‘Darkness Visible’ is William Golding’s first novel for twelve years

John Bayley thinks it is his best, and thinks of him as a magician

  • Darkness Visible by William Golding
    Faber, 256 pp, £4.95, January 1979, ISBN 0 571 11646 9

Borges has written (and it is certainly true of Borges) that the writer is like a member of a primitive tribe who suddenly starts making unfamiliar noises and waving his arms about in strange new rituals. The others gather round to look. Often they soon get bored and wander off, but sometimes they become hypnotised, remain spellbound until the rite comes to an end, adopt it as a part of tribal behaviour.

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