Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Malc Could Have Been A Bartender in Belize
I have been re-reading Malc's letters to Carol Brown over the weekend. The letters are amongst the earliest writing we have from Lowry alongside his writings for his school magazine Fortnightly at the Leys in Cambridge.
Malc's letters to Carol are full of juvenile love talk. I had to smile when he threatened the following:
I'll chuck up all my material ambition, such as it is, run away from home, school, toil, kindred (see hymn?), and become an assistant bar tender in Honduras or somewhere without a half sou if necessary. Letter to Carol Brown April 1926 in Collected Letters of Malcolm Lowry
In reality, Malc in a kind of way did eventually do what he outlined in the letter. He escaped from his home in Caldy and his "kindred" on his sea voyage to the Far East in 1927. Later in the 1930's, he spent time in Mexico across the border from Belize. Eventually he did "chuck up" his material ambition escaping to his "Eden" or Eridanus" in Dollarton, Canada.
The Honduras that Malc refers to is probably the then(1920s)British colony of Belize which was called British Honduras.
If Malc had gone there, he would have been exposed to the Garifuna culture.
Below is a video about the music on a CD of the Umalali project, which was released on the Cumbancha record label . It focuses on the amazing music of the women of the Garifuna community of Central America.