Bowles is a well-known and excellent writer. He passed away relatively recently in 1999, and yet he writes about a lost world – Tangier, Fez, Sri Lanka, and the Rif, of the 1950s to 80s, places that have been transformed and have changed drastically since those years. I hadn’t realised how much of a composer of music he was. He knew various of the Beat writers, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. At the bottom of this page on the Authorized Paul Bowles Web Site there’s a photo of Bowles taken in 1995.
Above, is a very short clip of Bowles talking about how words should go together, and the importance of language, in his books.
Above is a short clip of Bowles talking in 1970, about Morocco in the 1950s.
Matthew Parker writes about the settlement known as Willoughbyland, in Suriname. In the 1650s and 1660s roughly 50 plantations were developed in Willoughbyland. There were about 1,000 European settlers and 3,000 slaves, and the colony prospered for a number of years. Many came from Barbados, where the population had risen to over 26,000 and all of the available land had been taken. It all eventually ended in failure and tears. One thing that stands out is how many similar settlements in the new world failed in the longer term in the 17th and 18th centuries.
In Scotland, the Darien scheme, which I have previously written about, is the best known, but there were many other failures. If the local inhabitants or disease didn’t get you, then infighting or attacks by other European forces did. These settlements seemed to spend as much time attacking each other as they put into their plantations. One reason Willoughbyland stands out is because it lasted longer than many, and involved several very colourful characters.