I hope you have enjoyed your Malbec. It is my husband’s preference as well.

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