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  "Many of the advertisements in Trinidad were for old-fashioned remedies and ‘tonics’. They were on tin, these advertisements, and enamelled. They were used as decorations in shops and, having no relation to the goods offered for sale, they grew to be regarded as emblems of the shopkeeper’s trade. Later, during the war, when the shanty settlement began to grow in the swampland to the east of Port of Spain, these enamelled tin advertisements were used sometimes as building material. So I was used to living in a world where the signs were without meaning, or without the meaning intended by their makers. It was of a piece with the abstract nature of my education, like my ability to study French or Russian Cinema without seeing a film, an ability which was, as I have said, like a man trying to get to know a city from its streetmap alone.(V.S. Naipaul, 1984: 120)


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