Pelican Prose

Though entertaining, not all consumers of the Pelican Annual Magazines of the 1950s were receptive of the writing styles popularly employed by the contributors. “Nonsense, pretty pretty, trashy, pointless and cliché,” are among the words used by one reviewer to describe the Pelican prose. Based on such description, it is evident that a number of these articles were quite unpalatable to the more ‘refined’ taste buds. Nevertheless, I must concur that some of these jargons often resulted in a raised eyebrow as one reads the articles. Very recently, we shared a report from the 1956 Pelican Annual Magazine detailing events of a day of Carnival at UCWI. Interestingly, this piece was listed among the “few of the worse” highlighted in the review, “A Word About Words” by A. B. Mullings. Please see an excerpt from the article below.

Excerpt of “A Word About Words” by A.B. Mullings

Having read more than thirty articles from the Pelican over the past few days, it is hard to write without the influence of the stylistic flair employed by the authors. Thus, I fear I may fall prey to the rebuke of Mr. Mullings and his fellow English scrutinizers. The grave force with which the Pelican writers have been scolded in this article will send shivers down the spine of any young writer, as they try to pen their thoughts. With this thought, I will take heed to the voice inside my head which is telling me to end this blog and pray you will be merciful in your critique.


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