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Lowry’s journal form : narrative technique and philosophical design 1976

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LOWRY'S JOURNAL FORM: NARRATIVE TECHNIQUE AND PHILOSOPHICAL DESIGN by STEPHEN GUY SLEMON B.A., Queen's U n i v e r s i t y A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY iOF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f E n g l i s h ) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December, 1976 (c) Stephen Guy Sleinon, 1976 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumb ia , I a g ree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s tudy . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i thout my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 'ti ABSTRACT The f i c t i o n s Malcolm Lowry wrote subsequent t o Under the V o l c a n o seem t o demonstrate l i t t l e o f the t e c h n i c a l e x p e r t i s e he m a n i f e s t s i n the e a r l i e r work, and one o f the few unanimously h e l d f i n d i n g s o f h i s c r i t i c s i s t h a t i n Lowry's l a t e r f i c t i o n s something has gone wrong. T h i s t h e s i s e x p l o r e s the "problem" o f the l a t e r f i c t i o n . I t shows how Lowry, t h r o u g h o u t h i s w r i t i n g c a r e e r , experiments w i t h f i c t i o n a l form, and how each o f h i s l a t e r works marks an i n t e r m e d i a t e p o i n t i n a p r o c e s s o f f i c t i o n a l e v o l u t i o n towards a "new form." T h i s "new form," a l t h o u g h n e v e r f u l l y r e a l i z e d , i s i n i t i a l l y shaped i n the notebooks Lowry used to r e c o r d the events which he l a t e r t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o the m a t e r i a l o f h i s a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l f i c t i o n s . Lowry's "new form" i s i n f a c t a development out o f the s t r u c t u r e o f h i s notebooks: the j o u r n a l form. The j o u r n a l form i n h e r e n t l y c r e a t e s o p p o s i n g p e r s p e c t i v e s upon e v e n t s ; c o n f l i c t i n g n a r r a t i v e rhythms ensue from t h i s . The "new form" i s an i d e a l Lowry a s p i r e s towards: i t i s i n t e n d e d to s t r u c t u r e a new type o f r e a l i s m -- the means by which human beings a s s i m i l a t e and o r d e r what has happened to them —• and t o c o n t a i n , and thus make c o n t i g u o u s , Lowry's d i v e r s e themes, i i i images, and o p p o s i t i o n a l n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e . Lowry's t h e o r e t i c a l approach to the "new form" i s d i s c u s s e d i n the I n t r o d u c t i o n . Chronology i s then r e v e r s e d . C h a p t e r I d i s c u s s e s "Ghostkeeper" as Lowry's r e f l e c t i o n upon h i s f i c t i o n a l method. C h a p t e r II approaches "Through the Panama" as Lowry's use o f the j o u r n a l form t o u n i f y . d i s p a r a t e n a r r a t i v e v o i c e s . C h a p t e r I I I examines and compares the m a n u s c r i p t and the p r i n t e d v e r s i o n o f Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d . I t shows t h a t t h i s book i s Lowry's f i r s t d i r e c t e x p e r i m e n t w i t h temporal i n v e r s i o n s which a r e used t o attempt to r e c o n c i l e n a r r a t i v e mode w i t h t h e m a t i c a c t i o n . C h a p t e r IV demonstrates t h a t Lowry uses an o p p o s i t i o n a l system as the f i c t i o n a l u n i f y i n g p r i n c i p l e f o r Under the V o l c a n o , and examines the formal dimensions which Lowry o n l y r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y d i s c o v e r s o p e r a t i n g i n t h i s book. Each c h a p t e r f o c u s e s upon f i c t i o n a l form and argues t h a t Lowry's themes and n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e s grow o u t o f the form he employs. The C o n c l u s i o n examines Lowry's "new form" i n r e l a t i o n to h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l o u t l o o k , shows how the new form r e c o n c i l e s Lowry's borrowings from Ortega y Gasset and J . W. Dunne and s u g g e s t s a c r i t i c a l approach t h a t w i l l e l u c i d a t e t h e l i t e r a r y and p h i l o s o p h i c a l f u n c t i o n o f the j o u r n a l - n a r r a t i v e method. TABLE OF CONTENTS I n t r o d u c t i o n . p. 1 C h a p t e r I: "Ghostkeeper": The J o u r n a l as Content . p. 16 C h a p t e r I I : "Through the Panama": The J o u r n a l as Form p. 27 C h a p t e r I I I : Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is, L a i d : The J o u r n a l as Method . . . p. 46 Chapter IV: Under the V o l c a n o : The Weight o f the P a s t and the A l t e r e d Case . . . . . p. 71 C o n c l u s i o n : Lowry: S t r u g g l i n g w i t h the form o f h i s c o i l e d work . . . . . . . . . . p. 97 Notes . . p. 108 B i b l i o g r a p h y . . p. 123 i i i INTRODUCTION In June, 1950, Malcolm Lowry wrote an e x t r a o r d i n a r y l e t t e r to Downie K i r k , a s c h o o l m a s t e r and f r i e n d . Lowry had made a d i s c o v e r y , one which appeared t o l i b e r a t e h i s f i c t i o n s from s u b j e c t i v i t y , and i n a tone o f c o n t r o l l e d exuberance he extended i t to the concerns o f those p r o f e s s i o n a l v o c a t i o n s w i t h which he i d e n t i f i e d h i m s e l f : f i l m c r i t i c , l i t e r a r y c r i t i c , h i s t o r i a n , p o l i t i c a l s c i e n t i s t , p h i l o l o g i s t , composer, p h i l o s o p h e r , and most i m p o r t a n t , w r i t e r . Lowry had been r e a d i n g O r t e g a y Gasset's Toward a P h i l o s o p h y o f H i s t o r y , which a t one p o i n t argues t h a t human l i f e t r a n s c e n d s o t h e r forms o f animal l i f e because human bei n g s i n v e n t a form f o r e x i s t e n c e and then c o n v e r t t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s i n t o t h i s r e a l i t y , the p r o c e s s b e i n g s i m i l a r t o the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s o f the n o v e l i s t . Lowry p e r c e i v e d i n t h i s a means by which f i c t i o n s about the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , o r w r i t i n g s about w r i t i n g , became o f u n i v e r s a l v a l u e : T h i s p r o b a b l y recommends i t s e l f t o me p a r t l y because i f i t i s t r u e , and man i s a s o r t o f n o v e l i s t o f him- s e l f , I can see something p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y v a l u a b l e i n a t t e m p t i n g t o s e t down what a c t u a l l y happens i n a n o v e l i s t ' s mind when he c o n c e i v e s what he c o n c e i v e s to 1 2 be the f a n c i f u l f i g u r e o f a personage, e t c . , f o r t h i s , the p a r t t h a t n e ver gets w r i t t e n — w i t h which i s i n c l u d e d the t r u e impulses t h a t made him a n o v e l i s t o r d r a m a t i s t i n the f i r s t p l a c e , and the m o d i f i c a t i o n s o f l i f e around him through h i s own eyes as t h o s e impulses were r e a l i z e d -- would be the t r u e drama . . . and I hope t o f i n i s h something o f t h i s s o r t one day. But O r t e g a i s n o t , here, a t any r a t e , c o n c e r n e d w i t h f i c t i o n : t h i s i s the t h e s i s upon which he bases h i s v a l u e o f h i s t o r y . Man i s "what has happened to him." 1 O r t e g a had thrown a l i f e - l i n e t o a w r i t e r who was i n the p r o c e s s o f w r i t i n g s e v e r a l f i c t i o n s about h i s own e x p e r i e n c e s i n l i f e : "what had happened" t o Lowry was c o n t a i n e d by a form he had a t some e a r l i e r p o i n t c r e a t e d . And s i n c e , a t l e a s t a c c o r d i n g t o O r t e g a , l i f e and a r t c o u l d be seen as p a r a l l e l p r o c e s s e s o f c r e a t i o n , f i c t i o n c o u l d be m e a n i n g f u l when i t communicated f a c t u a l e v e n t s w i t h i n a form which approximated t h a t i n i t i a l form by which the w r i t e r had p l o t t e d h i s l i f e . The d i s c o v e r y o f a v i a b l e form would " t r a n s c e n d the r e a l i t y o f n a t u r e " and harmonize the chaos o f e x p e r i e n c e , thus g i v i n g v a l u e t o o t h e r w i s e meaningless e v e n t s . "To have found one's v o c a t i o n , " Lowry wrote, "whatever i t may be, i s 'to u n d e r s t a n d t h a t one i s a l i v e f o r some s p e c i f i c 3 and unexchangeable p u r p o s e . 1 1 1 For y e a r s , however, Lowry had been w r i t i n g about h i s own l i f e , and Ortega's comments s e r v e d m o s t l y to c l a r i f y , and g i v e o b j e c t i v e s u p p o r t t o , a p r o c e s s Lowry had l o n g been engaged i n . Three y e a r s l a t e r Lowry f o r c e f u l l y r e i t e r a t e d t h e p o i n t i n a l e t t e r t o h i s e d i t o r , A l b e r t E r s k i n e , where he argued t h a t the v i a b i l i t y o f a u t o b i o g r a p h y depended upon t e c h n i q u e : "I t h i n k u n q u e s t i o n a b l y what one i s a f t e r i s a new form, a new approach 4 t o r e a l i t y i t s e l f ..." The new form had to c o n t a i n events as they a c t u a l l y happened, but i d e a l l y the w r i t e r c o u l d r e n d e r these e x p e r i e n c e s e x a c t l y and y e t not be caught i n a t e n s i o n between f a c t u a l and f i c t i o n a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . The hero o f the new form was c o n c e i v e d by Lowry as "Ortega's f e l l o w , making up hi l i f e as he goes a l o n g , and t r y i n g t o f i n d h i s v o c a t i o n ; " n o t 5 " i n the o r d i n a r y sense . . . a n o v e l i s t " b u t a w r i t e r o f some o t h e r , u n d e f i n e d p r o s e form. Perhaps c r i t i c s i n e v i t a b l y f a b r i c a t e ^ f i c t i o n s about t h e i r s u b j e c t s . But my f e e l i n g i s t h a t Lowry o n l y t r u l y d i s c o v e r e d h i s " v o c a t i o n " a f t e r p u b l i c a t i o n o f Under the V o l c a n o : " n o v e l i s t i n a d e q u a t e l y r e p r e s e n t e d Lowry's m e t i e r ; " n o v e l " and " s t o r y " c o u l d not d e f i n e the form t h a t he r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y r e a l i s e d he was t r a n s l a t i n g from l i f e and r e - c r e a t i n g i n words. The l e t t e r to Downie K i r k s i g n a l l e d Lowry's sense o f l i b e r a t i o n i n au t o - b i o g r a p h y and a new and g u i l t l e s s e x e r c i s e o f i m a g i n a t i o n i n the p r o c e s s o f r e c o l l e c t i o n . What was o f immense p e r s o n a l v a l u e to Lowry c o u l d be u n i v e r s a l i z e d , and t r u t h s d i s c o v e r e d from s u b j e c t i v e i n t r o s p e c t i o n c o u l d be a c c e p t e d by any r e a d e r who had an i n t e r e s t i n c r e a t i n g a meaningful e x i s t e n c e . Matthew C o r r i g a n , Lowry's most p a s s i o n a t e c r i t i c , e x t o l s Lowry's break from the p e r s o n a l s t a s i s o f t h i s p e r i o d through the use o f the f i r s t p erson i n "Through the Panama" and " F o r e s t Path t o the S p r i n g " ; t h i s marked Lowry's " r e l e a s e f o r w a r d " from the c o n f i n i n g 4 t h i r d person o f the t r a d i t i o n a l n o v e l . But more i m p o r t a n t l y , the use o f the f i r s t p erson marked Lowry's a c c e p t a n c e o f the prose form which i s the l a t e n t c o n t a i n i n g p r i n c i p l e ^ o f a l l o f h i s f i c t i o n s . In l i f e , human be i n g s were moulded by the e x p e r i e n c e s they underwent, b u t the meaning o f l i v i n g became c l e a r o n l y when t h o s e events were r e - c r e a t e d i n memory, a n a l y s e d , c o r r e l a t e d i n t o s i g n i f i c a n c e . Lowry's new form must then f u n c t i o n i n the same way: the impact o f immediate e x p e r i e n c e s had t o be f u s e d w i t h the r e t r o s p e c t i v e r e f l e x i v e n e s s o f the a c t u a t i n g i m a g i n a t i o n which o p e r a t e d through memory. Events had to be r e c o r d e d , and then e x p e r i e n c e d once a g a i n . A r t c o u l d p a r a l l e l l i f e , and l i f e ' s p r o c e s s o f e v o l v i n g form c o u l d be t r a n s l a t e d i n t o s e l f - r e f e r r i n g a r t which r e n d e r e d the p r o c e s s o f a c h i e v i n g i t s own form. Lowry's e n t h u s i a s m f o r Ortega's p h i l o s o p h y was p r o b a b l y based on r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n and s e l f - j u s t i f i c a t i o n , b u t i t a l l o w e d him t o f i n d c r e a t i v e r e l e a s e i n h i s new p r o s e mould. The s i m p l e s t d i s c o v e r i e s are always f o u n d too l a t e , but i t was not u n t i l near the end o f h i s c r e a t i v e p e r i o d t h a t Lowry f u l l y r e a l i z e d the dimensions o f the s t r u c t u r e which began the w r i t i n g p r o c e s s and remained the s h a p i n g p r i n c i p l e o f a l l o f h i s w r i t i n g s : the j o u r n a l form. Most o f Lowry's p r o t a g o n i s t s are a r t i s t s , personae o f some a s p e c t o f h i m s e l f , and though each i s g i v e n a s e p a r a t e i d e n t i t y w i t h i n h i s own f i c t i o n , a l l are u n i t e d w i t h i n the s i n g l e c o l l e c t i v e c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h a t i s the hero o f the s e r i e s o f i n t e r l o c k e d n o v e l s , 5 n o v e l l a s and short s t o r i e s , The Voyage that Never Ends. Thematic s i m i l a r i t i e s abound i n Lowry's f i c t i o n s ; each successive f i c t i o n a l unit i n The Voyage s e r i e s i s , as Malcolm Bradbury points out, incremental to the f i c t i o n s ...that come before i t . Dark As The Grave contains Under the Volcano; Ultramarine i s contained by them both; as the w r i t e r of one becomes the p r o t a g o n i s t of the next "the r e t r e a t of past imaginings i n t o h i s t o r y can enable the growth of consciousness, the ev o l u t i o n a r y i n s t i n c t . " C r i t i c a l e x p l o r a t i o n s of the thematic l e v e l of Lowry's f i c t i o n s i n e v i t a b l y return to Under the Volcano, Lowry's only f i c t i o n f u l l y a c c r e d i t e d with success, and a l l t h a t comes before and a f t e r i s too often viewed 9 as prelude to or p e r o r a t i o n of the Volcano. C e r t a i n l y Lowry never surpassed the l e v e l o f success o f Under the Volcano, although "ten f e e t of manuscript i n the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia l i b r a r y a t t e s t to [.his] p r o l i f i c i ty" ̂  i n subsequent w r i t i n g . Yet from the per s p e c t i v e of the mid-seventies, i t appears that the Lowry c r i t i c a l i n d u s t r y i s beginning to focus on Lowry's complete output, r e j e c t i n g i t s previous sense of disappointment i n the l a t e r works and questioning e x a c t l y what happened i n the e v o l u t i o n of Lowry's w r i t i n g . ^ S e t t i n g aside p s y c h o l o g i c a l c r i t i c i s m and b i o g r a p h i c a l "excuses," Lowry's c r i t i c s are looking to the works themselves f o r the answer to t h i s p r e s s i n g question. And as Lowry's l a t e r f i c t i o n s are being rediscovered, c r i t i c a l focus i s s h i f t i n g away from thematic meaning towards f i c t i o n a l method. Within t h i s reexamination, I b e l i e v e that a major clue 6 t o the problems which Lowry e n c o u n t e r e d i n the f i c t i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s i s c o n t a i n e d by the f i c t i o n a l form he was d e v e l o p i n g . F o r the form o f Lowry's w r i t i n g c o n t a i n s , and c o n t r o l s the n a t u r e o f , the wide spectrum o f hi s - t h e m e s , imagery, s t y l e and t e c h n i q u e . Lowry wrote t o a r r e s t the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f events t h a t he e x p e r i e n c e d i n h i s own l i f e . H i s p e r s p e c t i v e was always r e t r o s p e c t i v e , and the a c t i o n o f h i s f i c t i o n s was c o n t r o l l e d by events which had a l r e a d y o c c u r r e d . " T r u t h " was more than v e r i s i m i l i t u d e t o Lowry: L i f e was the g r e a t n o v e l i s t who p l o t t e d h e r f i c t i o n s p e r f e c t l y , and the w r i t e r ' s duty, l i k e t h a t o f Ortega's h i s t o r i a n , was to e x p l o r e the meaning o f "what had happened." Lowry i n h e r i t e d t he problem t h a t has t o r t u r e d b i o g r a p h e r s : how can one r e n d e r the t r u t h f i c t i o n a l l y and y e t adhere t o the f a c t s ? How can one t r u t h be p r e s e n t e d when the events appear to v e r i f y a n o t h e r ? The problem was f u r t h e r c o m p l i c a t e d i n t h a t the l i f e Lowry f i c t i o n a l i z e d was h i s own. Memory was Lowry's s o u r c e f o r m a t e r i a l , and memory, e s p e c i a l l y when c o u p l e d w i t h i m a g i n a t i o n , tends t o d i s t o r t . Lowry was c o n c e i v i n g h i m s e l f i n a f i c t i o n a l i d e n t i t y , and the c h a r a c t e r s he was c r e a t i n g r e p r e s e n t e d h i m s e l f i n o t h e r s p a c e s , times and forms. The problem o f a u t h o r i a l d i s t a n c e was an enormous one f o r Lowry: a common t h e m a t i c r e c u r r e n c e i n h i s f i c t i o n i s the p r o t a g o n i s t ' s sense, h i m s e l f a w r i t e r , t h a t he i s b e i n g w r i t t e n . These i s s u e s cannot be s y n t h e s i z e d i n t o s i g n i f i c a n c e when they a re examined on a disembodied t h e m a t i c l e v e l . B ut they 7 become meaningful when they are p e r c e i v e d as an out-growth, perhaps an i n e v i t a b l e one, o f the manner i n which Lowry wrote. In h i s p r e f a c e t o Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d , Douglas Day speaks o f how the book was made; Du r i n g the e n t i r e t r i p both Lowry and h i s w i f e made notes as they went a l o n g -- d i a l o g u e s , d e s c r i p t i o n s , c o p i e s o f s i g n s a l o n g the way, a l l s o r t s o f random o b s e r v a t i o n s . A f t e r a d r e a d f u l s e r i e s o f comic c a t a s - t r o p h e s i n A c a p u l c o and Mexico C i t y , which c u l m i n a t e d i n t h e i r d e p o r t a t i o n from the c o u n t r y (and about which Lowry wrote y e t a n o t h e r u n f i n i s h e d n o v e l , La M o r d i d a ) , they r e t u r n e d t o Canada. Some s h o r t time a f t e r w a r d s , Lowry l o o k e d through a l l the notes o f .the Mexican j o u r n e y , e x c l a i m e d , "By God, we have a novel h e r e ! " and f e l l to work on Dark as the G r a v e . 1 2 Lowry, a p p a r e n t l y , was an i n v e t e r a t e r e c o r d e r o f e x p e r i e n c e . The f i r s t l a y e r o f h i s f i c t i o n a l i z i n g p r o c e s s was t h i s immediate r e n d e r i n g o f what had j u s t happened, and e x p e r i e n c e s were s e p a r a t e d i n t o u n i t s by the d i c t a t e s o f the j o u r n a l form. In h i s d r i v e f o r a c c u r a c y , Lowry would r e c o r d what had happened t o him on a c e r t a i n day, and a l t h o u g h he had not y e t g a i n e d the temporal d i s t a n c e on the e x p e r i e n c e r e q u i r e d to r e s o l v e i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e , the f a c t s were f a i t h f u l l y r e c o r d e d . L a t e r , when a t t e m p t i n g t o c o n v e r t t h e s e d i a r y e n t r i e s i n t o f i c t i o n , he would e x e r c i s e h i s powers o f r e t r o s p e c t i v e a n a l y s i s on the r e c o r d e d e v e n t s , and attempt t o a r r i v e a t t h e i r meaning. From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , events would b e g i n t o flow t o g e t h e r i n t o an i m p l i c i t p a t t e r n , b u t the r e c o r d o f events would a l l too o f t e n o b s t r u c t the flo w o f Lowry's i m a g i n a t i o n . Matthew C o r r i g a n examines e x t e n s i v e l y t h i s method o f w r i t i n g , and notes t h a t i n the m a n u s c r i p t o f 8 La Mordida . . . M a r g e r i e Lowry c o r r e c t s Lowry's r e n d i t i o n as she types i t . C o n t i n u a l l y she i s s a y i n g i n b r a c k e t s t h a t such and such an e v e n t i s d i s l o c a t e d i n time, t h a t i t s h o u l d precede and n o t f o l l o w some o t h e r : c o r r e c t i o n s o f sequence, names, i n c i d e n t s , b u t never i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . O b v i o u s l y she was f u l f i l l i n g what was a d e s p e r a t e need on h i s p a r t to get the f a c t s s t r a i g h t - - e x a c t l y as they had o c c u r r e d . He sought such a c c u r r a c y f o r h i m s e l f , i n a way bound h i m s e l f t o i t , as he bound h i m s e l f to the form o f the t r a d i t i o n a l novel -- the b i n d i n g , i n both c a s e s , d r a i n i n g o f f a good dea l o f pure i n s p i r a t i o n . One can guess why t h i s rage f o r a c c u r a c y took o v e r : the b e l i e f t h a t i m a g i n a t i o n l e a r n e d from e x p e r i e n c e and d i d n o t have t o a l t e r i t much i n the p r o c e s s , a t l e a s t f a c t u a l l y . In h i s work t h e r e i s t h i s growing r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t t r u t h i s something a l r e a d y t h e r e i n the u n i v e r s e and he has o n l y to i r r i t a t e i t through " c o r r e s p o n d e n c e " i n t o r e v e a l i n g i t s e l f . More and more Lowry l o s e s h i s i n d i v i d u a l i t y as a w r i t e r and becomes, i n h i s a l l t o o a c c u r a t e metaphor, someone who i s b e i n g w r i t t e n . Lowry was f u l l y aware o f the c o n f l i c t between the f a c t s and the meanings g i v e n them by i m a g i n a t i o n . At one p o i n t i n Dark As the Grave, when Sigbjjflrn W i l d e r n e s s has j u s t d i s c o v e r e d t h a t h i s c h a r a c t e r ' s t r a n s l a t i o n o f a s i g n on the garden, though f a c t u a l l y i n c o r r e c t , i s o f f a r more p e r s o n a l s i g n i f i c a n c e than i s the l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n , E d d i e Kent, an obtuse p e r c e i v e r a t b e s t , chimes i n from the s i d e l i n e s , '"you've got t o get i t r i g h t . I t ' s no use u n l e s s i t ' s r i g h t . ' " ^ Lowry was a t t e m p t i n g to make an a r t form which grew ou t o f l i f e . The concerns o f h i s c h a r a c t e r s were t o be r e f l e c t i o n s , o r d i s p l a c e m e n t s , o f the concerns o f the w r i t e r , and i n t h i s way a work o f f i c t i o n was t o c o n t a i n a l l o f i t s dimensions w i t h i n i t s own form, t o be e n t i r e l y s e l f - r e f e r r i n g , a l t h o u g h p l a c e d w i t h i n the i n t e r l o c k e d s e r i e s o f f i c t i o n s i n the Voyage c y c l e . Yet Lowry 9 was a t t e m p t i n g t o do more than o b j e c t i f y h i s own l i f e , and Ortega's c o n c e p t o f the p r o c e s s o f l i v i n g h e l p e d Lowry t o r e s c u e a u t o b i o g r a p h y 15 from s o l i p s i s m . F i n a l l y , i t can be s a i d t h a t Lowry wrote f i c t i o n s not s i m p l y as a means o f s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n b u t as an attempt a t a r t i s t i c c r e a t i o n . As. w. H. New p o i n t s o u t , Lowry viewed the r e a d i n g p r o c e s s as a means o f e x p e r i e n c i n g l i f e i t s e l f ; the i s s u e s found i n books were pursued w i t h the same a s s i d u i t y as were elements o f h i s own e x p e r i e n c e u n t i l they ceased " t o be o b j e c t s r e a d and [became] p a r t o f the s u b j e c t i v i t y w i t h which he 1 g r e n d e r s e x p e r i e n c e . " Lowry o b v i o u s l y c o n c e p t u a l i z e d h i s r e a d e r s i n some s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n t o h i s f i c t i o n s . Men were form-makers, c r e a t i n g as they proceeded, and Lowry's r e a d e r s were u n d e r s t o o d to be i n v o l v e d i n t h i s same p r o c e s s . The work i t s e l f would p a r a l l e l l i f e and would p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e from the p e r s p e c t i v e of the s u b j e c t i v e l y e x p e r i e n c i n g mind. I t was incumbent upon the r e a d e r and n o t the a u t h o r t o complete the f i c t i o n , to u n i f y i t i n t o a form and t o c o n c e p t u a l i z e i t s f i n a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . Lowry's new form, then, began w i t h the s i m p l e s t p o s s i b l e s t r u c t u r e f o r r e c o r d i n g -- the j o u r n a l form ~ and y e t i n c l u d e d and c o n t a i n e d i t s r e a d e r w i t h i n a complex, c o l l e c t i v e u n i t d e s i g n e d to shape, and c o n s t r u c t the meaning o f , the f i c t i o n i t c o n t a i n e d . The d r a m a t i z e d a c t i o n o f Lowry's l a t e r works i s c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y l i n e a r , and a f t e r the complex h a n d l i n g o f time i n Under the V o l c a n o t h i s appears a r e g r e s s i o n i n t o the more t r a d i t i o n a l n a r r a t i v e mode. Lowry, however, was a t t e m p t i n g to communicate f u l l c o n s c i o u s n e s s and t o r e n d e r c o n c o m i t a n t l y immediate e x p e r i e n c e 10 as well as reflexive recollection upon that experience. In moments of experience, human beings were subject to l inear time, yet memory served to transform linear experience into a timeless form. The new form, then, w.as designed to capture a new type of realism: the means by which human beings assimilate and order what has happened to them. What results in the later works is a strange tension between f ict ional modes: the action appears l inear and kinetic yet the point of view from which the action is rendered is retrospective and stat ic. Again, this tension progresses from the form of the f ictions and the means by which Lowry created. The journal form - - the basis upon which the f ictions are bui l t - - is inherently l inear: experience must f a l l into day to day units. Yet even a single entry in the journal form is designed to draw the significance of a day's act iv i ty, and functions to collapse the separation of the hours of the day into timelessness. Later, when Lowry re-read his notes and re-experienced past events, his imagination found new levels of significance and he moved one step closer to seeing the entire series of entries as a stat ic unit. Out of the i n i t i a l journal form Lowry created his series of f ict ional drafts and the f ict ion developed towards an ordering of the component parts. Lowry's readers were asked to participate on two levels of activity at the same time: they were expected to share the experiences themselves in the l inear manner in which they had occurred in l i f e , and yet to collaborate with the narrator in the drive to construct imaginatively a retrospective ordering 11 o f e v e nts which they were i n the p r e s e n t p r o c e s s o f v i c a r i o u s l y e x p e r i e n c i n g . As Matthew C o r r i g a n p o i n t s o u t , Lowry's adherence t o the f a c t s c u t s a c r o s s h i s attempt t o h o l d the e n t i r e s e r i e s o f events i n r e f l e x i v e r e f e r e n c e . ^ 7 F o r as Lowry w r i t e s he r e p e a t e d l y r e - e n t e r s the e x p e r i e n c e s o f h i s p a s t and l i v e s them once a g a i n . Events a c c o r d to the d i c t a t e s o f the j o u r n a l form and remain w i t h i n t h e i r i s o l a t e d u n i t s ; Lowry cannot f u s e the whole i n t o a s t a t i c , s i n g l e moment. I n e v i t a b l y t h e r e remain two o p p o s i n g rhythms o r o r d e r s i n h i s w r i t i n g . In h i s d r i v e t o r e s o l v e the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f e v e n t s , Lowry expands i s o l a t e d u n i t s o f e x p e r i e n c e i n t o a t i m e l e s s s t a s i s . And i n h i s d r i v e to r e n d e r " s t o r y , " Lowry attempts t o u n i f y these i s o l a t e d u n i t s i n t o a s e r i e s through the l i n e a r , k i n e t i c medium o f summary n a r r a t i v e . The l a t e r works appear t o be d i s o r d e r e d c o l l a g e s o f u n c o o r d i n a t e d u n i t s , disembodied v o i c e s , i r r e l e v a n t m a r g i n a l notes and c o n f l i c t i n g p o i n t s o f view. Y e t Lowry b e l i e v e d t h a t an o r d e r was i m p l i e d by a p p a r e n t chaos. R u d o l f Arnheim argues t h a t " d i s o r d e r ' i s not the absence o f a l l o r d e r b u t r a t h e r the c l a s h o f u n c o o r d i n a t e d o r d e r s . ' " Lowry l e f t i t to h i s r e a d e r s t o make h i s f i c t i o n s cohere. The p r o c e s s o f r e a d i n g was t o be no l e s s d i f f i c u l t than was the p r o c e s s o f l i v i n g and u n d e r s t a n d i n g , o r i n d e e d the p r o c e s s o f w r i t i n g . In Ortega's w r i t i n g Lowry found a key t o e x p e r i m e n t i n g w i t h chaos, y e t p a r a d o x i c a l l y the theme o f h i s l a t e r works i s the a f f i r m a t i o n o f the o r d e r i n l i f e , the garden r e g a i n e d . On the 12 t h e m a t i c l e v e l , the l a t e r works appear t o break from the e n t r o p i c v i s i o n t h a t dominates Under the Volcano and to s h i f t i n t o the new d i r e c t i o n s o f a new a r t form. But an e x a m i n a t i o n o f Lowry's formal p r o c e s s e s r e v e a l s t h a t h i s l a t e r f i c t i o n s c o n t i n u e the method o f w r i t i n g t h a t produces Under the Vo l c a n o . A c u r r e n t c o n t r o v e r s y i n Lowry s c h o l a r s h i p c e n t r e s upon the t e n s i o n i n rhythms i n Under the V o l c a n o , the same t e n s i o n between s t a t i c and k i n e t i c rhythms t h a t e v o l v e s , i n the l a t e r works, from Lowry's experiments w i t h t he j o u r n a l form. Paul T i e s s e n , M a r g a r e t Davidson, and John K n o l l , i n examining Lowry's use o f c i n e m a t i c t e c h n i q u e s i n Under the V o l c a n o , s t r e s s Lowry's a d a p t a t i o n s o f the montage 19 p r i n c i p l e . They note t h a t i n montage, s t a t i c u n i t s a re j u x t a p o s e d w i t h o u t a t r a n s i t i o n a l c o n n e c t i v e , the e f f e c t b e i n g t o i m p l i c a t e the r e a d e r i n the dynamic p r o c e s s o f c r e a t i n g an i m p l i e d image 20 from the " r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l g u i d e l i n e s s u g g e s t e d by the a u t h o r . " V i c t o r Doyen and S h e r r i l l Grace s t r e s s the r o l e o f the " r e f l e x i v e r e a d e r " and argue t h a t Lowry i n t e n d s h i s r e a d e r s t o approximate 21 the a u t h o r i a l p o i n t o f view and to complete the f i c t i o n . They see an u n r e s o l v e d t e n s i o n between Lowry's s t a t i c p o r t r a y a l o f scene and h i s d r a m a t i c a c t i o n , an o p p o s i t i o n T e r e n c e W r i g h t examines and which f o r c e s him t o co n c l u d e t h a t Under the V o l c a n o f a i l s t o be c o m p l e t e l y s u c c e s s f u l because i t i s b l o c k e d by a 22 s t r u g g l e between n a t u r a l i s m and f o r m a l i z e d a r t . The l a t e r works, i n advancing the j o u r n a l form towards the new form, c h r o n i c l e Lowry's attempts t o come to g r i p s w i t h t h i s o p p o s i t i o n between 13 rhythms. T h i s s t r u g g l e n o t o n l y f o c u s e s the manner by which the l a t e r works e v o l v e o r g a n i c a l l y from the m a s t e r p i e c e , but i t r e p r e s e n t s Lowry's p e r s p e c t i v e upon, and so c l a r i f i e s , the problem t h a t these c r i t i c s have found w i t h Under the V o l c a n o . The o p p o s i t i o n between rhythms i n the l a t e r f i c t i o n s emerges from an o p p o s i t i o n i n the p e r s p e c t i v e s which Lowry attempts t o c o l l a t e . T h i s same problem w i t h p e r s p e c t i v e f u n c t i o n s i n Under the V o l c a n o , b u t here i t i s used as a u n i f y i n g p r i n c i p l e f o r the work. Thus, the l a t e r works r e d i r e c t the r e a d e r t o Lowry's use o f p e r s p e c t i v e i n Under the V o l c a n o . T h e m a t i c a l l y , t h i s approach s t r e s s e s the c e n t r a l i t y o f Jacques L a r u e l l e , who, l i k e the n a r r a t o r s o f Lowry's l a t e r works, attempts t o c o l l a t e the meanings o f the s t o r y as i t i s e x p e r i e n c e d w i t h the l e v e l s o f s i g n i f i c a n c e t h a t he l a t e r f i n d s i n i t when he r e - c r e a t e s i t as an u n r e a l i z e d f i l m i n the opening c h a p t e r . B u t more i m p o r t a n t l y , t h i s approach r e d i r e c t s the r e a d e r t o Lowry's h a n d l i n g o f Under the Volcano's form. Lowry's j u x t - a p o s i n g o f the f i r s t c h a p t e r ' s p r e s e n t a c t i o n w i t h the p a s t a c t i o n o f Chapters II to XII commands a r e a d e r ' s a c c e p t a n c e o f two p e r s p e c t i v e s upon a c e n t r a l s e t o f f a c t s , and the t e n s i o n i n n a r r a t i v e rhythms i n the t e l l i n g o f the s t o r y comes t o be seen as p a r t o f the o p p o s i t i o n a l continuum t h a t emerges from the book's form. The l a t e r works r e f l e c t upon the m a s t e r p i e c e l i k e the backward movement o f L a r u e l l e ' s luminous wheel; they grow out o f i t , and i n d o i n g so they r e f o c u s the r e a d e r ' s p e r s p e c t i v e upon i t and thus a l t e r the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the s t o r y i t c o n t a i n s . ' 14 Very l i t t l e o f the l a t e r work i s f i n i s h e d ; t h i s because Lowry began but never f u l l y r e a l i z e d the t r a n s i t i o n o f the j o u r n a l form i n t o the new prose form he a s p i r e d towards i n thes e l a t e r works. Lowry foresaw a time^where the u n c o o r d i n a t e d , s t a t i c p i e c e s o f h i s m a t e r i a l would f a l l i n t o a complete and s e l f - c o n t a i n i n g o r d e r . But Matthew.Corrigan argues t h a t Lowry's v i s i o n exceeded h i s d e s i g n because Lowry remained r e l u c t a n t t o abandon the t r a d i t i o n a l n o v e l mode which i s i n a d e q u a t e l y s t r u c t u r e d t o u n i f y the s e l f - 23 c o n t a i n e d , s e p a r a t e elements o f h i s f i c t i o n s . C o r r i g a n ' s argument may c a p t u r e the pro b l e m o f Lowry's l a t e r works, f o r e v e r y r e a d e r o f Lowry's l a t e r works knows t h a t t h e r e i s i n d e e d a problem. But h i s argument must remain a t e n t a t i v e c o n c l u s i o n u n t i l the c r i t i c a l i n d u s t r y has i d e n t i f i e d a c c u r a t e l y the n a t u r e o f the new form and has a s s e s s e d , i n t h i s l i g h t , the e x p e r i m e n t a l d i r e c t i o n s i n n a r r a t i v e mode t h a t Lowry's l a t e r works embody. For i n each o f h i s f i c t i o n s Lowry b u i l d s i n c r e m e n t a l l y upon h i s most r e c e n t e x p e r i m e n t and advances h i s use o f n a r r a t i v e mode towards the t o t a l i t y o f p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t the p o i n t o f view o f the new form i d e a l l y c o n t a i n s . S i n c e Lowry's t e c h n i q u e grows out o f the form he employs, the task o f h i s c r i t i c s must be t o r e c a p t u r e the c o n t i n u i t y t h a t L o w r y s a w i n the e v o l u t i o n o f h i s p r o s e form and to attempt to c o n c e p t u a l i z e the n a t u r e o f the new form he a s p i r e d towards. Lowry's method o f r e n d e r i n g f i c t i o n i s i t s e l f the b e s t guideline.^ f o r t h i s c r i t i c a l t a s k . Each o f the f i c t i o n s t h a t are d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s t h e s i s r e p r e s e n t s a d i f f e r e n t a n g le o f v i s i o n upon the new form. When viewed as a k i n e t i c s e r i e s , they d e s c r i b e 15 a l i n e a r , i n c r e m e n t a l p r o c e s s towards a r e a l i z a b l e i d e a l . And when viewed as s t a t i c and j u x t a p o s e d p e r s p e c t i v e s upon a new form, they can be c o l l a t e d , through the p r i n c i p l e o f montage, i n t o an image o f a p r o s e form u n r e a l i z e d by the a u t h o r but i m p l i e d by the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l g u i d e l i n e s t h a t a r e h i s s e p a r a t e f i c t i o n s . In e i t h e r c a s e , the new form i s e n t i r e l y a p r o d u c t o f the r e a d e r ' s own i m a g i n a t i o n . But f o r a w r i t e r who f o c u s s e s so s t r o n g l y upon the importance o f the c r e a t i v e i m a g i n a t i o n i n the p r o c e s s o f p a s s i n g through q u o t i d i a n l i f e , t h i s i s as i t s h o u l d be. CHAPTER I "GHOSTKEEPER:" THE JOURNAL AS CONTENT "Ghostkeeper" i s ore o f the l a s t t h i n g s Lowry wrote, and i t reads almost as a r e t r o s p e c t upon h i s problems w i t h a d v a n c i n g f i c t i o n towards h i s u n r e a l i z e d new form. I t s importance f o r Lowry's c r i t i c s i s i n the p r o c e s s by which Lowry passes on to h i s r e a d e r s the ta s k o f c r e a t i n g f i c t i o n ; one senses t h a t , i n w r i t i n g t h i s , Lowry f e l t he c o u l d go no f u r t h e r and c o n s e q u e n t l y attempted t o expose the problem r a t h e r than c r e a t e a u n i f i e d f i c t i o n . The s t o r y , a p p a r e n t l y , i s u n f i n i s h e d , ^ a t l e a s t a c c o r d i n g 2 t o M a r g e r i e Lowry. Anyone t a k i n g a c u r s o r y g l a n c e a t i t would c o n c l u d e as much: the a u t h o r seems t o be d e s c r i b i n g a process,' y e t t h e r e i s none o f the f l o w i n g development upon which a s t o r y l i n e o r p l o t p r o g r e s s e s . T r a n s i t i o n p o i n t s , i n f a c t , earn most o f the au t h o r ' s a t t e n t i o n : here Lowry w r i t e s , i n b r a c k e t s , l o n g notes t o h i m s e l f i n which he i n v e s t i g a t e s a l t e r n a t i v e d i r e c t i o n s o r r e f l e c t s upon the a p p a r e n t l y u n r e l a t e d p u r s u i t s o f o t h e r w r i t e r s . But to term "Ghostkeeper" " u n f i n i s h e d " i s m i s l e a d i n g . 16 17 I t i m p l i e s t h a t Lowry c o u l d have moved t h i s s t o r y on to a p o i n t o f s t r u c t u r a l and s t y l i s t i c r e f i n e m e n t where the p r i m a r y a c t i o n would be the u n f o l d i n g o f themes and p l o t . But " s t o r y , " i n the t r a d i t i o n a l s e n s e , was n o t what Lowry was t r y i n g t o c r e a t e i n "Ghostkeeper." Rather, he was a t t e m p t i n g to e x p l a i n e x a c t l y the n a t u r e o f a p h i l o s o p h i c a l c r i s i s i n which he found h i m s e l f e n t i r e l y enmeshed, and he was t r y i n g t o a p p l y t h i s c r i s i s t o a r a t h e r banal s e t o f f a c t s d e s i g n e d t o communicate h i s own sense o f i t s u n i v e r s a l i t y . The d r a m a t i c s i t u a t i o n o f "Ghostkeeper" seems s i m p l e enough: Tom Goodheart, a j o u r n a l i s t and p r o t a g o n i s t o f the s t o r y , attempts t o t r a n s l a t e h i s own e x p e r i e n c e o f a walk i n S t a n l e y Park i n t o the form o f a d a i l y e n t r y i n a newspaper column. Lowry f l e s h e s t h i s o u t , completes i t i n a s e n s e , through the r e f l e x i v e d e v i c e o f h i s own commentary upon i t , and i t i s o n l y through Lowry's " u n f i n i s h e d " passages t h a t r e a d e r s come to u n d e r s t a n d the enormous d i f f i c u l t y Goodheart e n c o u n t e r s i n c e n t e r i n g h i s p e r s p e c t i v e upon e v e n t s . F o r i n "Ghostkeeper," Lowry o b j e c t i f i e s i n t o t h e m a t i c a c t i o n h i s own problems w i t h w r i t i n g w i t h i n the j o u r n a l form, and the a c t i o n o f the s t o r y i s the n a r r a t i v e p r o c e s s i t s e l f . Goodheart's problem i s w i t h c r e a t i n g j o u r n a l i s t i c f i c t i o n . H i s own e x p e r i e n c e s u p p l i e s him w i t h the m a t e r i a l f o r what he s h o u l d w r i t e , b u t the problem o f how he s h o u l d w r i t e i t leads him t o i n s u p e r a b l e b a r r i e r s upon the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f e x p e r i e n c e . Q u i t e s i m p l y , the e v e n t s can mean e v e r y t h i n g o r n o t h i n g . Goodheart may pass through a h a n d f u l o f c o i n c i d e n c e s and an i n a d e q u a t e moral. Or he may be 18 i n the middle o f a s e r i e s o f events which r e p r e s e n t s , through the t e n s i o n between the f a c t s o f e x p e r i e n c e and the i m a g i n a t i v e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f p o s s i b l e becomings, the p e r s p e c t i v e , and the problems i t c o n t a i n s , o f man caught i n the p a t t e r n s o f q u o t i d i a n l i f e . F o r Goodheart i s t r a p p e d i n a c o n f l i c t i n g s e t o f s e p a r a t e r e a l i t i e s . The events he e x p e r i e n c e s are the m a t e r i a l f o r both h i s l i f e and h i s f i c t i o n , and, as they accomodate themselves t o a l t e r n a t i v e forms, t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e , somehow, i s t r a n s f o r m e d . In a d e s c r i p t i v e note t o h i m s e l f , Lowry o u t l i n e s how Goodheart's a p p a r e n t l y s i m p l e s i t u a t i o n r e s o l v e s , through r e f l e c t i o n , i n t o a complex p e r s p e c t i v e upon e v e n t s : . . . a l t h o u g h t h i s i s s i m p l y a s h o r t s t o r y , Goodheart, so f a r as I can see i s i n a p h i l o s o p h i c a l s i t u a t i o n ( a l t h o u g h on one p l a n e i t i s absurd) o f the h i g h e s t d r a m a t i c o r d e r . T h a t t h i s s i t u a t i o n must be i n some sense a u n i v e r s a l one (even though i t i s n o t g e n e r a l l y r e c o g n i s e d ) i s what I count on t o p r o v i d e the e x c i t e m e n t . . . . In any case Goodheart i s now s t a n d i n g w i t h i n the p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f h i s own s t o r y and o f h i s own l i f e — something l i k e Sigbjj6rn i n r e l a t i o n t o the V o l c a n o , though t h i s i s both more complex and o f c o u r s e l e s s s e r i o u s . The p o i n t seems to be t h a t a l l these p o s s i b i l i t i e s , o f h i s s t o r y (as o f h i s own l i f e ) wish i n some ways t o f u l f i l l t h e m s e l v e s , but what makes i t t e r r i f y i n g i s t h a t the mind o r i n t e l l i g e n c e t h a t c o n t r o l s t h e s e t h i n g s , o r perhaps does n o t c o n t r o l them, i s o u t s i d e Goodheart and not w i t h i n . ^ As a w r i t e r , Goodheart, i n a t r a d i t i o n a l s e n s e , s h o u l d be i n a b s o l u t e c o n t r o l o f h i s m a t e r i a l . Y e t h i s m a t e r i a l f o r f i c t i o n i s the f a c t o f a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l e x p e r i e n c e , and thus events t h e m s e l v e s , which f o r Lowry are n o t the p r o j e c t i o n s o f the n o m i n a l i s t ' s o r the i d e a l i s t ' s mind b u t are L i f e ' s u l t i m a t e r e a l i t y , c o n t r o l 19 both h i s l i f e and h i s work. "How s h a l l I d e s c r i b e i t " (p. 204), Goodheart a s k s . He i s f o r c e d to " w a i t and see how the s t o r y develops i n r e a l l i f e " (p. 220). Ortega's t h e o r y o f c r e a t i v e e x i s t e n c e i n f o r m s "Ghostkeeper." But h i s t h e o r y s t r e s s e s man's c r e a t i o n o f form b e f o r e events become p a t t e r n e d by r e t r o s p e c t i o n , and thus the s i g n i f i c a n c e of e v e nts depends n o t o n l y upon what w i l l happen but a l s o upon what may happen. Man must c r e a t e and c o n t r o l l i f e , o r e l s e l i f e c o n t r o l s him. The i s s u e t r a n s l a t e s i n t o the f a m i l i a r o p p o s i t i o n , o f f r e e - w i l l and d e t e r m i n i s m , and w i t h i n Goodheart's s i t u a t i o n are c o n t a i n e d both extremes. P o t e n t i a l l y , Goodheart o r d e r s events and t r a n s l a t e s t h a t o r d e r i n t o h i s f i c t i o n . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , events impose a p a t t e r n which he i s f o r c e d t o i n h a b i t , and t h a t same p a t t e r n becomes the m a t t e r o f h i s f i c t i o n — h i s c h r o n i c l e , s i m p l y , o f "what has happened t o him." Goodheart's " v o c a t i o n , " t h e m a t i c a l l y r e p r e s e n t e d as j o u r n a l i s t , i s a metaphor f o r the human d r i v e f o r awareness. He, l i k e a l l men, p e r c e i v e s from w i t h i n an ongoing e x p e r i e n c e , arrJ.hopes to r e c o g n i z e the p a t t e r n o r form t h a t u n i f i e s i t . I f he i s i n c o n t r o l , any p o s s i b l e s e t o f e v e nts which the i m a g i n a t i o n can o r d e r f o r the f u t u r e i s a p a r t o f h i s p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e and c o n s e q u e n t l y s h o u l d i n f o r m i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e ; the number o f p o s s i b i l i t i e s which the f u t u r e c o n t a i n s i s i n f i n i t e , and the l e v e l s o f s i g n i f i c a n c e t o any s e t o f events i s , c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y , i n f i n i t e as w e l l . T h i s s i t u a t i o n i m p l i e s an i d e a l p e r s p e c t i v e . I f one i s t r u l y aware, one can apprehend i n the p r e s e n t moment the l e v e l s o f s i g n i f i c a n c e which r e f l e x i v e r e t r o s p e c t i o n w i l l a f f o r d to t h a t e x p e r i e n c e . T h i s i n v o l v e s the t r a n s c e n d e n c e o f l i n e a r time, and f o r t h i s p r o c e s s Lowry c u l l s not o n l y from O r t e g a (where man t r a n s c e n d s the j o u r n a l i s t ' s p e r s p e c t i v e by o r d e r i n g h i s l i f e upon a m u l t i p l i c i t y o f p o s s i b l e f u t u r e s ) b u t a l s o from J . W. Dunne and h i s An Experim e n t With Time. Dunne argues t h a t the s u b j e c t i v e e x p e r i e n c e o f time has l i t t l e t o do w i t h the l i n e a r means by which time i s measured e m p i r i c a l l y . Rather, i n W. H. New's a p p l i c a t i o n , "events i n time p a s t , r e l i v e d i n memory, o c c u r s i m u l t a n e o u s l y i n time p r e s e n t , which e p i t o m i z e s i n i t s way the p r o c e s s o f ' r e - c r e a t i o n ' t h a t r e a d i n g a novel i n v o l v e s r e a d e r s 4 i n . " C o n v e r s e l y , " f u t u r e " e v e n t s , p e r c e i v e d from w i t h i n a space time continuum, can be apprehended i n the p r e s e n t moment. Dunne bases h i s argument on the e x p e r i e n c e o f dreaming, b u t h i s dreamer u n i v e r s e , he f e e l s , d e s c r i b e s the r e a l w o r l d -- a macrocosmic p a r a l l e l t o man's i m a g i n a t i o n : T h at the u n i v e r s e was, a f t e r a l l , r e a l l y s t r e t c h e d o u t i n Time, and t h a t the l o p - s i d e d view we had o f i t — a .view w i t h the " f u t u r e " p a r t u n a c c o u n t a b l y m i s s i n g , c u t o f f from the growing " p a s t " p a r t by a t r a v e l l i n g " p r e s e n t moment" -- was due to a p u r e l y m e n t a l l y imposed b a r r i e r which e x i s t e d o n l y when we were awake. So t h a t , i n r e a l i t y , the a s s o c i a t i o n a l network s t r e t c h e d , n o t merely t h i s way and t h a t way i n Space, b u t a l s o backwards and forwards i n Time; and the dreamer's a t t e n t i o n , f o l l o w i n g i n n a t u r a l , u n h i n d e r e d f a s h i o n the e a s i e s t pathway among the r a m i f i c a t i o n s , would be c o n t i n u a l l y c r o s s i n g and 21 r e - c r o s s i n g t h a t p r o p e r l y n o n - e x i s t e n t e q u a t o r which ^ we, waking,, r u l e d q u i t e a r b i t r a r i l y a t hwart the whole. O b v i o u s l y , an e m p i r i c a l e x a m i n a t i o n o f Lowry's p h i l o s o p h i c a l o u t l o o k r e v e a l s some r a t h e r unsound d o c t r i n e . Dunne w r i t e s o f g i v i n g o n e s e l f t o e x p e r i e n c e and a l l o f i t s r a m i f i c a t i o n s ; Ortega's concern i s w i t h o r d e r i n g events w h i l e e x p e r i e n c i n g them. But as W. H. New n o t e s , Dunne's m e t a p h y s i c s , though s u s p e c t d e l i n e a t i o n s o f the o p e r a t i o n s o f the m a t e r i a l w o r l d , a p p l y n e a t l y to the r e l a t i o n s Lowry d i s c o v e r s between h i m s e l f and the w o r l d he c r e a t e s i n f i c t i o n . Matthew C o r r i g a n , i n s k e t c h i n g Lowry's approach to f i c t i o n , notes t h a t "the w r i t e r p r o v i d e d e x p e r i e n c e w i t h adequate h o u s i n g ; he d i d n o t a r r a n g e i t from s c r a t c h o r he was a mere f a b u l a t o r , f o r which Lowry had l i t t l e r e s p e c t . " ' 7 T h i s i s a key p o i n t f o r Lowry: he b e l i e v e d n o t o n l y i n the f a c t i_n f i c t i o n b u t i n the f a c t of_ f i c t i o n . The j o u r n a l i s t (meaning h e r e , the f i c t i o n - m a k e r who w r i t e s o f events i n which the meaning o f those events depends on a c o n t i n u a t i o n o f them i n time) must, on the b a s i c l e v e l , r e c o r d f a c t s . He must a l s o i n c o r p o r a t e the f a c t o f the e x p e r i e n c e o f e v e n t s , which i n v o l v e s one's sense o f where they may be l e a d i n g - - i n o t h e r words, the f i c t i o n o f those f a c t s . Dunne o f f e r s Lowry a system which i m p l i c a t e s a l l time i n the p r e s e n t moment, and thus the s i m p l e e v e n t o f a walk i n the park t r a n s l a t e s , when a c c r e d i t e d i t s f u l l s i g n i f i c a n c e , i n t o the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s o f form-making. Cosmos i s c o n t a i n e d i n the moment, and the form t h a t the mind c r e a t e s to c o n t a i n t h a t moment 22 h o l d s w i t h i n i t a l l a s p e c t s o f e x i s t e n c e t h a t the i m a g i n a t i o n can c o n c e i v e . Simple e x p e r i e n c e i s expanded i n t o c h a o t i c p r o p o r t i o n s , b u t the i m a g i n a t i o n re-forms i t , and makes i t , f i n a l l y and i n a new way, c o m p r e h e n s i b l e . "Ghostkeeper" c o n t a i n s the s t o r y o f a j o u r n a l i s t a t t e m p t i n g to d i s c o v e r the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f a s e t o f events and t o t r a n s - form those e v e n t s , i n a manner which r e n d e r s t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e , i n t o a f i c t i o n a l u n i t . Goodheart's s u b j e c t i s , on one l e v e l , the f a c t s o f e v e n t s , but on a n o t h e r l e v e l i t i s the p a t t e r n t h a t t h e s e f a c t s r e v e a l . T h i s p a t t e r n i s i n a p r o c e s s o f p e r p e t u a l metamorphoses, and Goodheart's problem w i t h c r e a t i n g f i c t i o n i s one o f p e r s p e c t i v e : he must t r a n s f o r m an e s s e n t i a l l y r e t r o s p e c t i v e , a f t e r the f a c t , p o i n t o f view upon e x p e r i e n c e i n t o one which i n h a b i t s the e t e r n a l l y p r e s e n t moment t h a t Dunne's t h e o r y i m p l i e s . The j o u r n a l form, however, which i n h e r e n t l y s e p a r a t e s e x p e r i e n c e i n t o u n i t s , appears to r e s i s t such a p r o g r e s s i o n o f p o i n t o f view, and i n an a s i d e Lowry n o t e s : . . . the average s h o r t s t o r y i s p r o b a b l y a v e r y bad image f o r l i f e , and an a b s u r d i t y , f o r the reason t h a t no m a t t e r how much a c t i o n t h e r e i s i n i t , i t i s s t a t i c , a p i e c e o f death, f i x e d , a s o r t o f b u t t e r f l y on a p i n ; t h e r e are o f c o u r s e some flaws i n t h i s a r g u m e n t — i t i s a p i t y I have no p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r a i n i n g f o r I un- q u e s t i o n a b l y have some o f the major equipment o f a p h i l o s o p h e r o f s o r t s . But the attempt s h o u l d be -- o r s h o u l d be here a t l e a s t to g i v e the i l l u s i o n o f t h i n g s -- a ppearances, p o s s i b i l i t i e s , i d e a s , even r e s o l u t i o n s -- i n a s t a t e o f p e r p e t u a l metamorphoses, (pp. 223-24) 23 On the t h e m a t i c l e v e l , the s i t u a t i o n i s , as Lowry h i m s e l f admits, somewhat absurd. Readers must contend w i t h a s t o r y which g i v e s the d e t a i l s o f a s t o r y t h a t the p r o t a g o n i s t cannot w r i t e . But Lowry's d i g r e s s i o n s and a p p l i c a t i o n s , made i n h i s notes to h i m s e l f , expand "Ghostkeeper" i n t o a f a s c i n a t i n g d i s c u s s i o n o f an a u t h o r ' s own d i f f i c u l t y w i t h w r i t i n g . The t h e m a t i c l e v e l , which i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h a c h a r a c t e r ' s d i f f i c u l t y i n a c h i e v i n g a j o u r n a l i s t ' s p e r - s p e c t i v e and p r o d u c i n g from i t f i c t i o n i n the j o u r n a l form, i s c i r c u m s c r i b e d by a n a r r a t i v e l e v e l which i s concerned w i t h p r e c i s e l y t h i s same problem. Goodheart's " f u t u r e " i s the n a r r a t o r ' s " p r e s e n t , " f o r the n a r r a t o r w r i t e s Goodheart's s t o r y from the r e t r o s p e c t i v e p o i n t o f view which Goodheart hopes t o apprehend w h i l e engaged i n h i s e x p e r i e n c e s . Y e t the n a r r a t o r i s plagued'by doubts about where h i s f i c t i o n must go; he, t o o , s t r i v e s f o r f i d e l i t y t o both f a c t s and t h e i r m y r i a d l e v e l s o f s i g n i f i c a n c e . The p a r a l l e l between the t h e m a t i c and n a r r a t i v e l e v e l s o f the f i c t i o n i m p l i e s a continuum which expands outwards to the r e a d e r . Goodheart i s f o r c e d , f i n a l l y , t o s k e t c h out t h e f a c t s o f h i s e x p e r i e n c e and d e l e t e the l e v e l s o f s i g n i f i c a n c e which he p e r c e i v e s but cannot u n i f y w i t h the m a t t e r o f h i s f i v e - h u n d r e d word e s s a y . Lowry's "Ghostkeeper" n e v e r f u l l y s u c c e e d s . i n t e l l i n g a s t o r y , but through the a u t h o r ' s notes a c o l l o s a l number o f meanings i s a f f o r d e d t o a modicum o f happenings. Goodheart's s t o r y has s u b s t a n c e b u t i t i s s t a t i c , f o r i t f a i l s t o i m p l y the outward p r o g r e s s i o n t h a t e v e n t s , i n e x p e r i e n c e , always promote. And Lowry, by f r a m i n g Goodheart's s t o r y w i t h a p a r a l l e l n a r r a t i v e a c t i o n , c a p t u r e s t h i s k i n e t i c p r o g r e s s i o n but f a i l s t o accomodate the u n i t y and s u b s t a n c e o f f a c t s as they a r e e x p e r i e n c e d i n l i f e . The r e a d e r , t h e n , becomes c o - c r e a t o r o f an as y e t u n r e a l i z e d f i c t i o n . Goodheart's j o u r n a l form, a g i v e n theme, i s c i r c u m s c r i b e d by a c h a o t i c and f o r m l e s s n a r r a t i v e l e v e l . The r e a d e r , l i k e Ortega's h i s t o r i a n , must r e t r o - s p e c t i v e l y o r d e r t h e s e l e v e l s i n t o a form t h a t c o n t a i n s t h e i r e x i s t e n c e . And t h i s , presumably, i s t h e new form which Lowry a s p i r e s towards b u t which he cannot, u n a i d e d , a t t a i n . A t the end o f "Ghostkeeper," Lowry employs an image o f a form which i s d e s i g n e d to pass on to the r e a d e r the form-making p r o c e s s . Goodheart c a t c h e s a f a i n t g l i mpse o f "a v i s i o n o f the g h o s t l y b a l l e t , seen through h a l f c l e a n e d windows, on the p i e r a t the e n t r a n c e t o the park" (p. 227). In terms o f the s t o r y , the image i s p r o j e c t e d f o r w a r d i n time so t h a t i t l i e s beyond, a l t h o u g h c o n t a i n e d by, the time s p h e r e o f the d r a m a t i z e d e v e n t s . But i t becomes p a r t o f the r e a d e r ' s p r e s e n t : a l t h o u g h the s t o r y has a l r e a d y been t o l d , the p a t t e r n i t embodies has p r o g r e s s e d beyond i t s o s t e n s i b l e d i m e n s i o n s . Goodheart's and Lowry's o r d e r i n g o f the components o f t h i s s t o r y have-been d e s c r i b e d , b u t , l i k e dancers i n the b a l l e t , the components have a l t e r e d s l i g h t l y w i t h i n a c o n t a i n i n g form. Lowry g i v e s h i s r e a d e r s p a r t o f the p r o c e s s o f an e v o l v i n g fo,rm, and as a metaphor f o r t h i s p r o c e s s the b a l l e t i s a p t . Goodheart's f i c t i o n coheres b u t i t cannot dance; 25 Lowry's f i c t i o n dances but i t does n o t c o h e r e ; the b a l l e t a l l o w s k i n e t i c motion w i t h i n a c o n t a i n i n g form t h a t remains s t a b l e through time, and thus r e p r e s e n t s , m e t a p h o r i c a l l y , the i d e a l form which Lowry's f i c t i o n s a s p i r e towards. Lowry uses t h i s image t o appeal t o h i s f u t u r e , the r e a d e r ' s p r e s e n t . He need not c o n c l u d e h i s e v e n t s ; he need o n l y d e s c r i b e some o f the f u t u r e p o s s i b i l i t i e s and ask h i s r e a d e r to c o o r d i n a t e , as Goodheart tri.es t o do and f a i l s , both f a c t s a n d . p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n t o an o r d e r e d form t h a t c o n t i n u e s t o e v o l v e through e x p e r i e n c e . Thus, Lowry i m p l i e s the r e s o l u t i o n to the p h i l o s o p h i c a l problem he d e s c r i b e s , b u t he f a i l s t o f i n d a form which c o n t a i n s i t . "Ghostkeeper" i s n o t f i c t i o n i n the o r d i n a r y sense. I t i s more an e x p o s i t i o n , an a n a l y s i s o f a p u r s u i t t h a t l a s t e d a l i f e - time and an i n d i c a t i o n o f the f u t u r e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f a f i c t i o n - making method. By d r a m a t i z i n g the problem i n p e r s p e c t i v e i n h e r e n t i n a d v a n c i n g j o u r n a l w r i t i n g towards f i c t i o n a l u n i t y , Lowry r e v e a l s h i s p e c u l i a r problem w i t h a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l f i c t i o n . Lowry b e l i e v e d i n f a c t s ; he a l s o b e l i e v e d i n t h e i r f i c t i o n a l p a r a l l e l , and thus he c o n c e p t u a l i z e d a system whereby an a p p a r e n t l y l i m i t e d s e t o f events expands towards u n i v e r s a l i t y . I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t the f i n a l note o f "Ghostkeeper" i s n o t one o f d e s p a i r i n the f a c e o f f a i l u r e b u t i s an a f f i r m a t i o n o f the i n h e r e n t worth o f what i s h e r e and now. F o r Lowry's p e r s p e c t i v e upon h i s immediate s u r r o u n d i n g s was i n the p r o c e s s o f e v o l v i n g towards a p o i n t where i t c o n t a i n e d the u n i v e r s e , and h i s a b s t r a c t n o t i o n s were always 26 f i r m l y r o o t e d i n r e a l e v e n t s . "Ghostkeeper" was Lowry's attempt t o c a p t u r e the u n i v e r s e o f time i n a s i n g l e moment, the f i n a l s t a g e i n h i s p r o g r e s s i o n towards the new form. In i t s p r e d e c e s s o r , "Through t he Panama," he had a l r e a d y s u c c e e d e d i n c a p t u r i n g the u n i v e r s e o f s p a t i a l p e r s p e c t i v e s i n a s i n g l e p o i n t o f view; t h i s was t o be the c l o s e s t he would come t o the r e a l i z a t i o n o f h i s new form. CHAPTER II "THROUGH THE PANAMA:" THE JOURNAL AS FORM "Through the Panama" succeeds as f i c t i o n because i t expands o r g a n i c a l l y the p o i n t o f view c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n the form i n which i t i s w r i t t e n : the j o u r n a l . ' In "Ghostkeeper," Lowry attempts to u n i f y h i s n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e w i t h h i s t h e m a t i c a n a l y s i s o f the problems i n h e r e n t i n j o u r n a l w r i t i n g , b ut he f a i l s t o a c h i e v e a form t h a t can make such a p u r s u i t v i a b l e as f i c t i o n . In "Through the Panama," however, Lowry begins by a c c e p t i n g the b a s i c f a c t o f h i s communicative medium. And he d i s c o v e r s i n the p r o c e s s t h a t a complex t h e m a t i c l e v e l , as w e l l as a c o m p l i c a t e d a n a l y s i s o f the same problems w i t h f i c t i o n - w r i t i n g t h a t "Ghostkeeper" examines, can be made congruent w i t h what appears t o be a very s i m p l e f i c t i o n a l form. " G h o s t k e e p e r 1 s " major theme, examined r e s t r o s p e c t i v e l y , e v o l v e s from "Through the Panama's" n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e : the p o i n t o f view from which the s t o r y i s r e n d e r e d remains c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n a s e r i e s o f e v e n t s . The n a r r a t o r s t r i v e s towards an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the events he 27 28 e x p e r i e n c e s and he e v e n t u a l l y comes to see a p a t t e r n which u n i f i e s those e v e n t s . But always, events as they a c t u a l l y o c c u r d i r e c t l y and i m m e d i a t e l y c o n t r o l the a c t i o n o f the n a r r a t i v e . The p r e s e n t f a c t o f e x p e r i e n c e f o r the n a r r a t o r i s a s e a voyage, and t h i s c o n t r o l s t h e a c t i o n o f the " s t o r y . " But the p r e s e n t f a c t o f the form i n which the n a r r a t o r i s w r i t i n g , i s the j o u r n a l , and the j o u r n a l form c o n t r o l s the a c t i o n o f the " n a r r a t i v e . " Sigbjjflrn W i l d e r n e s s , as he a l m o s t u n w i t t i n g l y t e l l s h i s s t o r y ( f o r the r e c o r d i s i n one way i n t e n d e d t o be a s e t o f notes to h i m s e l f towards a l a t e r f i c t i o n ) , t r i e s to map out a p a t t e r n t h a t u n i f i e s the e x p e r i e n c e he i s undergoing w i t h h i s s u b j e c t i v e i m p r e s s i o n o f how he sees h i m s e l f i n t h e w o r l d . He e x e r c i s e s h i s c r e a t i v e i m a g i n a t i o n n o t t o f i t r e a l o r i n v e n t e d events i n t o a p r e c o n c e i v e d f i c t i o n a l u n i t o r form b u t t o come t o see a l a r g e r p a t t e r n b e h i n d h i s p r e s e n t p e r c e p t i o n s . From h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , e v e r y t h i n g i s p o t e n t i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n an i n f i n i t e number o f ways, and s i n c e f u t u r e e v e n t s are beyond h i s c o n t r o l , p r e s e n t events are made t o c o r r e s p o n d to a network o f s e n s i b i l i t i e s , a p a t t e r n S i g b j / r n i n f e r s , n o t determined by the events which i n f a c t w i l l o c c u r i n the voyage b u t by the n a r r a t o r ' s own sense o f what those e v e n t s may be, and what they f i n a l l y may mean. One u s u a l l y b e g i n s a p e r s o n a l j o u r n a l w i t h f a i t h : the events t h a t ensue w i l l be, a t l e a s t t o the r e c o r d e r , worth p r e s e r v i n g i n words. On one l e v e l o f a c t i v i t y , S i g b j / r n ' s r e c o r d i n g p r o c e s s i s p u r e l y a u t o m a t i c . Events demand r e c o r d i n g and S i g b j ^ f r n , i n h i s own metaphor, s i m p l y 29 o f f e r s a p a s s i v e hand t o the o p e r a t i o n o f a p l a n c h e t t e , ' an i n s t r u m e n t a l l e g e d t o w r i t e s e n t e n c e s w i t h o u t any c o n s c i o u s 2 d i r e c t i o n o r e f f o r t . Here n a r r a t i v e p o i n t o f view i s i n e x t r i c a b l y t i e d to the f i r s t - p e r s o n , where " I " i s the c h a r a c t e r t o whom ev e n t s l e n d s i g n i f i c a n c e . But t h i s l e v e l o f a c t i v i t y i s c o u n t e r p o i n t e d by S i g b j 0 r n ' s purpose i n w r i t i n g . He attempts to see events i n terms o f t h e i r r e l a t i o n t o a p a t t e r n he has n o t y e t p e r c e i v e d , and r a t h e r than a l l o w i n g h i s s t o r y t o w r i t e i t s e l f , he adds i n l a y e r s o f analogy which have a more p r o f o u n d and immediate s i g n i f i c a n c e t o him, and which f i n a l l y s t r u c t u r e the p r i m a r y l e v e l o f a c t i v i t y i n the s t o r y . Even i n the f i r s t e n t r y i n the j o u r n a l a t e n s i o n i n d i r e c t i o n s i s a p p a r e n t . Under "Nov. 7." S i g b j 0 r n r e c o r d s n o t o n l y the f a c t s o f h i s d e p a r t u r e — the e x a c t n a t u r e o f the s h i p , the a c t i v i t y s u r r o u n d i n g i t s o p e r a t i o n s -- but a l s o h i s i n i t i a l sense o f where thes e e v e n t s , once t r a n s l a t e d i n t o f i c t i o n , may l e a d . He s t r i k e s the " F r e r e J a c q u e s " r e f r a i n , r e f l e c t s back to an e m o t i o n a l moment i n E r i d a n u s , and e n i g m a t i c a l l y j o t s down "The N o r t h e r n C r o s s " (p. 30), a symbol which n e i t h e r the w r i t e r n o r the r e a d e r y e t u n d e r s t a n d o r are s u r e w i l l be a t a l l r e l e v a n t . "Through the Panama" opens w i t h an a l m o s t a b s o l u t e sense o f l a c k o f a u t h o r i a l c o n t r o l . E v e r y t h i n g o f p o t e n t i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e i s crammed i n t o i t s o s t e n s i b l y l i m i t e d p e r i m e t e r s , and the s t o r y ' s d i r e c t i o n i s l e f t up to w h i m s i c a l chance. A n y t h i n g may happen, o r worse, n o t h i n g . Y e t the s t o r y moves not t o c l o s e o f f t h i s t e n s i o n i n d i r e c t i o n 30 but t o expand i t , and from t h i s t e n s i o n the themes o f the s t o r y e v o l v e . Events are r e c o r d e d t h r o u g h o u t and they p r e v e n t the n a r r a t o r from abandoning the m a t e r i a l w o r l d and e n t e r i n g i n t o an i n t r o s p e c t i v e attempt t o map o u t the l a n d s c a p e o f h i s own psyche. But the n a r r a t o r i s " s t r i v i n g t o t u r n i n c h o a t e e x p e r i e n c e i n t o a 3 p a t t e r n " t h a t r e f l e c t s upon both the w o r l d he e x p e r i e n c e s and the w o r l d he c r e a t e s . And i n the w o r l d he c r e a t e s , the f a c t 4 i s t h a t he i s a l s o w r i t i n g a n o v e l , Dark As the Grave, whose p r o t a g o n i s t , M a r t i n Trumbaugh, has w r i t t e n h i s own n o v e l . As Matthew C o r r i g a n n o t e s , the r i g i d l y f i x e d " I " o f the j o u r n a l form 5 i s i n an e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o c e s s , "on i t s way t o becoming W i l d e r n e s s , " and c o n s e q u e n t l y a f i c t i o n i s b e i n g w r i t t e n a g a i n s t the d i r e c t i o n which the j o u r n a l form commands. "Who am I" (p. 47) i s the q u e s t i o n which the s t o r y a s k s , and as the " I " o f the m a t e r i a l w o r l d t r a n s - forms i n t o the s e v e r a l " I " s o f the f i c t i o n a l w o r l d -- Lowry, S i g b j 0 r n , Trumbaugh,. and how many o t h e r s ? -- the s e l f t h a t i s b e i n g p o r t r a y e d d i s l o c a t e s i n t o a network o f p e r s p e c t i v e s . The d i v i s i o n between the d i r e c t i o n which the j o u r n a l form d i c t a t e s and the d i r e c t i o n which the n a r r a t o r wants t o go s u r f a c e s as the t h e m a t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the s t a t e o f s e p a r a t i o n , n o t o n l y aAso between S i g b j 0 r n and h i s w i f e , P r i m r o s e , but vbetween the m u l t i p l e i d e n t i t i e s o f h i s own s e l f : -- But I dream o f death, a h o r r i b l e dream, Grand G u i g n o l , w i t h o u t m e r i t : but so v i v i d , so p a l p a b l e , i t seemed to c o n t a i n some a c t u a l and f r i g h t f u l t a c t i l e t h r e a t , o r prophesy, o r w a r n i n g : f i r s t t h e r e i s d i s - l o c a t i o n , I am not I, I am M a r t i n Trumbaugh. But I 31 am not M a r t i n Trumbaugh o r perhaps F i r m i n e i t h e r , I am a v o i c e , y e t w i t h p h y s i c a l f e e l i n g s , I e n t e r what can o n l y be d e s c r i b e d -- I won't d e s c r i b e i t , w i t h t e e t h t h a t snap t i g h t b e h i n d me: a t the same ti m e , i n an i n e x p l i c a b l e way, t h i s i s l i k e g o i n g through the Panama C a n a l , and what c l o s e s b e h i n d me i s , as i t were, a l o c k : i n a sense I am now a s h i p , b ut I am a l s o a v o i c e and a l s o M a r t i n Trumbaugh, and now I am, o r he i s , i n the re a l m o f death . . . (pp. 39-40) As t h e s e i d e n t i t i e s s e p a r a t e from the amorphous " I " , the u n d e f i n e d but c o n t r o l l i n g c o n s c i o u s n e s s , the n a r r a t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e moves towards them i n d i v i d u a l l y . S e v e r a l p o i n t s o f view i n s e v e r a l t i m e - s p h e r e s emerge, and the p r o c e s s o f d i s l o c a t i o n i s so dynamic t h a t v o i c e s sometimes seem t o come from nowhere. These f i n a l l y can be seen to be c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n the s i n g l e n a r r a t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e o f the s i m p l e j o u r n a l form, f o r Lowry sh a r e s Hesse's b e l i e f t h a t one i d e n t i t y c o n t a i n s w i t h i n i t s u n d e f i n a b l e form an i n f i n i t e number of p e r s o n a l i t i e s . But u n t i l the s t o r y a p p l i e s i t s e l f t o m e t a p h o r i c a l a s s o c i a t i o n s as the p r o t a g o n i s t passes through the sea-change t h a t h i s voyage e n t a i l s , the n a r r a t o r remains f r u s t r a t e d i n h i s attempt t o map the r e l a t i o n s between them and d i s c o v e r , p r e c i s e l y , who he i s . The s t o r y must appeal t o metaphor i f i t s n a r r a t o r - p r o t a g o n i s t i s t o u n i f y and so r e n d e r c o m p r e h e n s i b l e the d i v i s i o n s i n the f i c t i o n a l form t h a t c o n t a i n s him. S i g b j j i r n can o n l y d e f i n e h i m s e l f i n r e l a t i o n to something e l s e , and as the i n t r o s p e c t i v e r e f l e c t i o n s on p e r s o n a l i t y s e p a r a t e from the n a r r a t i v e o f the events o f the voyage, e x p e r i e n c e becomes the element a g a i n s t which S i g b j 0 r n can s e t h i s sense o f h i m s e l f . J u s t as "I am not I" (p. 39), the 32 P i d e r o t i s no l o n g e r s i m p l y a s h i p , the canal no l o n g e r o n l y a c a n a l , the voyage no l o n g e r one, s i m p l e t h i n g . And f u r t h e r , S i g b j 0 r n ' s j o u r n a l i s no l o n g e r an a c c u r r a t e m i r r o r t o h i m s e l f : the events t h a t he has undergone are o b j e c t i f i e d i n a s e r i e s o f quantum u n i t s t h a t , a l t h o u g h m i r r o r i n g h i s sense o f d i s c o n n e c t i o n , deny h i s sense t h a t om some pl a n e o f a c t i v i t y he i s u n i f i e d and i n t e g r a t e d , a r e a l human b e i n g . The p r o c e s s o f t r a v e l l i n g , which p a r a l l e l s the p r o c e s s o f e n t e r i n g i n t o the f i c t i o n a l form, seems r i o t o u s l y u n c o n t r o l l e d , and S i g b j ^ r n i s d r i v e n t o r e s i s t t h i s dynamic, k i n e t i c impetus. He must somehow a r r e s t the p r o c e s s and make h i s map o f the r e l a t i o n between a s p e c t s o f h i m s e l f and t h e i r c o n n e c t i o n to the e x p e r i e n c e s he i s undergoing. S i n c e the s h i p i s under a n o t h e r ' s c o n t r o l and ev e n t s a re d r i v i n g h i s s t o r y on d e s p i t e h i s app a r e n t i n a b i l i t y t o keep up w i t h them, he must appeal to metaphor, which, as Sharon S p e n c e r n o t e s , has as i t s most i m p o r t a n t power "... t h a t i t holds f u s e d i n a c o n d i t i o n o f s t a b i l i t y and s y n t h e s i s the ' t r u t h ' t h a t i s f a r too f l u i d i n i t s n a t u r a l s t a t e to be c a p t u r e d , comprehended and c o n t r o l l e d . " ^ From what p o i n t o f view can S i g b j 0 r n p e r c e i v e an i n h e r e n t u n i t y i n h i s many f a c t u a l and f i c t i o n a l i d e n t i t i e s ? Ortega has the answer: A l l knowledge i s knowledge from a d e f i n i t e p o i n t o f view. S p i n o z a ' s s p e c i e s a e t e r n i t a t u s , o r u b i q u i t o u s and a b s o l u t e p o i n t o f view, has no e x i s t e n c e on i t s own a c c o u n t : i t i s a f i c t i t i o u s and a b s t r a c t p o i n t o f view. We have no doubt o f i t s u t i l i t y as an i n s t r u m e n t f o r the f u l f i l l m e n t o f c e r t a i n r e q u i r e m e n t s o f know- ledge', b ut i t i s e s s e n t i a l to remember t h a t r e a l i t y cannot be p e r c e i v e d from such a s t a n d p o i n t . The a b s t r a c t p o i n t o f view d e a l s o n l y i n a b s t r a c t i o n s . 33 And i f one i s t o f o c u s r e t r o s p e c t i v e a t t e n t i o n upon o n e s e l f , how can one a r r e s t time so t h a t a c o n t a i n e d s e r i e s o f p a s t events may be c o n s i d e r e d ? J . W. Dunne's answer i s t h a t one can n e v e r d i g one's h e e l s i n t o time and a r r e s t i t s f l o w ; an i n d i v i d u a l i s c o n s c i o u s i n a s e r i e s , and j u s t as the j o u r n a l form succumbs to an e x t e r n a l l y imposed s p a c i n g , the s e r i e s o f moments o f aware- ness w i l l n e v e r end. Sigbj0rn cannot p u l l h i m s e l f t o g e t h e r through any f i n a l s t a t i c p e r s p e c t i v e : no s i n g l e day t h a t the j o u r n a l r e c o r d s can a f f o r d him an a b s o l u t e and u b i q u i t o u s p o i n t o f view upon h i m s e l f . The problem becomes r e s o l v e d through the use o f metaphor, b u t the c o n n e c t i o n between Sigbjjdrn and h i s e x p e r i e n c e s i s a f f i r m e d through h i s s e l e c t i o n o f a n a l o g i e s t h a t d e r i v e from p r e s e n t f a c t . The Panama Canal becomes, i n the f i c t i o n a l i z i n g p r o c e s s , a s t a t i c metaphor f o r Sigbj0rn's r e l a t i o n t o h i s f i c t i o n a l w o r l d , and the passage o f the s h i p i t s e l f becomes a metaphor f o r h i s ongoing, k i n e t i c p r o c e s s o f passage through l i f e . And because the two are connected by the f a c t s o f h i s t r a v e l s , Sigbj0rn d i s c o v e r s an a p p o s i t e manner o f c o n n e c t i n g h i s i n v o l v e m e n t i n a r t w i t h h i s i n v o l v e m e n t i n l i f e . Lowry uses the Panama Canal to graph m e t a p h o r i c a l l y the r e l a t i o n s between h i s own p e r s o n a l a s p e c t s o f b e i n g i n the w o r l d he c r e a t e s i n the f i c t i o n a l i z i n g p r o c e s s . The canal t r a n s l a t e s i n t o a c o n t a i n i n g p r i n c i p l e f o r the t h e m a t i c problems t h a t Lowry's c h a r a c t e r s must r e s o l v e , and the p r o c e s s by which the t r a n s m u t a t i o n 34 from f a c t u a l e x i s t e n c e t o a b s t r a c t i o n o c c u r s i s : a p p r o p r i a t e . Passage through the c a n a l r e p r e s e n t s the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , and the f a c t o f the c a n a l ' s p r e s e n t b e i n g i s i n t h i s way p e r c e i v e d from an h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t r e p r e s e n t s i t s becoming. Thus the c a n a l becomes an e n t i r e l y s t a t i c metaphor f o r the u n i t y i m p l i e d by the o t h e r w i s e d i s c o r d a n t p e r s p e c t i v e s t h a t S i g b j t f r n W i l d e r n e s s s e p a r a t e s i n t o and f o r the almos t m e t a p h y s i c a l w o r l d view which i n f o r m s the s t o r y . And as a s t a t i c metaphor, i t l o c k s the p o i n t s o f view which i t c i r c u m s c r i b e s i n t o t h e i r own s t a s i s so t h a t one can c o n s t r u c t from i t s v a r i o u s p a r t s the sense o f a whole b u t , as o c c u r s when one i s a c t u a l l y w i t h i n the canal,.one cannot a c t u a l l y p e r c e i v e t h i s whole i n a s i n g l e , f r o z e n moment. Because the Panama Canal i s e n t i r e l y s t a t i c , i t s m e t a p h o r i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e does not depend upon a s i n g l e p o i n t o f view t h a t r e l a t e s i t i n p r e c i s e r a t i o t o a s i n g l e , f i c t i o n a l c oncept. R a t h e r , i t can be p e r c e i v e d from an i n f i n i t e number o f v i e w p o i n t s , and on one l e v e l , passage through the canal r e p r e s e n t s the p e c u l i a r p e r s p e c t i v e o f one who w r i t e s w i t h i n the j o u r n a l form. The c a n a l i t s e l f i s a s e r i e s o f l o c k s , each h a v i n g i t s own b e i n g , and each ha v i n g an i m p l i c i t c o n n e c t i o n to the l o c k s t h a t come b e f o r e o r a f t e r , which the s p e c t a t o r can remember o r i m a g i n a t i v e l y p r e c o n c e i v e . The t e x t renders S i g b j t f r n ' s p e r c e p t i o n s from w i t h i n the e x p e r i e n c e o f passage, and here o b s e r v a t i o n s a c c o r d i n g t o the i n d i s c r i m i n a t e camera-eye.of the p e r c e i v e r are e n t e r e d : the names and n a t u r e s o f o t h e r s h i p s , the s u r r o u n d i n g l a n d s c a p e , 35 the w i l d l i f e , the w r i t i n g upon the ca n a l w a l l s . I t i s Sigbj0rn's w i f e , P r i m r o s e , whose b a s i c and o b j e c t i v e p e r c e p t i o n s i n themselves carry l i t t l e i n t e r e s t b u t who n o n e t h e l e s s s y m b o l i z e s a n e c e s s a r y component o f the a r t i s t ' s t o t a l make-up, who i d e n t i f i e s the problems o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g i n h e r e n t i n t h i s p o i n t o f view, and, by e x t e n s i o n , the p o i n t o f view o f the j o u r n a l i s t : " S i g n i f i c a n c e o f the l o c k s : i n each one y ou are l o c k e d , . . . as i t were, i n an e x p e r i e n c e " (p. 59). T h i s d e f i n e s the s t a s i s i n h e r e n t i n the p r e s e n t - t e n s e , l i m i t e d p o i n t o f view, b u t i t i s Sigbj0rn's f i c t i o n a l e x t e n s i o n o f t h i s p o i n t o f view t h a t a f f o r d s i t a more p o t e n t s i g n i f i c a n c e . W i t h o ut the a b i l i t y t o r e c o g n i z e o t h e r p e r s p e c t i v e s o p e r a t i n g s i m u l t a n e o u s l y w i t h the one demanded by p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e -- and t h i s a p p l i e s t o the r e a d e r o f the s t o r y who must respond s i m u l t a n e o u s l y t o s e v e r a l l e v e l s o f a c t i v i t y - - o n e i s caught w i t h i n a frame o f r e f e r e n c e t h a t does not a l l o w t r u t h f u l o r " r e a l " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n : But t o M a r t i n i t {the w o r l d ] was f l a t a l l r i g h t , b u t on l y a l i t t l e b i t o f i t , the arena o f h i s own s u f f e r i n g s , would appear a t a time. Nor c o u l d he v i s u a l i z e the t h i n g g o i n g round, moving from e a s t t o west. He would view the g r e a t d i p p e r as one might view an i l l u m i n a t e d a d v e r t i s e m e n t , as something f i x e d , a l t h o u g h w i t h c h i l d i s h wonder, and w i t h thoughts i n h i s mind o f h i s mother's diamonds. But he c o u l d n o t make a n y t h i n g move. The w o r l d c o u l d n o t be w h e e l i n g , nor the s t a r s i n t h e i r c o u r s e s . Or when the sun came up o v e r the h i l l i n the morning, t h a t was p r e c i s e l y what i t d i d . He was non-human, s u b s e r v i e n t to d i f f e r e n t laws, even i f upon the s u r f a c e he was a t b e s t a g o o d - l o o k i n g normal young man w i t h r a t h e r rude manners, (p. 86) Lowry c o u n t e r p o i n t s t h i s s t a t i c p e r s p e c t i v e through the 36 t e c h n i c a l d e v i c e o f a mar g i n a l g l o s s . The g l o s s f u n c t i o n s i n accord a n c e w i t h the montage p r i n c i p l e : e s s e n t i a l l y , two p o i n t s o f view are b e i n g j u x t a p o s e d , and i d e a l l y the r e a d e r absorbs both p l a n e s o f a c t i v i t y s i m u l t a n e o u s l y and c o l l a t e s them i n t o a new image. T h i s new image i s , o f c o u r s e , o f the r e a d e r ' s making, b u t the a u t h o r guides the r e a d e r towards a r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the Panama Canal as a metaphor f o r the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s . While Sigbj0rn's immediate p e r c e p t i o n s o f the c a n a l ' s n a t u r e a re b e i n g r e c o r d e d i n the t e x t , the g l o s s r e n d e r s the h i s t o r y o f the c a n a l u s i n g Helen N i c o l a y ' s The B r i d g e o f Water as the s o u r c e . And as he reads o f the c a n a l , Sigbj0rn (and M a r t i n and Lowry) i s . h i m s e l f r e - c r e a t i n g i t s h i s t o r y . The p r o c e s s o f h i s t o r y i s synonymous and s i m u l t a n e o u s w i t h the p r o c e s s o f c r e a t i o n , and the p e r s p e c t i v e o f h i s t o r y t e l l s , i n a d i s p l a c e d form and from a n o t h e r angle o f v i s i o n , the same s t o r y t h a t Sigbj0rn p e r c e i v e s as he e x p e r i e n c e s . Sigbj0rn has p r o b a b l y d i s t o r t e d N i c o l a y ' s h i s t o r y i n r e t e l l i n g i t , and i n the r e s u l t i n g t r a n s f o r m a t i o n the e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o c e s s o f h i s t o r y i n t o p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e , o r , on ano t h e r p l a n e , the p a r a l l e l p r o c e s s o f f a c t i n t o f i c t i o n , appears remote. "And t h a t i s about a l l , " Sigbj0rn s a y s , ". . . save t h a t t h i s book t e l l s us some t h i n g s about the o p e r a t i o n s o f the c a n a l we p r o b a b l y wouldn't have known even though we're g o i n g through i t a t t h i s moment" (p. 61). Y e t the t e c h n i c a l means by which t h i s i s r e n d e r e d s u g g e s t s t h a t Sigbjftfrn i s wrong. H i s t o r y , a l t h o u g h the f i c t i o n o f the h i s t o r i a n , i s i t s e l f a g l o s s t o p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e , and 37 i n o f f e r i n g a n o t h e r p e r s p e c t i v e upon the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f a c e n t r a l s e t o f f a c t s i t . r e l e a s e s p e r c e p t i o n from the s t a t i c c o n f i n e s o f the p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e and p l a c e s i t w i t h i n a continuum o f m u l t i p l e p e r s p e c t i v e s . Because h i s t o r y i s a f a c t o r o f p r e s e n t p e r c e p t i o n upon immediate e v e n t s , p r e s e n t p e r c e p t i o n can be c o n c e p t u a l i z e d o u t s i d e o f the c o n f i n i n g framework o f the c a n a l ' s l o c k s . The c a n a l metaphor f u n c t i o n s t o imply t h a t one can n o t o n l y look outwards from w i t h i n the f a c t o f immediate e x p e r i e n c e , b u t , by i m a g i n a t i v e e x t e n s i o n , one can a l s o look inward from an i n f e r r e d p e r s p e c t i v e o f the whole. Thus, the a c t u a t i n g o f the i m a g i n a t i o n i s i t s e l f a c r e a t i v e , s t r u c t u r e - m a k i n g p r o c e s s , and the j o u r n a l i s t ' s problem i s r e s o l v e d through the use o f i t . I m p l i c i t i n the c a n a l metaphor i s the concept t h a t the i m a g i n a t i o n and memory s e r v e to r e l e a s e p e r c e p t i o n from the c o n f i n e s o f a s i n g l e p o i n t o f view, f o r through them one can s i m u l t a n e o u s l y approximate o t h e r p o i n t s o f view. T h i s i s , i n f i c t i o n , p r e c i s e l y what Lowry h i m s e l f does, and thus both Dunne and Ortega's concepts are i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e c o n t e n t o f h i s f i c t i o n s . F i n a l l y , the Panama Canal r e p r e s e n t s the w o r l d which f i c t i o n c r e a t e s r a t h e r than d e s c r i b e s ; i t i s the r e a d e r who undergoes the p r o c e s s o f c o n s t r u c t i n g i t and then i d e n t i f y i n g the p e c u l i a r n a t u r e o f the l o c k which r e p r e s e n t s h i s o r h e r p o i n t o f view. In d e v e l o p i n g the c a n a l metaphor, Lowry c o n s t r u c t s a map o r h i s own concept o f f i c t i o n , and i t i s from t h i s c o n c e p t t h a t the themes o f "Through the Panama" emerge. Every p e r s p e c t i v e i s 38 r e l a t i v e , j u s t as the l o c k s on the canal a r e r e l a t i v e and i n the aggregate compose the f a c t i m p l i e d by the name, "Panama C a n a l . " W i t h o ut the sense o f the whole, a c h a r a c t e r ' s p l a c e w i t h i n the c o n f u s i n g f i c t i o n a l w o r l d i s u n d e f i n a b l e . And from t h a t c h a r a c t e r ' s p e r s p e c t i v e , the w o r l d , u n c o l o u r e d by the i m a g i n a t i o n , appears. f l a t and s t a t i c , c o n s i s t i n g o f o n l y what i s p e r c e i v e d . The customs o f f i c i a l and h i s i d e n t i t y c a r d push towards Sigbj0rn's ac c e p t a n c e o f such a p e r s p e c t i v e , f o r " t o announce one's i d e n t i t y i s t o f i x i t " ^ and the e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f any s i n g l e i d e n t i t y i s "a q u e s t i o n you can ne v e r answer" (p. 49), l e t a l o n e s u p p o r t w i t h the awesome and f i n a l power o f the w r i t t e n word. Y e t the f a c t o f the c a n a l ' s b e i n g , which a c c o r d s t o the f a c t . o f the f i n i s h e d p i e c e o f f i c t i o n , accomodates f u r t h e r p e r s p e c t i v e s which, from the l i m i t e d l o g i c o f one l o c k o r frame o f r e f e r e n c e , seem u n t e n a b l e . From Sigbj0rn's frame o f r e f e r e n c e , M a r t i n i s c i r c u m s c r i b e d by Sigbj0rn and F i r m i n by M a r t i n , y e t i f h i s p r e s e n t frame o f r e f e r e n c e i s r e l a t i v e t o a whole as i s any l o c k i n the c a n a l , who, he r i g h t f u l l y wonders, c i r c u m s c r i b e s him? The p a t t e r n i s one which W. H. New l i k e n s t o 11 a s e r i e s o f Chinese boxes, an a c c u r a t e analogy and one which Lowry h i m s e l f develops i n Under the V o l c a n o , where the rooms i n 12 the F a r o l i t o a r e c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as "boxes i n a Chinese p u z z l e . " Y e t each o f these c h a r a c t e r s i n the s e r i e s i s Lowry h i m s e l f , o r a s p e c t s o f him t h a t c o r r e s p o n d t o s e p a r a t e events a t s e p a r a t e t i m e s . No s i n g l e "Lowry" can be d e l i n e a t e d , nor can a f i c t i o n be made p a r a l l e l w i t h t h i s metaphor f o r i t w i t h o u t the r e a d e r ' s own 39 c r e a t i v i t y . Lowry uses the c a n a l metaphor to p o i n t the way: A l l i n a l l though, gentlemen, what I would l i k e t o say about the Panama Canal i s t h a t f i n a l l y i t i s a work o f genius -- I would say, l i k e a work o f c h i l d ' s genius -- something l i k e a'1'novel -- i n f a c t j u s t such a novel as I, S i g b j 0 r n W i l d e r n e s s , i f I may say so, might have w r i t t e n m y s e l f -- i n d e e d w i t h o u t knowing i t am perhaps i n the c o u r s e o f w r i t i n g , w i t h both ends d i f f e r e n t i n c h a r a c t e r , governed under d i f f e r e n t laws, y e t p a r t o f the same community . . . f o r i t works, God how the whole t h i n g b e a u t i f u l l y and s i l e n t l y works, t h i s c e l e s t i a l mechano -- w i t h i t s c h a i n s t h a t r i s e s u l l e n l y from the w ater, and the g r e a t s t e e l gates moving i n p e r f e c t s i l e n c e , and w i t h p e r f e c t ease a t the touch o f t h a t man s i t t i n g up i n the c o n t r o l tower high above the topmost l o c k who, by the way, i s m y s e l f , and who would f e e l p e r f e c t l y c o m f o r t a b l e i f o n l y he d i d n o t know t h a t t h e r e was y e t a n o t h e r man s i t t i n g h i g h e r above him i n h i s i n v i s i b l e c o n t r o l tower, who a l s o has a model o f the canal l o c k s b e f o r e him, c a r e f u l l y b u i l t , which r e g i s t e r s e l e c t r i c a l l y the e x a c t depth o f e v e r y t h i n g I_ do, and who thus i s a b l e t o see e v e r y t h i n g t h a t i s happening t o me a t e v e r y moment - - a n d worse, e v e r y t h i n g t h a t i s g o i n g t o happen -- .... (pp. 62-63) The c a n a l metaphor, then, n o t o n l y graphs the r e l a t i o n between a s p e c t s o f the a u t h o r , but i t a l s o r e p r e s e n t s the means by which the s e a s p e c t s come i n t o b e i n g as f a c t i s t r a n s l a t e d i n t o f i c t i o n through the j o u r n a l form. Each l o c k r e p r e s e n t s a d a i l y e n t r y i n the j o u r n a l form, and "Through the Panama" i s made by a s e r i e s o f e n t r i e s t h a t r e p r e s e n t the p e r s p e c t i v e o f the s u b j e c t who i s h e l d w i t h i n the e x p e r i e n c e s t h a t go i n t o t h a t e n t r y . Events a r e p r e s e n t e d i n quanta which are measured by the l i n e a r time p a t t e r n o f day t o day e x i s t e n c e , j u s t as the l o c k s themselves s t a n d i s o l a t e d b u t i n a l i n e a r s e r i e s t h a t u l t i m a t e l y comprises the Panama C a n a l . Through the use o f the j o u r n a l form, "Through the Panama" remains a s e r i e s o f i n t e r l o c k e d , s t a t i c u n i t s w h ich, 40 a l t h o u g h they flow t o g e t h e r from one p e r s p e c t i v e , a r e , from a n o t h e r , j u x t a p o s e d t o imply a p r o g r e s s i o n t h a t a s p i r e s to d e s c r i b e the e n t i r e u n i v e r s e . Lowry h i m s e l f d e s c r i b e s t h i s f i c t i o n as "a s t r a n g e assembly o f a p p a r e n t l y i n c o n g r o u s p a r t s , s l i p p i n g p a s t 13 one a n o t h e r " (p. 34, 9 7 ) . A s i n g l e e n t r y i n the j o u r n a l form, when seen i n the l i g h t o f the m e t a p h o r i c a l l o c k s o f . t h e c a n a l , i m p l i e s the c o r r e s p o n d i n g e x i s t e n c e o f o t h e r independent e n t r i e s i n a s e r i e s , and thus the immediate f a c t o f p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e i s made congruent w i t h p a s t and f u t u r e events which r e s o l v e them- s e l v e s i n t o a form. And i n a n o t h e r a p p l i c a t i o n , each l o c k r e p r e s e n t s the c o n t a i n i n g p r i n c i p l e o r form o f one o f the f i c t i o n s i n the i n t e r l o c k e d s e r i e s t h a t comprises the Voyage c y c l e . From the a n g l e o f v i s i o n t h a t the canal metaphor a f f o r d s , the r i g i d l y d e f i n e d form o f a f i c t i o n such as "Through the Panama" i s meant to i m p l y , o r to take w i t h i n i t s own c o n f i n e s , the e x i s t e n c e o f o t h e r forms which r e f l e c t t h e i r own i n h e r e n t a n g l e s o f v i s i o n upon a c e n t r a l u n i t . Each form o r u n i t i s meant to be r e a d i n r e l a t i o n t o a l l o t h e r s , and i n t h i s way Lowry's i n t e n t i o n i n f i c t i o n can be seen as an attempt t o c r e a t e a form, o r s u p e r s t r u c t u r e upon r e a l i t y , which i m p l i e s the e n t i r e u n i v e r s e . The j o u r n a l form i s a congruent analogy t o t h i s u l t i m a t e i n t e n t i o n , and i t stands a t the r o o t o f m o s t o f Lowry's w r i t i n g . The canal metaphor f u n c t i o n s i n one way t o s u g g e s t t h a t Lowry's concept o f h i s own f i c t i o n e v o l v e s o u t o f h i s g r a p p l i n g w i t h the problem o f making v i a b l e f i c t i o n o u t o f the s t a t i c and a p p a r e n t l y i s o l a t e d u n i t s t h a t b e g i n as 41 e n t r i e s w i t h i n the j o u r n a l form. The canacT metaphor f u n c t i o n s t o f r e e z e l i n e a r time and to e s t a b l i s h t h a t S i g b j 0 r n , both i n l i f e and i n h i s own r e l a t i o n t o the f i c t i o n a l w o r l d , e x i s t s i n an e t e r n a l l y p r e s e n t s e r i e s o f moments. From t h i s emerges the theme o f m u l t i p l e i d e n t i t i e s , y e t "Through the Panama" a s p i r e s t o be more than d e s c r i p t i v e o f the n a t u r e o f the f i c t i o n a l w o r l d . A g a i n s t t h i s s t a t i c metaphor Lowry c r e a t e s a k i n e t i c metaphor which unlo c k s time and c a r r i e s w i t h i n i t a r e s o l u t i o n , i n much the same manner as i n the t r a d i t i o n a l p rose f i c t i o n form. S i g b j t f r n p e r c e i v e s the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f the canal metaphor y e t remains caught w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s o f h i s own p o i n t o f view, and c o n s e q u e n t l y h i s i d e n t i t y and i t s c o r r e s p o n d i n g s e l f - c o n t r o l i s t h r e a t e n e d by a p e r v a d i n g power o f d i s s o l u t i o n . The D i d e r o t thus becomes a metaphor f o r S i g b j t f r n ' s own i d e n t i t y and f o r the form o f the s t o r y i n which he o p e r a t e s . J u s t as a p e r c e i v e r w i t h i n one o f the l o c k s i n the canal may a s p i r e t o a h i g h e r p o i n t o f view, the s h i p , as a metaphor, a s p i r e s t o become so many t h i n g s t h a t i t s b a s i c form i s t h r e a t e n e d , h e r e , t h e m a t i c a l l y , by a s t o r m a t s e a . S i g b j t f r n must l e a r n t h a t , a l t h o u g h a h i g h e r c o n t r o l l e r may be c o n t r o l l i n g him, he must take c o n t r o l o f h i m s e l f . The Pi d e r o t i s i n s i m i l a r c i r c u m s t a n c e s : France has no government (p. 4 5 ) , and as the P i d e r o t i n the storm t h r e a t e n s t o break from the c o h e s i v e s t r u c t u r e which g i v e s i t i d e n t i t y and t r a n s f o r m i n t o something e l s e , the c a p t a i n , "who n o t o n l y 42 l o v e s b u t h i s s h i p " (p. 47) must, l i k e the a r t i s t w i t h h i s own f i c t i o n , a c c e p t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and e x e r c i s e c o n t r o l w h i l e the p a s s e n g e r s , o r the f i c t i o n ' s c h a r a c t e r s , s u p p l i c a t e : "Hear Us 0 L o r d From Heaven Thy D w e l l i n g P l a c e . " As w i t h S i g b j 0 r n , o r w i t h any s i n g l e f i c t i o n a l form t h a t c o n t r i b u t e s t o the Voyage c y c l e , the s h i p can be a p p l i e d m e t a p h o r i c a l l y t o s e v e r a l o f the frames o f r e f e r e n c e o r Chinese boxes t h a t comprise i t s t o t a l i d e n t i t y . The s t o r m demands t h a t i t f i x i t s i d e n t i t y w i t h i n a s i n g l e form: "Do not worry, Madame, we have put a c e i n t u r e around i t s m i d d l e " ( p . 9 1 ) . Once time has been r e l e a s e d from s t a s i s and e x i s t e n c e a g a i n becomes a p r o c e s s , the c l e a r d e l i n e a t i o n o f r e l a t i o n s between i d e n t i t i e s o r frames o f r e f e r e n c e becomes o b s c u r e d . The s h i p l o s e s i t s c o n t a c t w i t h i t s i m p l i e d c o n t r o l l e r ( o r i n o t h e r terms i t becomes l e s s o f a f i c t i o n a l s h i p i n the hands o f a b e n e v o l e n t a u t h o r and more o f a r e a l s h i p i n a storm) and the p o t e n t i a l deus ex ma c h i n a e n d i n g o f the f i c t i o n , where the a u t h o r w r i t e s i n a r e s c u e s h i p , w i l l n o t take p l a c e . B e l t i n g the s h i p i n t o i t s p r i m a r y i d e n t i t y i m p l i e s an abandonment o f the community o f m u l t i p l e i d e n t i t i e s which f i c t i o n s u p p l i e s , b u t , l i k e Goodheart's f i c t i o n i n "Ghostkeeper", i t must be pared down to i t s e s s e n t i a l form i f i t i s to s u r v i v e . The network o f c o r r e s p o n d e n c e s t h a t f i c t i o n b r i n g s t o f a c t s can be e n t e r e d , e x p l o r e d , and even c h a r t e d , b u t f i n a l l y f i c t i o n must be brought back i n t o an u n d e r s t a n d a b l e r e l a t i o n to the w o r l d i t uses as a p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e . The s h i p metaphor f u n c t i o n s t o imply a law t h a t dominates Lowry's w r i t i n g : 43 even though events are v e h i c l e s to a r t i s t i c e x p l o r a t i o n s o f the w o r l d o f f i c t i o n , f i c t i o n i t s e l f must remain c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the d r a m a t i s e d a c t i o n which i t d e v e l o p s . S t o r y can be made s u b o r d i n a t e t o p r o c e s s , but i t cannot be t r a n s c e n d e d , o r the f i c t i o n f a l l s a p a r t . The d i c t a t e s o f p l o t i n the t r a d i t i o n a l p r o s e form must f i n d t h e i r p l a c e and be f u l f i l l e d w i t h i n the "new form" f o r f i c t i o n , even i f the t r u e r a c t i o n o f the f i c t i o n i s t a k i n g p l a c e on a n o t h e r l e v e l a l t o g e t h e r . Lowry uses the s h i p metaphor, i t seems, as an e x p l a n a t i o n to h i s r e a d e r s o f why he cannot a l l o w t h i s s t o r y to break from the j o u r n a l form and take o f f i n t o an e x p l o r a t i o n o f the network o f c o r r e s p o n d e n c e s t h a t he b e l i e v e s e v e n t s i m p l y . He can o n l y use metaphor t o d i r e c t h i s r e a d e r s , and i t i s incumbent upon them t o complete the voyage o u t a f t e r the e v e n t s o f t h e s t o r y have been f u l l y r e c o r d e d . Lowry manages to. r e s o l v e "Through the Panama" t h e m a t i c a l l y and y e t escape the problem o f r e d u c t i o ad absurdum t h a t Goodheart a p p a r e n t l y e n c o u n t e r s i n "Ghostkeeper." Although he remains w i t h i n the j o u r n a l form and d r i v e s h i s n a r r a t i v e on to c o m p l e t i o n , Lowry succeeds i n i n c o r p o r a t i n g l a y e r s o f a l l u s i v e i m p l i c a t i o n i n t o h i s s t o r y ; t h i s through h i s use o f language and i n h i s i m p l i c a t i o n o f h i s r e a d e r s as a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t s i n h i s f i c t i o n . ' As the c o n s c i o u s n e s s which ren d e r s the s t o r y d i s c o v e r s i t s own i n f i n i t e d i m e n s i o n s , the s i n g l e , d e f i n a b l e " I " o f the j o u r n a l form expands towards the i m p o s s i b l e a b s o l u t e and u b i q u i t o u s p o i n t o f 44 view t h a t O r t e g a d e s c r i b e s . The message o f the s t o r y i s f i n a l l y conveyed by the means by which the s t o r y ' i s t o l d , and the p r o c e s s o f o r d e r i n g , o r o f c r e a t i n g a p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t a l l o w s the i s o l a t e d u n i t s o f the p o r t r a y e d w o r l d t o s t a n d t o g e t h e r , becomes the t a s k o f the r e a d e r . A t the c l o s e o f the s t o r y , v o i c e s come from e v e r y - where, a p p a r e n t l y incongruous and s l i p p i n g p a s t one a n o t h e r , but the v o i c e s b e l o n g t o a s i n g l e c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h a t the r e a d e r must c r e a t e : The day i n Bowen I s l a n d w e found the bronze b e l l s and saw the h a r l e q u i n ducks. P r a y e r f o r E i n a r N e i l s o n , who saw us o f f , s i n g i n g "Shenandoah." "And from the whole e a r t h , as i t s p i n s through space, comes a sound o f s i n g i n g . " (C. A.) Sonnez l e s m a t i n e s ! Sonnez l e s m a t i n e s ! 'Le g u s t a e s t a j a r d i n ? 'Que es suyo? V a n i t y o f human b e i n g s i s t e r r i f i c , s t r o n g e r than f e a r , worse than t h a t s t o r y inSfchopenhauer. S. 0. S. going on next door. Battement de tambours! God save the F i s h e r K i n g . (pp. 96-97) T h i s s p e a k i n g c e n t r e o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s has t r a n s c e n d e d h i s l i m i t e d frame o f r e f e r e n c e , o r Chinese box o r l o c k i n the c a n a l , through the e x e r c i s e o f i m a g i n a t i o n and memory. Goodheart's v i s i o n o f a b a l l e t , here c o m p r i s e d o f v o i c e s , i s a c h i e v e d by the i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f s p a t i a l ( r e l a t i v e s e l v e s ) and temporal ( p a s t and f u t u r e ) r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n t o the p r e s e n t - t e n s e here and now of'immediate e x p e r i e n c e . Lowry launches the " I " o f h i s s t o r y i n t o p r o c e s s , and the v o i c e s f u n c t i o n by the same montage p r i n c i p l e t h a t i n f o r m s so much o f the s t o r y because i t i m p l i c i t l y i n f o r m s the j o u r n a l form. The r e a d e r becomes the maker o f the new form t h a t dances 45 and coheres as he p e r c e i v e s the i m p l i c a t i o n o f h i s own p o i n t o f view i n t o t h a t r e p r e s e n t e d by the disembodied v o i c e s t r a v e l l i n g towards u n i t y . And thus the s t o r y succeeds i n a f f i r m i n g the c r e a t i v e power o f a l l men through the e x p a n s i o n o f the s u b j e c t i v e , a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l " I " t h a t belongs i n h e r e n t l y to the j o u r n a l form. "Through the Panama" f a i l s t o r e n d e r c r e d i b l e " c h a r a c t e r ; " r a t h e r , i t a s p i r e s t o r e n d e r a l l c h a r a c t e r i n the p r o c e s s o f be- coming, and i n t h i s way Lowry can be seen t o a n t i c i p a t e a t r e n d which A r l e n Hansen a s c r i b e s t o American w r i t e r s o f the s i x t i e s : To the d e t e r m i n i s t 1 s premise t h a t man i s e x c l u s i v e l y and i n e v i t a b l y a p r o d u c t o f h i s environment, they add t h a t man's environment i s d e t e r m i n e d i n a s i g n i f i c a n t way by the p e r c e p t i o n s o f the man h i m s e l f . . . . T h i s , the e m p i r i c i s t s c harge, i s s o l i p s i s m : and so i t i s . But i t i s a new s o l i p s i s m , one t h a t has more t o do w i t h the a c t u a t i n g and l i b e r a t i n g i m a g i n a t i o n than w i t h the entrapment o f s e l f h o o d . ^ The j o u r n a l form i s i n t e g r a l to t h i s l i b e r a t i o n o f s e l f h o o d : i s o l a t e d u n i t s o f e v ents are f i l t e r e d through the p r i s m o f the f i r s t - p e r s o n c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f .which .the r e a d e r ? becomes a p a r t , and i n the p r o c e s s s u b j e c t i v e l y e x p e r i e n c e d f a c t s are t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a u n i v e r s a l l y a p p l i c a b l e f i c t i o n which demands the r e a d e r ' s i n v o l v e m e n t , through r e - c r e a t i o n , memory, and i m a g i n a t i o n , i n the c r e a t i v e a c t . 1 CHAPTER I I I Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d : The J o u r n a l as Method. On the t h e m a t i c l e v e l o f "Ghostkeeper" and i n the n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e o f "Through the Panama," Lowry examines the r e l a t i o n between a s i n g l e p e r s p e c t i v e upon e x p e r i e n c e and the d i s c o r d a n t o r d e r s o r systems t h a t come t o be r e c o g n i z e d from t h a t p e r s p e c t i v e . In both s t o r i e s he t r a c e s a p r o c e s s whereby the s e i n d e p e n d e n t o r d e r s fragment and f i n a l l y a re u n i f i e d w i t h i n a p o i n t o f view which i n v o l v e s the r e a d e r i n the c r e a t i v e a c t . T h i s e x p a n s i o n o f the c r e a t i v e impetus from a s t o r y ' s t h e m a t i c l e v e l i n t o i t s formal p r o c e s s e s and f i n a l l y i n t o the r e a d e r ' s own i m a g i n a t i v e form- making t r a n s f o r m s events which seem f a i r l y unimportant i n them- s e l v e s i n t o u n i v e r s a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t e p i s o d e s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , r e a d e r s are made t o a c c e p t both the f a c t s o f Lowry's e x p e r i e n c e s and t h e i r r e l a t i o n t o u n i v e r s a l forms o r p h i l o s o p h i c a l systems. And as new l e v e l s o f c o r r e s p o n d e n c e and s i g n i f i c a n c e are apprehended, r e a d e r s i n c o r p o r a t e them i n t o an i m a g i n a t i v e form w i t h i n which the p r i n c i p l e o f r e l a t i v i t y o p e r a t e s . In "Ghostkeeper," Lowry 46 47 speaks o f the harmony u n d e r l y i n g e v e n t s ; i n "Through the Panama" he demonstrates i t through the c o n t i n u i t y between h i s f i c t i o n a l form, h i s n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e and h i s images, and because o f t h i s "Through the Panama" succeeds as f i c t i o n where "Ghostkeeper" f a i . l s . Lowry employs the c a n a l metaphor t o r e f l e c t upon h i s f i c t i o n s ' i n t e r n a l u n i t y , and he i n t e n d s t h i s c o n t i n u i t y t o e x t e n d a l s o to the s e p a r a t e p a r t s o f h i s i n c r e m e n t a l f i c t i o n a l u n i t . In "Through the Panama," Lowry makes obvious t h e m a t i c c o n n e c t i o n s t o the book o u t o f which i t e v o l v e s , Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d i s L a i d . But i n n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e and f i c t i o n a l form, t h i s c o n t i n u i t y seems broken. F o r Dark As the G r a v e , 1 a t l e a s t i n i t i a l l y , appears t o i n c o r p o r a t e an abundance o f t h e m a t i c m a t e r i a l i n c r e m e n t a l to Under the V o l c a n o b u t demonstrates none o f the formal p r o c e s s e s t h a t so s t r i k i n g l y o p e r a t e i n the f i c t i o n s t h a t come b e f o r e o r a f t e r i t . I t s p l o t i s b o r i n g , l i n e a r and slow moving; i t s s e t t i n g i s f a m i l i a r b u t i n t h i s c o n t e x t f a r l e s s e x c i t i n g ; i t e x t o l s the u n i t y o f a r t and l i f e , b u t i t s elements o f u n a p p l i e d a u t o b i o g r a p h y appear to demonstrate, as one c r i t i c has i t , " a r t ' s d e f e a t by l i f e . " One wonders i f t h e r e are i n h e r e n t weaknesses i n Lowry's t h e o r y o f i n c r e m e n t a l f i c t i o n . But the major c r i t i c a l q u e s t i o n which Dark As the Grave promotes i s t h i s : what was Lowry t r y i n g t o do i n h i s l a t e r f i c t i o n s ? And why would he reduce h i s h a n d l i n g o f time and p o i n t o f view, which i n Under the V o l c a n o i s so complex, i n t o a l i n e a r n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e t h a t appears t o f u n c t i o n w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s o f the t r a d i t i o n a l novel form? These q u e s t i o n s are p r e s s i n g , 48 f o r most o f Lowry's c r i t i c s a c c e p t t h a t the man can o n l y be under- 3 s t o o d i n the c o n t e x t o f h i s complete o u t p u t , and some o f h i s work, o f which t h i s i s the b e s t example, seems u n b e l i e v a b l y bad. One answer emerges when Dark As the Grave i s seen as Lowry's f i r s t e x p e r i m e n t w i t h the f i c t i o n - m a k i n g method t h a t e v o l v e s from the b a s i c s t r u c t u r e o f the j o u r n a l form. Dark As the Grave marks an i n t e r m e d i a t e p o i n t i n Lowry's advancement o f the j o u r n a l form towards h i s new prose form f o r f i c t i o n . But t o a n a l y s e i t i n t h i s l i g h t r e q u i r e s the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n between the f i c t i o n Lowry wrote and the one t h a t has been p u b l i s h e d . There are i n f a c t two Graves, the a u t h o r ' s own v e r s i o n s e q u e s t e r e d i n the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia's S p e c i a l C o l l e c t i o n s D i v i s i o n where i t remains i n m a n u s c r i p t form, and the p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n , made by the e d i t o r s from Lowry's notes towards a f i c t i o n . Lowry's m a n u s c r i p t resembles the p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n o f "Ghostkeeper:" i t abounds i n m a r g i n a l n o t a t i o n s , i n v e s t i g a t i o n s o f p o s s i b l e d i r e c t i o n s , and a u t h o r i a l comments upon the n a t u r e o f the f a c t s and the l e v e l s o f symbolism and a l l u s i o n they s u g g e s t . In comparison, the p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n i s a k i n t o an i m a g i n a r y completed v e r s i o n o f "Ghostkeeper" where the open exposure o f the method has been s a n i t i z e d by the d e l e t i o n o f a l l o f the a u t h o r ' s own commentary, so t h a t the r e a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g l e v e l s o f the f i c t i o n are c u t . Here the s a l i e n t p o i n t i s t h a t the f i c t i o n has been completed by i m p e r c e p t i v e r e a d e r s r a t h e r than by the w r i t e r h i m s e l f . Matthew C o r r i g a n has 49 a l r e a d y a t t a c k e d the f i c t i o n ' s e d i t o r s f o r s t u f f i n g an u n f i n i s h e d 4 work i n t o the mould o f a n o v e l , b u t t h i s u n f o r t u n a t e argument needs to be f u r t h e r e d . The p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n o f Dark As the Grave i s worse than what i s i m p l i e d by the words "a c h a s t e 5 e d i t i o n ; " i t i s no l e s s than a d i s a s t e r , f o r i t d i s c r e d i t s a w r i t e r who was a c t i v e l y s e e k i n g a new form f o r f i c t i o n . I f r e a d e r s hope to u n d e r s t a n d what Lowry was d o i n g i n h i s f i c t i o n s w r i t t e n subsequent t o Under the V o l c a n o , they must be a l l o w e d to see how Lowry h i m s e l f approached h i s f i c t i o n s , and i n Dark As the Grave t h i s does n o t o c c u r . " A l l we c o u l d do," c l a i m s Douglas Day, i n d e f e n d i n g h i s p r o c e d u r e f o r e d i t i n g Lowry's r e c o r d o f t h i s e x periment, "was c u t out what was r e p e t i t i o u s , demonstrably n o t i n t e g r a l t o the book, o r s t i l l n o t begun to be i n c o r p o r a t e d from the notebooks i n t o i t . " The e d i t o r s r a t i o n a l i z e t h e i r p r o c e d u r a l method n o t on a "notebook on i t s way t o becoming a n o v e l " 7 b u t upon t h e i r own a p p r o x i m a t i o n o f what t h a t novel w i l l become. The r e s u l t demonstrates t h a t t h i s method develops from a f a t a l m i s r e a d i n g o f the t e x t . In the m a n u s c r i p t , Lowry uses the f a c t s o f h i s t r a v e l s as a p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e so t h a t he may e n t e r the t i m e l e s s f i c t i o n a l w o r l d a l r e a d y c r e a t e d i n Under the V o l c a n o and see i t i n a new way. T h i s he makes e x p l i c i t i n an u n p u b l i s h e d note to h i s r e a d e r s : In o r d e r t o r e l i e v e the r e a d e r o f a c e r t a i n a v e r s i o n [ o r ] embarrassment a t s i g h t o f what i s a p p a r e n t l y naked a u t o b i o g r a p h y p r e t e n d i n g t o be s u r p r i s e d t o be f u n c t i o n i n g as a s o r t o f n o v e l , I f e e l i t b e t t e r t o s t a t e a t the o u t s e t t h a t t h i s book was p l a n n e d b e f o r e Under the V o l c a n o (The V a l l e y o f the Shadow o f Death) 50 was a c c e p t e d by any p u b l i s h e r , w i t h the n o t i o n t h a t the p r o t a g o n i s t -- o r a p r o t a g o n i s t •-- or Hugh o r the Consul -- o r the former s h o u l d be the a u t h o r o f the l a t t e r , the i n t e n t i o n b e i n g a s o r t o f i m a g i n a r y desgent o f the c r e a t o r i n t o the w o r l d o f h i s c r e a t i o n . . . A note w r i t t e n by M a r g e r i e Lowry i n the m a n u s c r i p t , however, i n d i c a t e s a v e r y d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e on what Dark As the Grave i s about: A l t h o u g h I am p u t t i n g e x p o s i t i o n i n t h i s e x p o s i t i o n may n o t f i n a l l y be t h e r e . So a l t h o u g h I have s u g g e s t e d t h i s o r t h a t passage i t i s the d e s c r i p t i o n t h a t may be through P r i m r o s e ' s mind t h a t m a t t e r s , ( T h i s , now, i s p r o b a b l y i n v a l i d ) i n f a c t , the c o n t r a s t o f the hopes o f what they e x p e c t to f i n d i n Mexico would be m a r v e l l o u s l y d r a m a t i c . . . Lowry's note i n d i c a t e s t h a t p l a c e i s to be used as a u n i f y i n g element which a l l o w s him t o r e - e x p l o r e , through the c r e a t i v e a c t , the p r i m a r y e x p e r i e n c e o f both l i v i n g through and then w r i t i n g about the V o l c a n o m a t e r i a l . Dark As the Grave i s Lowry's attempt t o f i n d a p a t t e r n o r s t r u c t u r e which f u s e s the e x p e r i e n c e , and t o t r a n s l a t e h i s f i n d i n g s i n t o a form which c o n t a i n s a meaning. The r e - c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s i s a means o f r e - e x p e r i e n c i n g the p a s t , and the meaning o f both the p a s t and p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e i s con- t a i n e d w i t h i n the e v o l v i n g f i c t i o n a l "new form" which c h a r t s the r o u t e s t h a t h i s mind t r a v e l s upon. M a r g e r i e ' s note s t r e s s e s the primacy o f p l o t , c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n and d r a m a t i c e l e m e n t s , e s p e c i a l l y the c o n t r a s t between the two p r o t a g o n i s t s ' o p p o s i n g p o i n t s o f view. Where Malcolm Lowry hopes t o c r e a t e a p o i n t o f view t h a t i n c o r p o r a t e s a l l o t h e r s , M a r g e r i e Lowry e n v i s i o n s the f i c t i o n as a t r a v e l o g u e w i t h the added l e v e l o f d r a m a t i c human i n t e r e s t . S a d l y , M a r g e r i e ' s 51 p e r s p e c t i v e guides the e d i t i n g p o l i c y , and the emphasis o f the novel i s changed. The p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n o f Dark As the Grave remains a n a r r a t i v e , b r i n g i n g to c e n t r e - s t a g e the theme o f t r a v e l , the d r a m a t i c e f f e c t s o f c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , and the u n i t y o f a c t i o n . But the p r i m a r y t h r u s t o f the m a n u s c r i p t , on the t h e m a t i c l e v e l and i n the n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e , c e n t e r s on the t e n s i o n between op p o s i n g p e r s p e c t i v e s : the immediate p e r c e p t i o n s o f f a c t u a l events and,..the l a t e r r e f l e c t i o n s upon those same events t r a n s l a t e d i n t o a f i c t i o n a l c o n t e x t . Dark As the Grave i s made from an a n g l e o f v i s i o n which, i f r e a l i z e d , w i l l c o n t a i n b u t n o t d i s t o r t the p r o t a g o n i s t ' s p a s t ways o f s e e i n g . Lowry bases h i s f i c t i o n upon the e v e n t s he r e c o r d s i n h i s notebooks, u s i n g memory and i m a g i n a t i o n t o d i s c o v e r new meanings t o those e v e n t s . The notebooks i n c o r p o r a t e both Lowry's p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e and h i s p a s t e x p e r i e n c e o f w r i t i n g Under the V o l c a n o and Under the V o l c a n o , i n t u r n , r e c o r d s the events Lowry i n v e n t e d and so e x p e r i e n c e d when l i v i n g i n the p l a c e where the n o v e l i s s e t . C l e a r l y , an i m p o r t a n t element i n t h i s p r o c e s s i s an attempt t o a p p l y t o f i c t i o n Dunne's t h e o r y o f the means by which d i s t i n c t i o n s i n time c o l l a p s e and r e s o l v e i n t o u n i t y . The f a i l u r e o f the e d i t o r s t o u n d e r s t a n d the f i c t i o n ' s p r i m a r y t h r u s t s u r f a c e s , s p e c i f i c a l l y , i n e d i t i n g b l u n d e r s which undercut the method Lowry uses t o i n v e s t i g a t e h i s p a s t . Lowry's use o f a t h i r d person p o i n t o f view i s ' i t s e l f an e x periment w i t h p e r s p e c t i v e ; through i t he hopes to o b j e c t i f y the a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l elements o f h i s 52 notebooks. But i n the m a n s c r i p t Lowry o f t e n d i s c o v e r s t h a t he cannot s u s t a i n h i s detachment, and he i n d i c a t e s h i s a b s o r p t i o n i n t o the commanding r e a l i t y o f h i s m a t e r i a l when he breaks i n t o the f i r s t p erson p o i n t o f view i n the p r e s e n t t e n s e . T h i s c l o s e r e l a t i o n between the a u t h o r andhis m a t e r i a l i s smoothed o v e r i n the p u b l i s h e d t e x t : such " l a p s e s " i n r e a l i s t i c n a r r a t i v e a re r e s t o r e d t o the p o i n t o f view which Lowry found u n s u i t e d f o r r e n d e r i n g the m a t e r i a l a t hand. A f u r t h e r s h i f t i n emphasis, t h i s time a b r u t a l o n e , - r e s u l t s from the e d i t o r s ' h a n d l i n g o f r e p e t i t i v e p a s s a g e s . Many o f Lowry's r e f l e c t i o n s on l i f e , a r t , and the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s a re marked f o r s e v e r a l p o i n t s i n the n a r r a t i v e . They e v o l v e from the w r i t e r ' s r e f l e x i v e r e - e x p e r i e n c e o f e a r l i e r events and are attempts t o s y n t h e s i z e the Whole e x p e r i e n c e i n t o a u n i f i e d p a t t e r n . Y e t the a r b i t r a r y c u t t i n g o f a l l b ut one v e r s i o n o f s i m i l a r passages i m p l i e s t h a t the r e f l e c t i o n a c c o r d s t o a p a r t i c u l a r p o i n t i n Sigbj0rn's l i n e a r development, through p h y s i c a l a c t i o n , towards u n d e r s t a n d i n g . A l t h o u g h some i m p o r t a n t r e p e t i t i o n s a re n o t p l u c k e d from the t e x t , ^ the focus o f the novel (and i n d e e d f o c u s s i n g i n p e r s p e c t i v e i s the e n t i r e a c t i o n ) i s mutated. As a r e s u l t , one reads the p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n w i t h an eye t o d r a m a t i c i r o n y . A . r e a d e r i s made t o f e e l t h a t t h e r e i s something m i s s i n g i n each o f Sigbj0rn's "break- throu g h s " u n t i l the i m p o r t a n t M i t i a e p i s o d e , t h a t somehow Lowry i s c o n t r o l l i n g a s e r i e s o f u n i t s o f p e r c e p t u a l p a t t e r n t h a t d i f f e r s u b t l y i n k i n d , and t h a t the p o i n t o f the book l i e s p r e c i s e l y i n the d i f f e r e n c e between what Sigbj0rn i n i t i a l l y sees upon e n t e r i n g 53 Mexico and what he f i n a l l y comes t o see. These d i f f e r e n c e s , o f c o u r s e , are i m p o r t a n t , b u t n o t f o r the reasons o f d r a m a t i c e f f e c t . R ather, Lowry r e p e a t e d l y attempts to p i e c e t h i s p u z z l e t o g e t h e r , and i t i s h i s own sense t h a t he has f a i l e d t o c o n t r o l the u b i q u i t o u s p a t t e r n which i n f o r m s the whole t h a t accounts f o r the s i m i l a r i t y i n p a t t e r n s o f p e r c e p t i o n and the r e p e t i t i o n o f p a s s a g e s . Lowry does not c o n t r o l h i s n a r r a t i v e through d r a m a t i c e f f e c t s ; he l i v e s through i t . And r e p e t i t i o n , r e c u r r e n c e , and r e - c r e a t i o n i s i n t e g r a l to u n d e r s t a n d i n g and s y n t h e s i s , and t o t h e f c r e a t i v e "method which he a s p i r e s t o c a p t u r e . There i s a p a r a l l e l between S i g b j 0 r n ' s p r o g r e s s through p h y s i c a l t r a v e l and Lowry's development through the f i c t i o n - making p r o c e s s . Both, by e n t e r i n g the p a s t i n t h e i r own ways, seek a form which e n v e l o p s and o r d e r s the s p r a w l i n g dimensions o f t h e i r w o r l d s . But the p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n f a i l s t o make the fundamental d i s t i n c t i o n between the s e l e v e l s , and as a r e s u l t the secondary p h y s i c a l a c t i o n takes precedence o v e r Lowry's p r i m a r y p l a n e o f a c t i v i t y . The voyage h e r e , as i n almost a l l o f Lowry's f i c t i o n s , o c c u r s i n the mind o f the w r i t e r and i s a c t u a l i z e d through the medium o f language i n t o a r e n d e r i n g o f a p a t t e r n which c o r r e s p o n d s , i n the f i n i s h e d p r o d u c t , t o the f a c t s t h a t the book r e c o r d s . A c l e a r example o f t h i s m u t a t i o n and the importance o f i t i s m a n i f e s t e d i n the e d i t o r s ' c o m p a r t m e n t a l i z i n g o f the a c t i o n o f c h a p t e r s IV and V (and the s t r u c t u r i n g o f Dark As the Grave i n t o c h a p t e r s i s e n t i r e l y the c r e a t i o n o f the e d i t o r s ) i n t o 54 s e p a r a t e u n i t s . In the m a n u s c r i p t , the immediate a c t i o n o f Sigbj0rn's bus t r i p to Cuernevaca i s r e n d e r e d c o n c u r r e n t l y w i t h h i s r e f l e c t i o n s upon the p r e v i o u s month o f e x p e r i e n c e i n Mexico C i t y , thus i m p l y i n g an i n h e r e n t s i m i l a r i t y i n p a t t e r n between p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e and p a s t e x p e r i e n c e made p r e s e n t by memory. But the e d i t o r s , p r e s e r v i n g the l i n e a r temporal c o n s i s t e n c y o f the t r a d i t i o n a l novel form, have broken t h e s e p a r a l l e l a c t i o n s i n t o s e p a r a t e u n i t s . S i g b j t f r n ' s p a r a l l e l to Lowry i s e c l i p s e d : the r e a l p o i n t o f the passage, communicated by the o r i g i n a l form i n which Lowry chose t o re n d e r i t , i s l o s t . In the m a n u s c r i p t , Sigbj0rn, w h i l e p h y s i c a l l y moving f o r w a r d through l i n e a r t i m e , t r a v e l s , i n a more p r o f o u n d s e n s e , backwards i n time y e t forwards i n t o the p r e s e n t and i t s c o r r e s p o n d i n g r e - c r e a t i o n o f the p a s t . L i k e Lowry h i m s e l f , he f l u c t u a t e s between the s u b j e c t i v i t y o f immediate e x p e r i e n c e and an un t e n a b l e o b j e c t i v e v i e w p o i n t upon h i s p a s t : Here Lowry attempts t o f i n d a form t h a t , by i t s s h a p i n g power, conveys a r e a l i s t i c i m p r e s s i o n o f how the c r e a t i v e mind e x p e r i e n c e s time. The passage, as Lowry wrote i t , i s an exp e r i m e n t , and because i t makes f o r d i f f i c u l t r e a d i n g i t i s , perhaps, a f a i l u r e . But the e d i t o r s ' d e c i s i o n t o s h a t t e r the e x p e r i m e n t a l attempt and t o d i s t o r t both t h e p o i n t and the p o i n t o f view o f the passage i s i n d i c a t i v e o f the obdurate and i n f l e x i b l e adherence t o the t r a d i t i o n a l novel form which Lowry was t r y i n g to put be h i n d him. 55 At l e a s t p a r t o f Dark As the Grave's i n a b i l i t y t o t r a n s c e n d s i m p l i s t i c s t r u c t u r e , t h e n , can be a t t r i b u t e d t o the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i t undergoes i n the hands o f M a r g e r i e Lowry and Douglas Day. The p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n i s t h e i r " n o v e l , " and as a novel i t deserves to be e v a l u a t e d by i t s e f f e c t i v e n e s s , o r the l a c k o f i t , i n communicating from w i t h i n i t s own form. But f o r the answer t o the more i n t e r e s t i n g q u e s t i o n o f what c o n s t i t u t e s Lowry's e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n w i t h f i c t i o n , c r i t i c s must t u r n to the f i c t i o n Lowry r e a l l y wrote. The manu- s c r i p t o f Dark.As the Grave marks an i n t e r m e d i a t e p o i n t i n a p r o c e s s o f the e v o l u t i o n o f a form. The i n i t i a l form i s d e f i n e d by the means by which Lowry f i r s t r e c o r d e d events i n h i s j o u r n a l , and the j o u r n a l form remains the s h a p i n g p r i n c i p l e o f the work. Dark As the Grave i s an attempt t o expand the dimensions i n h e r e n t i n . t h e f i c t i o n a l j o u r n a l form, and the work a c h i e v e s i t s u n i t y through i t s adherence to the method o f f i c t i o n - m a k i n g which r i p e n s o r g a n i c a l l y from the seed from which i t s p r i n g s : the j o u r n a l form. A c c o r d i n g t o O r t e g a , e x p e r i e n c e i s i t s e l f a c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , a and from t h i s maxim Lowry d i s c o v e r s a means o f c o n n e c t i n g the d r a m a t i z e d a c t i o n w i t h the o p e r a t i o n s o f h i s i m a g i n a t i o n when he' w r i t e s . S i g b j j i r h ' s p e r c e p t u a l p a t t e r n s i n l i f e t r a n s l a t e i n t o the j o u r n a l form through Lowry's f i r s t - p e r s o n r e c o r d o f h i s own e x p e r i e n c e s i n h i s notebook. But Lowry attempts t o r e s o l v e the e n t i r e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the p a r a l l e l between h i s p a s t and p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e s i n Mexico from a p e r s p e c t i v e c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n a s e r i e s o f e v e n t s . He s e a r c h e s f o r a p a t t e r n which i s not y e t a p p a r e n t 56 t o him, and s i n c e he remains bound to a l i n e a r t i m e scheme when he r e c o r d s h i s e x p e r i e n c e s i n h i s j o u r n a l , h i s s e a r c h r e p e a t e d l y ends i n f a i l u r e . T h i s i s the f a c t o f Lowry's own e x p e r i e n c e , and, when Lowry l a t e r d e l v e s i n t o h i s notebooks f o r m a t e r i a l f o r Dark As the Grave, he o b j e c t i f i e s h i s own e x p e r i e n c e i n the n a r r a t i v e o f Sigbj0rn. The problem w i t h Sigbj0rn's way o f s e e i n g , t h e n , i s p r e c i s e l y t h a t problem which Lowry e n c o u n t e r s i n j o u r n a l i s m . The c o n n e c t i o n i s a p p o s i t e , n o t o n l y because o f Ortega's t h e o r y c o n c e r n i n g the s i m i l a r i t y between the c r e a t i o n o f a r t and the c r e a t i o n o f l i f e , b u t because Sigbj0rn h i m s e l f i s d r a m a t i z e d as a w r i t e r , and h i s problems w i t h l i v i n g a r e i n h e r e n t l y c o n n e c t e d to h i s problems w i t h w r i t i n g . M e t a p h o r i c a l l y , Lowry i s a t t e m p t i n g t o apprehend the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the e n t i r e p u z z l e from the app a r e n t c o n t o u r s o f the Ch i n e s e box which c i r c u m s c r i b e s any p r e s e n t moment. The f i c t i o n takes i t s a c t i o n from the p e r s p e c t i v e i n h e r e n t w i t h i n the a c t i v i t y o f j o u r n a l w r i t i n g , and from t h i s v i e w p o i n t i t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t the d r a m a t i c o r k i n e t i c a c t i o n o f the book does not d e v e l o p . S i n c e each day r e c o r d e d i n the j o u r n a l i s an i s o l a t e d u n i t o f time used by the a u t h o r t o approach the t o t a l e x p e r i e n c e and'to attempt to r e s o l v e i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e , and s i n c e the j o u r n a l remains the s t r u c t u r i n g p r i n c i p l e o f the w r i t i n g s which are i n the p r o c e s s o f e v o l v i n g towards f i c t i o n a l u n i t y , the a c t i o n o f the " n o v e l " s u r f a c e s i n i s o l a t e d u n i t s d e s i g n e d to d e f i n e the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the e n t i r e book. The o n l y r e a l 57 development i s i n the p r o c e s s towards a p r o j e c t e d d e f i n i t i v e s t a t e - ment which Lowry undergoes. In the d r a m a t i z e d a c t i o n , t h i s p r o c e s s i s m a n i f e s t e d i n Sigbj0rn's attempt to d e f i n e h i s whole l i f e and t o c o n v e r t i n t o c o n s c i o u s n e s s the p e r c e p t u a l p a t t e r n which P r i m r o s e u n c o n s c i o u s l y p a r t i c i p a t e s i n : And a g a i n she was, as i t were, h e r s e l f a p e r c e p t i v e - ness o f l i f e , h i s p e r c e p t i v e n e s s o f what l i f e remained t o him. She was a pers o n whose c r e a t i v e p e r c e p t i o n was s i m p l y t h a t o f c r e a t i v e l i f e and l i v i n g , n o t a w r i t e r ( b u t as a w r i t e r would be, so to speak, i f he d i d n o t have t o w r i t e ) b u t a pers o n who l o v e s ' l i f e . T h i s was the c o n t r a s t -- how much b e t t e r she observes i t than he; " L i f e " — who l i v e s h e r c r e a t i v e l i f e i n the l i v i n g o f l i f e , i s thus a t t r a c t e d t o the person who can take h e r f o r m l e s s v a s t c r e a t i v e p r i n c i p l e and g i v e i t form and a mould. (.. . . the book i s v a l u e l e s s , u n l e s s i t can be made c l e a r t h a t S i g b j t f r n and t o a l e s s e r degree P r i m r o s e h e r s e l f -- b u t very much more Sigbj0rn -- i s s t r i v i n g t o g i v e a c e n t r e t o t h e i r l i v e s , i n t h i s r e s p e c t , W i l l i a m James' V a r i e t y o f R e l i g i o u s E x p e r i e n c e , e s p e c i a l l y the c h a p t e r on C o n v e r s i o n , s h o u l d be the whole book's b i b l e ) . A l s o re t h i s -- have Sigbj0rn r e a l i s e the i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f amending h i s l i f e by h i m s e l f . A r e a d e r who f o c u s e s s o l e l y upon the t h e m a t i c a c t i o n o f the f i c t i o n w i l l e n c o u n t e r o n l y the r e p e t i t i o n o f Sigbj0rn's attempt t o c e n t r e h i s l i f e i n a v a r i e t y o f u n i n t e r e s t i n g f a c t u a l a p p l i c a t i o n s . But a r e a d e r who, w i t h Lowry, seeks t h e p a t t e r n which L i f e , the Gr e a t N o v e l i s t , o f f e r s t o the j o u r n a l i s t , o r to anyone who s e a r c h e s f o r the meaning b e h i n d day t o day a c t i v i t y , w i l l become a co- au t h o r i n the f i c t i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s . Lowry's development through the book w i l l p a r a l l e l the r e a d e r ' s own, and, i f the voyage i s s u c c e s s f u l , the pr o c e s s w i l l r e s o l v e i t s e l f i n a t r a n s f e r o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g from a u t h o r t o r e a d e r r a t h e r than i n the b r i n g i n g 58 t o g e t h e r o f n a r r a t i v e t h r e a d s i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h the p a t t e r n which u n i f i e s the t r a d i t i o n a l novel form. The p r o c e s s o f r e a d i n g Dark As the Grave i s b e s t d e s c r i b e d by Lowry's own metaphor r e n d e r e d i n "Through the Panama." The s t r u c t u r i n g p r i n c i p l e o f . t h e j o u r n a l form h o l d s i t s shape i n the r e s u l t i n g , a l t h o u g h n o t f i n i s h e d , p r o d u c t : i s o l a t e d u n i t s des- c r i b i n g a p e r c e p t i v e p r o c e s s are r e n d e r e d i n a s e r i e s * and l i k e l o c k s i n the c a n a l they are b a s i c a l l y s i m i l a r , d i f f e r i n g o n l y i n the space they occupy and the time i n which they are e n c o u n t e r e d . And j u s t as l o c k s i n a canal have a b a s i c shape shape o r form, the i s o l a t e d u n i t s o f Dark As the Grave s h a r e a s i m i l a r p a t t e r n . A p a s s e n g e r through the Panama Canal can i m a g i n a t i v e l y c o n s t r u c t the form o f a " l o c k " by r e p e a t e d l y e n c o u n t e r i n g a v a r i e t y o f p h y s i c a l a p p l i c a t i o n s o f " l o c k s ; " the e x p e r i e n c e a l l o w s the c o l l a t i o n o f images i n t o an a p p r o x i m a t i o n o f the a r c h i t e c t ' s b l u e - 12 p r i n t . Lowry's r e a d e r , l i k e S i g b j ^ r n , i s meant t o "come to see" the p a t t e r n which i n f o r m s the a c t i o n through a s i m i l a r p r o c e s s o f i m a g i n a t i v e c o l l a t i o n . As i n "Through the Panama," the p r i n c i p l e guidi'ng the w r i t e r ' s a r t o f communication i s t h a t o f montage, and Dark As the Grave i s e n t i r e l y s t a t i c . Each p a t t e r n o f p e r - c e p t i o n t h a t i s r e n d e r e d i s an i s o l a t e d quantum, as complete as any a p p l i c a t i o n o f an i m a g i n a t i v e c o n s t r u c t can p o s s i b l y be, and t h e s e quanta f u n c t i o n as a u t h o r i a l g u i d e l i n e s f o r the r e a d e r ' s c o n s t r u c t i o n o f an i m p l i e d image. T h i s image cannot be mapped 59 because i t i s i t s e l f a p a t t e r n o r a p r o c e s s through time. And the method f o r r e n d e r i n g must be j u x t a p o s i t i o n a l n o t o n l y because the j o u r n a l form i s i n h e r e n t l y d i s c o n n e c t e d , b u t because t r a n s i t i o n a l c o n n e c t i v e s abnegate the shock v a l u e which s e t s the r e a d e r ' s own i m a g i n a t i v e p r o c e s s e s i n motion.' Lowry s e t s the p a t t e r n o f p e r c e p t i o n which u n i f i e s the i s o l a t e d u n i t s o f the f i c t i o n i n the f i r s t paragraph o f Dark As the Grave. W i t h i n the i n h e r e n t u n i t y o f the s i n g l e s e n t e n c e Lowry attempts t o b u i l d through the medium o f words a s t r u c t u r e t h a t o r d e r s the con t o u r s o f the j o u r n a l i s t ' s p e r s p e c t i v e . L i k e h i s p r o t a g o n i s t , t o whom the p e r c e p t i o n i s a c c r e d i t e d , . L o w r y , as he w r i t e s , moves p h y s i c a l l y f o r w a r d through time, but h i s s u b j e c t c a l l s him.con- t i n u a l l y deeper i n t o the p a s t . Thus he c o u n t e r p o i n t s "the sense 13 o f speed" t h a t takes him f o r w a r d a g a i n s t a p a r a l l e l motion o f "tremendous r e g r e s s i o n " (p. 1) i n time ; i d e a l l y , he can fuse t h e s e two d i s p a r a t e a c t i o n s w i t h i n a form t h a t c o n t a i n s t h i s t e n s i o n i n d i r e c t i o n . Lowry r e p r e s e n t s the j o u r n a l i s t ' s p e r s p e c t i v e s p a t i a l l y . The a e r o p l a n e on which he t r a v e l s a l l o w s the d r a m a t i s e d p e r c e i v e r to view a huge p o r t i o n o f the Mexican la n d s c a p e and t o attempt t o d i s c o v e r the s i g n i f i c a n c e t h a t the macrocosmic v i s i o n embodies. But, l i k e the j o u r n a l i s t who a s p i r e s towards a v i s i o n o f a whole from the l i m i t e d p o i n t o f view o f a s i n g l e day, S i g b j 0 r n and Lowry are c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n the form o f the medium i n which th e y r e s p e c t i v e l y t r a v e l , and they cannot break "beyond the b a r r i e r " (p. 2) t h a t form imposes: 60 . . . the dim shadow o f the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f what they were d o i n g t h a t S i g b j t f r n h e l d i n h i s mind: and y e t i t was p o s s i b l e to f o c u s o n l y on t h a t shadow, and a t t h a t f o r o n l y s h o r t p e r i o d s : they were e n c l o s e d by the t h i n g i t s e l f . . . a moving, d e a f e n i n g , c o n t i n u a l l y renewed t i m e - d e f e a t i n g d e s t i n y by which they were e n c l o s e d b u t o f which they were a b l e to see o n l y the i n s i d e . . . (p. 1) The p e r c e p t u a l p a t t e r n r e p r e s e n t e d f o l l o w s the p e r c e i v e r ' s attempt to s y n t h e s i s e the e n t i r e f i e l d o f p r e s e n t a t i o n which he p r o c e e d s , from an i n i t i a l p e r c e p t i o n , t o r e c o g n i z e . But even as Lowry's words s p i n on and h i s c h a r a c t e r s t r i v e s towards t o t a l v i s i o n , the p o s s i b i l i t y o f b r e a k t h r o u g h r e c e d e s , and the a u t h o r d i r e c t s h i s c h a r a c t e r i n t o a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the " c r a s h i n g f a i l u r e " (p. 2) o f the attempt. Matthew C o r r i g a n observes t h a t the f a i l u r e o f Lowry's c h a r a c t e r s i n the d r i v e towards d i s c o v e r y evokes a c o r r e s p o n d i n g response o f f r u s t r a t i o n i n h i s r e a d e r s : U s u a l l y , the c h a r a c t e r i s r e f l e c t i n g on some v i s i b l e phenomenon, something whose c o n t o u r s he has n o t i c e d f o r the f i r s t time. Suddenly, we a r e moving through the v i s i b l e to the i n v i s i b l e . We are i n h a b i t i n g m a t t e r , p r o c e s s . L i n k s , c o r r e s p o n d e n c e s , e v o l v e , or r a t h e r are o b s e r v e d , f o r i t i s v e r y much a p a s s i v e s u r v e i l l a n c e t h a t t h i s roaming c o n s c i o u s n e s s e n a c t s . And always, the moment i s h i n g e d w i t h d i s c o v e r y , w i t h the e x p e c t a t i o n o f d i s c o v e r y . We f e e l t h a t we are r o u n d i n g the bend o r s e e i n g beyond the m i s t : t h a t something g e n u i n e l y new awaits us. And always, what awaits us i s f u r t h e r c o r r e s p o n d e n c e s , a k i n d o f pure symmetry which moves to become the u n i v e r s e . ^ The opening paragraph r e c o r d s the e n t i r e p a t t e r n t h a t u n i f i e s t h e i s o l a t e d and s t a t i c - u n i t s . Lowry s i m p l y r e - a c t i v a t e s the d r i v e to t r a n s c e n d the j o u r n a l i s t ' s p e r s p e c t i v e i n a v a r i e t y o f f a c t u a l s i t u a t i o n s , and the remainder o f the book c h r o n i c l e s 61 the m a n i f e s t a t i o n - o f t h i s p a t t e r n i n f u r t h e r a p p l i c a t i o n s . The i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f p e r c e i v i n g the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the whole from a p e r s p e c t i v e c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n an i n t e g r a l p a r t i s d r a m a t i z e d s p a t i a l l y on the p l a n e ( c h a p t e r s I and I I I , p. 6 9 ) , i n L a r u e l l e ' s tower (p. 185), a t Monte Alban (pp. 226-28), and a t M i t l a . In each e p i s o d e the p e r c e i v e r , though a p p a r e n t l y l i b e r a t e d i n s p a c e , f i n d s h i m s e l f i m p r i s o n e d i n the l i m i t a t i o n s o f a s i n g l e p o i n t o f view, and the epiphany t h a t i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y a f f o r d e d by mountain- top v i s i o n does not o c c u r . "La U n i v e r s a l " ( t h e w o r l d ) remains u n a v a i l a b l e t o the a r t i s t i n h i s tower (p. 131); S i g b j 0 r n i s i m p r i s o n e d w i t h i n h i s own space and t i m e , and Lowry, t o o , remains " e n c l o s e d i n h i s own book"'(p. 195). The t e n s i o n s i n h e r e n t i n the j o u r n a l i s t ' s problems w i t h time are d r a m a t i s e d i n the book's many t r a v e l l i n g e p i s o d e s . T o t a l awareness o f s i g n i f i c a n c e , which i n c l u d e s the f u t u r e , e l u d e s Lowry's i m a g i n a t i v e r e t r o s p e c t i o n ; " s e t t i n g o u t i n t o the f u t u r e " remains i r r e c o n c i l a b l e w i t h the attempt to a c c o m p l i s h i t by " s e t t i n g out smack i n t o the p a s t " (p. 29). Prose i s i n h e r e n t l y l i n e a r and c o n s e q u e n t l y t h i s p a t t e r n must be d r a m a t i z e d i n a s e r i e s , but the p a t t e r n never develops beyond the b o u n d a r i e s s e t upon i t i n the opening paragraph. The a c t i o n o f Dark As the Grave must be r e a d as a s e r i e s o f s t a t i c u n i t s , each o f which m a n i f e s t s a s i m i l a r p a t t e r n . And the r e a d e r must work through the s e r i e s o f d r a m a t i s e d , f a c t u a l a p p l i c a t i o n s o f t h i s p a t t e r n which the book p r e s e n t s and a r r i v e a t the message Lowry i s communicating. Dark As the Grave i s Lowry's c o n f e s s i o n 62 o f the i n h e r e n t problems o f p e r s p e c t i v e i n the j o u r n a l i s t i c endeavour. In i t , Lowry c r i e s out f o r sympathy and u n d e r s t a n d i n g -- the r e a d e r ' s own awareness o f the i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f moulding a new form from the p a t t e r n imposed by the o l d e s t form o f p r o s e : the l e d g e r , the r e c o r d , the c h r o n i c l e , o r the form which c o n t a i n s them al1: the j o u r n a l . The r e a d i n g o f Dark As the Grave as Lowry's own attempt to a r r e s t a k i n e t i c p e r c e p t u a l p a t t e r n i n words t h a t form s t a t i c and i s o l a t e d u n i t s f o c u s e s the n a r r a t i v e r a t h e r than the d r a m a t i s e d a c t i o n as the p r i m a r y l e v e l o f a c t i v i t y o f - t h e f i c t i o n . From t h i s c r i t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e stems the awareness t h a t i n Dark.As the Grave the formal p r o c e s s e s used t o c r e a t e the f i c t i o n them- s e l v e s p o s s e s s the t h e m a t i c meaning.' Lowry's use o f a t h i r d person p o i n t o f view t o r e n d e r a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l m a t e r i a l h e i g h t e n s the t e n s i o n i n h e r e n t i n the r e l a t i o n between n a r r a t o r and p r o t a g o n i s t . J u s t as Sigbj0rn r e p r e s e n t s Lowry i n a n o t h e r space and time, o r i n a n o t h e r l o c k i n the m e t a p h o r i c a l c a n a l , the n a r r a t o r , t h e m a t i c a l l y , 15 r e p r e s e n t s Sigbj0rn h i m s e l f a t a l a t e r s t a g e o f development. In Dr. H i p p o l y t e ' s words to S i g b j ^ r n , Lowry h i m s e l f e s t a b l i s h e s t h a t the theme o f s e p a r a t i o n and the theme o f the o v e r l a p p i n g o f the f i c t i o n a l and f a c t u a l p l a n e s o f a c t i v i t y are p o s s e s s e d by the n a r r a t i v e p r o c e s s e s o f t h i s f i c t i o n . Here the p r i e s t c o r r e s p o n d s to the n a r r a t o r and the dancers t o h i s c h a r a c t e r s , b u t i n the dance, which r e p r e s e n t s the e v o l v i n g p r o c e s s o f the book i t s e l f , 63 p r i e s t and dancer, a t p o i n t s o f i n t e n s i t y , become one: "But remember what I t o l d you, Sigbj0rn. In Voodoo, t h e r e i s a g r e a t l e s s o n . T h e r e i s d i s c i p l i n e . The dancers do not l e a v e the b l a z i n g c i r c l e . I f y ou l i k e to c a l l i t neuroses t h a t they get r i d o f then t h a t i s what they do. And even i f the p r i e s t becomes p o s s e s s e d , the ceremony goes on. A b e l l i s rung when i t has reac h e d a c e r t a i n p o i n t beyond which i t might become dangerous. You have t o be y o u r own p r i e s t and r i n g y o u r own b e l l . Yes, I w i l l t e l l y o u . You ar e p o s s e s s e d too . You are p o s s e s s e d by Sigbj0rn W i l d e r n e s s . But no t by Baron Samedi no r y e t by Papa Legba, the M i n i s t e r o f the I n t e r i o r o f Death. You are p o s s e s s e d , .by Sigbj0rn W i l d e r n e s s . T h a t i s t o say, Sigbj0rn i s p o s s e s s e d by W i l d e r n e s s . T h a t ' s a l l r i g h t t o o , though y o u have t o make up y o u r mi rid whom you p r e f e r . " (pp. 151-52) T h i s passage a l s o p o i n t s towards what Lowry i s a t t e m p t i n g t o a c c o m p l i s h i n Dark As the Grave. The s t r a n g e r e l a t i o n between an a u t h o r and h i s f i c t i o n a l w o r l d must be communicated, but f i n a l l y the n a r r a t i v e and the d r a m a t i s e d a c t i o n must remain i n t h e i r s e p a r a t e and i n d e p e n d e n t u n i t s , a l t h o u g h the p a t t e r n communicated by both l e v e l s o f a c t i v i t y i s s i m i l a r . As i n "Through the Panama," Lowry t r i e s here t o communicate a u n i f y i n g p a t t e r n i n both t h e pr o c e s s o f l i v i n g and the p r o c e s s o f c r e a t i n g f i c t i o n ; he f i n d s s u p p o r t f o r t h i s i n the p h i l o s o p h y o f O r t e g a , who c o n c e p t u a l i z e s t h e two p r o c e s s e s as stemming from the same c r e a t i v e d i s p o s i t i o n . I d e a l l y , what i s r e p r e s e n t e d i n the p r o c e s s o f l i v i n g , d r a m a t i s e d i n S i g b j ^ r n , must n o t o n l y as an analogy c o r r o b o r a t e the p r o c e s s o f f i c t i o n a l c r e a t i o n m a n i f e s t e d by the means i n which Lowry w r i t e s , b u t i t must adhere t o Lowry's sense o f the means by which one t r u l y e x p e r i e n c e s l i f e . I f what Dark As the Grave r e p r e s e n t s i s t r u e , then Lowry must r e p r e s e n t t h i s t r u t h i n both f a c t and - 64 f i c t i o n , and both the d r a m a t i s e d a c t i o n and the c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y o f the n a r r a t o r must promote the r e a d e r ' s awareness o f t h i s same t r u t h . U s i n g Lowry's own metaphor, the two p l a n e s o f a c t i v i t y can be c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as p a r a l l e l y e t s e p a r a t e roads which i n d e p e n d e n t l y guide the voyager t o the same p o i n t . In the t r a v e l l i n g p r o c e s s , however, the two o c c a s i o n a l l y come t o g e t h e r , and the t r a v e l l e r •s i s a f f o r d e d a glimpse o f the i n h e r e n t u n i t y i n the p a t t e r n i n which the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f i n l i f e ' s v a r i e t y o f a c t i v i t y and e x p e r i e n c e s . Oaxaca i n d e e d -- even though he had approached i t b e f o r e by t h a t o l d p a r a l l e l r o a d (though they had now l o s t i t ) ; perhaps a t t h i s p o i n t , t h e two [ r o a d s ] had merged once more, so t h a t now p a s t and p r e s e n t and f u t u r e were one . . . (p. 214) N e e d l e s s t o s a y , the p a t t e r n m a n i f e s t e d i n the p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n o f Dark As the Grave f a l l s s h o r t o f the i d e a l p a t t e r n t h a t Lowry a s p i r e s toward. I f Lowry had h i m s e l f completed the work he might have found a means o f p a r a l l e l i n g the d r a m a t i s e d a c t i o n w i t h the n a r r a t o r ' s a c t i v i t y i n w r i t i n g w i t h o u t u n d e r c u t t i n g the f i c t i o n ' s p r i m a r y t h r u s t . As i t i s , the two a c t i o n s are most e f f e c t i v e o n l y i n t h a t they r e s c u e the f i c t i o n from the e n t i r e dominance o f e i t h e r one o f them. Yet the r e a l problem 16 w i t h t h i s f i c t i o n a l attempt i s one t h a t Matthew C o r r i g a n a r t i c u l a t e s : t he d r a m a t i s e d a c t i o n o f the work must s e r v e two masters and con- s e q u e n t l y can be f a i t h f u l t o n e i t h e r o f them. The f a c t s as t h e y a r e i n i t i a l l y e x p e r i e n c e d , and as they are r e c o r d e d i n the notebooks, command a p a t t e r n t h a t does not always run p a r a l l e l t o the p a t t e r n 65 Lowry d i s c o v e r s when he r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y r e - e x p e r i e n c e s the f i c t i o n ' s p a s t m a t e r i a l through the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s . The j o u r n a l i s t ' s i n a b i l i t y t o grasp e n t i r e l y the s i g n i f i c a n c e t h a t l a t e r a n a l y s i s w i l l a f f o r d to p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e becomes the t e n s i o n t h a t u l t i m a t e l y d e f e a t s Dark As the Grave. In w r i t i n g o f the e x p e r i e n c e , Lowry must a l l o w the l a y e r s o f s i g n i f i c a n c e d i s c o v e r e d from both p a s t and p r e s e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s to come i n t o p l a y , and t o o o f t e n i n a passage he attempts t o a c c o m p l i s h too much. N e i t h e r p a t t e r n a c h i e v e s i t s " b r e a k t h r o u g h " because e i t h e r the p a s t o r the p r e s e n t meaning h o l d s i t back. And as a r e s u l t , n e i t h e r the d r a m a t i s e d a c t i o n n o r the n a r r a t o r ' s a c t i v i t y e f f e c t i v e l y develops beyond the p a t t e r n manifested' i n the opening paragraph o f the f i c t i o n . F u r t h e r a n a l y s i s c o u l d o n l y i n c r e a s e the d i s t a n c e between the i d e a l l y p a r a l l e l t r a c k s , and perhaps t h i s i s one reason why Lowry n e v e r completed the book. Lowry seems aware o f t h i s , however, f o r i n Dark As the Grave he f i n a l l y t u r n s to a n a l y s i n g the p r o c e s s o f the book i t s e l f . He becomes s e l f - r e f l e x i v e , aware t h a t he i s c r e a t i n g s t a t i c a r t d e s p i t e h i s sense t h a t "the u n i v e r s e i t s e l f . . . i s i n the p r o c e s s o f c r e a t i o n " (p. 154). He a p p e a l s to images t h a t w i l l r e l e a s e h i s f i c t i o n from i t s i n h e r e n t t e n s i o n s i n much the same manner as he r e s o l v e s "Ghostkeeper" w i t h Tom Goodheart's f l e e t i n g v i s i o n o f a g h o s t l y b a l l e t . F i n a l l y , the a r t o f the book a c h i e v e s i t s development i n Lowry's i n c r e a s i n g u n d e r s t a n d i n g of, the n a t u r e o f h i s new form, and as Lowry t u r n s t o w r i t i n g about h i s own w r i t i n g the r e a d e r e n t e r s i n t o the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s i t s e l f . Rather than d e v e l o p i n g images from the 66 book's own d i m e n s i o n s , Lowry imports e x t e r n a l images i n t o h i s n a r r a t i v e : t h e s e are images o f forms t h a t r e p r e s e n t the i d e a l of where Dark As the Grave s h o u l d go, and through them the f i c t i o n r e a l i s e s a k i n e t i c dimension. Lowry's r e l i a n c e upon images o f h i s new form t h a t , r a t h e r than d e v e l o p i n g from p e r c e p t i o n s he e x p e r i e n c e s w h i l e t r a v e l l i n g i n Mexico, are i n v e n t i o n s o f h i s i m a g i n a t i o n i n d e p e n d e n t o f h i s e a r l i e r e x p e r i e n c e , s u g g e s t s t h a t even w i t h i n the book t h a t the a u t h o r h i m s e l f had w r i t t e n , Lowry had e f f e c t i v e l y g i v e n up. By u s i n g them as r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l g u i d e l i n e s towards h i s r e a d e r ' s awareness o f h i s new form, Lowry wrote a g a i n s t h i s own i d e a l o f the p e r f e c t harmony between the p r o c e s s o f l i v i n g and the l a t e r p r o c e s s o f w r i t i n g about i t . The f a c t s as they were i n i t i a l l y e x p e r i e n c e d gave the w r i t e r no adequate framework.for a metaphor t h a t c o u l d graph the r e l a t i o n between n a r r a t o r and p r o t a g o n i s t t h a t Dark As the Grave was i n t e n d e d t o t r a c e . As a r e s u l t , Lowry t u r n e d t o h i s l a t e r e x p e r i e n c e s i n H a i t i and used Dr. H i p p o l y t e , a t b e s t a f o r c e - f i t t e d c h a r a c t e r , t o make h i s p o i n t f o r h i m . ^ The Mexico e x p e r i e n c e a f f o r d e d Lowry ample o p p o r t u n i t y to t r a c e the p a t t e r n which u n i f i e s h i s c h a r a c t e r ' s s e p a r a t e a c t i o n s . But a g a i n the metaphor Lowry found most a p p r o p r i a t e f o r t h i s p a t t e r n a p p e a l e d to a place, and time o u t s i d e Dark As the Grave's s e t t i n g -- E r i d a n u s , where the r o l l o f the t i d e s i n h e r e n t l y communicates the p a t t e r n o f " d i s a s t e r , r e a c t i o n , d e t e r m i n a t i o n to 67 t r a n s c e n d d i s a s t e r , s u c c e s s , f a i l u r e " (p. 169) which the f i c t i o n ' s d r a m a t i s e d and n a r r a t i v e a c t i o n f a i l s t o convey e f f e c t i v e l y . Dark As the Grave was d e s i g n e d as a form which c o n t a i n e d the e x p e r i e n c e o f mental t r a v e l l i n g as i t r e a l l y o c c u r r e d , a t l e a s t a c c o r d i n g t o Dunne. S p e c i f i c a l l y , i n h i s ac c o u n t o f the bus t r i p t o Cuernevaca, l a t e r s e p a r a t e d by the e d i t o r s i n t o c h a p t e r s IV and V, Lowry a s p i r e d to communicate the paradox o f t r a v e l l i n g p h y s i c a l l y f o r w a r d i n t o the f u t u r e y e t m e n t a l l y i n t o the p a s t , b u t the r e s u l t i s c h a o t i c and u n r e a d a b l e . Lowry compensated w i t h an a c c o u n t o f a poem, p a r t o f which i s i n the m a n u s c r i p t , which would communicate p r e c i s e l y t h i s paradox through the n a t u r e o f i t s form: a s e s t i n a o f ten v e r s e s where the l a s t l i n e o f the second v e r s e rhymes w i t h the opening l i n e o f the f i r s t ( p. 16-17). F u r t h e r , Lowry a s p i r e d towards k i n e t i c a c t i o n i n Dark As the Grave t h a t d i d : n o t depend on the t r a d i t i o n a l n o v e l ' s mode o f p l o t p r o g r e s s i o n . A t some p o i n t he r e a l i s e d t h a t h i s f i c t i o n had become a s e r i e s o f s t a t i c u n i t s which i m p l i e d k i n e s i s , b u t f o r Lowry s i m p l e i m p l i c a t i o n was not enough: i t e v i d e n c e d h i s f a i l u r e t o master h i s new form. He responded w i t h an image and a d e v i c e l a t e r r e - u s e d i n "Ghostkeeper": a v i s i o n o f h i s s e p a r a t e f e a r s as dancers making a b a l l e t o f s e l v e s (p. 13). Here the s e p a r a t e a s p e c t s o f h i m s e l f are imagined i n a c o n s t a n t p r o c e s s o f f l u x where t h e i r r e l a t i o n t o each o t h e r a l t e r e d i n space and time b ut the whole i s f u s e d i n an unbreakable form t h a t has permanence o f d u r a t i o n and the s t a b i l i t y o f an i m p l i e d c h o r e o g r a p h e r . And 68 Lowry's concept o f c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , where c h a r a c t e r s f a c t o r as a s p e c t s o f a c e n t r a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s y e t , u n l i k e the n o m i n a l i s t ' s b e l i e f , p r e s e r v e t h e i r s e p a r a t e i d e n t i t i e s , f a i l e d , to m a t e r i a l i s e i n Dark As the Grave as i t had so s u c c e s s f u l l y i n Under the V o l c a n o . Lowry t u r n e d t o m u s i c a l c o m p o s i t i o n as a s t r u c t u r i n g p r i n c i p l e t o show h i s r e a d e r s what he had t r i e d to do: "At one c o n c e r t [ S i g b j 0 r n ] had h e a r d Beethoven's N i n t h Symphony whose mighty harmonies merely gave the i m p r e s s i o n w h i l e l i s t e n i n g t h a t he wanted t o do the same t h i n g i n p r o s e " .'.(p. 30). The a l l u s i o n works i n a way t h a t the f a c t u a l l e v e l o f Dark As the Grave does n o t . In Beethoven's symphony v o i c e s are e s t a b l i s h e d and r e p e a t e d i n d i f f e r e n t c o n t e x t s i n the f i r s t t h r e e movements, and then i n the l a s t movement are f u s e d i n t o a f i n a l u n i t y where each s t r a i n , f o r m e r l y a complete e n t i t y i n i t s e l f , becomes a p a r t o f a g e n e r a l r e f r a i n so s i m p l e y e t complete and s t r u c t u r e d t h a t , through i t s b a s i c form, the p i e c e seems t o take o f f , or to " b r e a k t h r o u g h " i n t o t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s m . In a l l o f t h e s e images Lowry drew s o l e l y from h i s mental o p e r a t i o n s i n the w r i t i n g p r o c e s s and a f t e r the f a c t a c c r e d i t e d them t o h i s p r o t a g o n i s t . Only i n t h i s way c o u l d he l i b e r a t e h i m s e l f from the f a c t s r e c o r d e d i n h i s notebooks and f o c u s upon the r e a l i s a t i o n o f p r o c e s s i t s e l f i n an a r t i s t i c a p p l i c a t i o n . A s i g n i f i c a n t i r o n y i n Dark As the Grave i s t h a t the j o u r n a l form, which g i v e s Lowry a means and a method f o r c r e a t i n g u n i f i e d f i c t i o n , becomes, i n the manner Lowry extends i t h e r e , the p r i s o n 69 from which the "new form" cannot escape and take f u l l f l i g h t . When Lowry c r e a t e s h i s images and draws h i s p a t t e r n s n o t from the r e c o r d which accords t o the a s p e c t o f h i m s e l f as h a l f - a w a r e e x p e r i e n c e r and j o u r n a l - w r i t e r b u t from h i s f u l l y aware r o l e as independent f i c t i o n w r i t e r , h i s f i c t i o n p a r t i a l l y succeeds i n r e n d e r i n g a k i n e t i c development. These images a l l o w the r e a d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d where Lowry.hopes t o go i n Dark As the Grave and to examine the w r i t i n g p r o c e s s e s he e x e r c i s e s i n the attempt. Thus each s t a t i c u n i t o f the f i c t i o n can be r e a d not f o r i t s d r a m a t i c e f f e c t b u t as a r e c o r d o f an experiment which the a u t h o r has undertaken and which the r e a d e r , as f e l l o w t r a v e l l e r , e x p e r i e n c e s i n the p r e s e n t t e n s e . And t h e s e images, when viewed i n t h e i r c o n t e x t u a l r e l a t i o n to Lowry's o t h e r w r i t i n g s , f u n c t i o n t o c l a r i f y what Lowry was r e a l l y t r y i n g to a c c o m p l i s h i n f i c t i o n . A l t h o u g h t h e y appeal t o s i t u a t i o n s o u t s i d e Dark As the Grave's b o u n d a r i e s and i n h e r e n t l y mark the f a i l u r e o f the book t o r e a l i s e what Lowry hoped t o a c c o m p l i s h i n i t , they g i v e Lowry a key to the l i b e r a t i o n o f the new form which h i s l a t e r w r i t i n g s more n e a r l y approach. The b a l l e t metaphor t r a n s f o r m s from a c a t a l o g u e o f f e a r s and f a i l u r e s i n Dark As the Grave i n t o an i m p l i e d p o i n t o f r e s o l u t i o n i n "Ghostkeeper." H i p p o l y t e ' s homily and the p o e t i c form Lowry d e s c r i b e s become, r e s p e c t i v e l y , a s h a p i n g p r i n c i p l e f o r the c a n a l metaphor and a c o n t a i n i n g p r i n c i p l e f o r the j o u r n a l form i n "Through the Panama." And the image o f Beethoven's symphony t r a n s f o r m s i n t o a t h e m a t i c u n i f y i n g p r i n c i p l e i n " F o r e s t Path t o the S p r i n g " and a s t r u c t u r e f o r Lowry's h a n d l i n g o f v o i c e s i n 70 "Through the Panama." In b e g i n n i n g Dark As the Grave Lowry had r e a l i s e d the importance o f the j o u r n a l form i n Under the V o l c a n o and had t r i e d t o r e - a p p l y the means o f w r i t i n g t h a t j o u r n a l i s m e n t a i l s as a method o f c o m p o s i t i o n . I t was o n l y through t h i s experiment w i t h the method t h a t Lowry came t o r e a l i s e the d i f f i c u l t y o f a p p l y i n g method to p r a c t i s e . And i n abandoning Dark As the Grave Lowry abandoned o n l y h i s f i r s t e x p e r i m e n t w i t h the a p p l i c a t i o n o f the method o f the j o u r n a l form. He had l e a r n e d what he needed t o know, and had w r i t t e n i n t o h i s n a r r a t i v e , through e x t e r n a l images, the problems i n h e r e n t i n t h i s method o f a p p l i c a t i o n . The f a c t o f t h i s f i c t i o n became s u b o r d i n a t e t o the new awareness o f the new form t h a t he found i n w r i t i n g i t . Through the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s Lowry had made a d i s c o v e r y . O t h e r f i c t i o n s were w a i t i n g t o be w r i t t e n ; the j o u r n a l form now seemed c l o s e r t o r e a l i s i n g i t s e l f as the s t r u c t u r i n g p r i n c i p l e b e h i n d the new form. Lowry took what he needed from the experiment and t u r n e d d i r e c t l y t o the j o u r n a l form i n "Through the Panama" where he came the c l o s e s t he e v e r would come t o s u c c e e d i n g w i t h the new form. Y e t the j o u r n a l form, and the seeds o f the new form, were i n h e r e n t i n Under the V o l c a n o , and "Through the Panama'1 grew out o f i t . Dark As the Grave was a n e c e s s a r y i n t e r m e d i a t e p o i n t i n the t r a n s i t i o n . CHAPTER IV UNDER THE VOLCANO: THE WEIGHT OF THE PAST AND THE ALTERED CASE. "... s e e i n g you i n v i s i o n s and i n e v e r y shadow, I have been compelled t o w r i t e t h i s which I s h a l l n e v e r send." I t i t l e t h i s c h a p t e r w i t h t h i s r a t h e r awkward c o n j u n c t i o n o f two o f Under the Vo l c a n o ' s p r i m a r y themes because I i n t e n d i t to f u n c t i o n , on i t s own terms, as an e n c a p s u l e d a l l u s i o n t o the e x t r a o r d i n a r y c o n t i n u i t y between Lowry's formal p r o c e s s e s and h i s themes, and t o the b a s i c problem Lowry e n c o u n t e r s i n the e v o l u t i o n o f h i s new form. The phrase "the w e i g h t o f the p a s t " e p i t o m i z e s most o f the t h e m a t i c i s s u e s o f Under the V o l c a n o . I t a l s o i d e n t i f i e s Lowry's i n a b i l i t y t o s e p a r a t e h i m s e l f from the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f events he r e c o r d s i n h i s notebooks and j o u r n a l s , which a c c o r d i n g l y d e n i e s h i s c r e a t i v e i m a g i n a t i o n the freedom needed t o o r d e r e x p e r i e n c e and thus c r e a t e u n i f i e d f i c t i o n . F u r t h e r , the phrase p o i n t s toward the system o f l o g i c Lowry i n c o r p o r a t e s i n t o h i s p e c u l i a r approach t o the c r e a t i v e a c t , a system based 71 72 more on temporal p r o c e s s e s than s p a t i a l r e l a t i o n s . F o r Lowry f o l l o w s J . W. Dunne i n Under the V o l c a n o as w e l l as i n h i s l a t e r works: the p a s t may have w e i g h t b u t no r e a l b e i n g ; i t i s known o n l y as a p r e s e n t memory. That s t r u c t u r e s change through time i s one o f Lowry's major t e n e t s ; c r e a t e d forms t r a n s f o r m , and h i s t o r y a l t e r s the shape and meaning o f e v e n t s . And y e t t h e r e i s an i n t a n g i b l e c o n t i n u i t y i n temporal a l t e r a t i o n s , perhaps a d u r a b l e b u t i n s c r u t a b l e m y t h i c t a u t o l o g y to which a l l e x p e r i e n c e u l t i m a t e l y a t t a c h e s i t s e l f . Words themselves o p e r a t e w i t h i n i t ; the f a c t o f p a s t words can c o n f l i c t w i t h p r e s e n t meanings, and new word u n i t s f u n c t i o n t o embrace both p r e s e n t and h i s t o r i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . Thus "the case i s a l t e r e d . " L e g a l l y , " c a s e " connotes the s t a t e o f f a c t s ; g r a m m a t i c a l l y , i t d e f i n e s the r e l a t i o n o f a noun t o the s e n t e n c e which c o n t a i n s i t ; i n common usage i t s e r v e s as a c o n t a i n i n g o b j e c t , a form w i t h i n which items are c o l l e c t e d . 2 Both " c a s e " and " a l t e r e d " touch on the theme o f a l c o h o l , e v i d e n c e o f Lowry's s c r u p u l o u s c a r e i n c h o o s i n g h i s words. And the phrase f u n c t i o n s as one o f the f i r s t c h a p t e r ' s many c l u e s t o the means by which the f i c t i o n works. The f a c t s s u r r o u n d i n g the r e a l o r imagined deaths o f the Consul and Yvonne,."what now a t a d i s t a n c e one c o u l d a l m o s t r e f e r t o as a case" (p. 14), have d e v e l o p e d i n t o s t o r y . P a r t i c u l a r s have been made congruent w i t h h i s t o r y , myth and l i t e r a t u r e , and Under the Volcano a l t e r s a s e t o f events i n t o the s t o r y o f a l l men i n modern t i m e s . Both Lowry h i m s e l f and s e v e r a l o f h i s c r i t i c s note t h a t the p o i n t o f view from which the 73 a c t i o n i s r e n d e r e d does not a l l o w the r e a d e r t o d i s c r i m i n a t e between r e a l i t y and appearance, between the r e a l s t o r y and the w r i t t e n one, between the " f a c t s " g i v e n and the s u b j e c t i v e , i n v e n t i v e mind 3 t h a t r e c o r d s them. The c o n j u n c t i o n o f the two phrases i n the t i t l e i s i n t e n d e d to s i g n i f y t h a t on a l l l e v e l s o f the book's meaning and i n the way the book i s t o l d t h e r e are two o p e r a t i v e p r o c e s s e s . T h a t Under the Volcano i s c l o s e l y w r i t t e n i s i n d i s p u t a b l e ; t h a t i t communicates even through i t s commas and dashes i s a t h e o r y s l o w l y b e i n g made f a c t by the c r i t i c a l i n d u s t r y . These two phrases s i g n i f y the book's t h e m a t i c b a s i s f o r t r a g e d y : t h i n g s , r e l a t i o n s h i p s , change; l o v e i t s e l f , the a x i s o f Lowry's s p i r i t u a l u n i v e r s e , i s impermanent. But by way o f an i n t r o d u c t i o n they s i g n i f y more: the book attempts t o r e n d e r a p r o c e s s where f a c t s r e - p a t t e r n o r r e f o r m themselves through the mechanics o f time and s u r f a c e , i n memory o r i n r e t r o s p e c t i v e f i c t i o n , i n new u n i t s , e v o l v e d from but i ndependent o f , t h e i r o r i g i n a l forms. T h i s p r o c e s s c o n t a i n s n o t o n l y the t h e m a t i c i s s u e s i n Under the V o l c a n o b u t the means by which i t s s t o r y i s t o l d . And t h i s same p r o c e s s emerges c l e a r l y i n Lowry's l a t e r f i c t i o n as the u n i f y i n g p r i n c i p l e between fo m y arid c o n t e n t , and i s the c e n t r e o f the problem Lowry fo u g h t w i t h i n c r e a t i n g a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l f i c t i o n . "The case i s a l t e r e d , " perhaps r e b o r n i n t o a hew o r d e r i n g , a new form, b u t i t i s n o t s t a t i c . Rather, i t e v o l v e s . At one p o i n t Yvonne a p p l i e s Lowry's u n i v e r s a l p a t t e r n o f k i n e s i s t o h e r own f a m i l y : " i n f a c t , n a t u r e meant t o wipe them out, h a v i n g no 74 f u r t h e r use f o r what was not s e l f - e v o l v i n g " (p. 265); the same can be s a i d o f the form o f Under the V o l c a n o . I t i s u n s a t i s f a c t o r y t o h o l d t h a t Under the V o l c a n o , the m a s t e r p i e c e , r e l a t e s t o the l a t e r f i c t i o n s , l a r g e l y f a i l u r e s , o n l y i n t h e m a t i c c o n n e c t i o n s , t h a t Lowry abandoned novel w r i t i n g t e c h n i q u e so t h a t , as one c r i t i c 4 has i t , "the maker gave way t o the a u t o b i o g r a p h e r . " My i n t e r e s t i s i n c o n n e c t i n g Lowry's l a t e r f i c t i o n s t o Under the V o l c a n o through an e x p l i c a t i o n o f the e v o l v i n g prose form. A d m i t t e d l y , the l i n k between " j o u r n a l form" and the s t r u c t u r e o f Under the V o l c a n o appears a d i s t a n t ; Under the V o l c a n o , however, s e r v e s as a p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e f o r Lowry's c r e a t i o n o f a form i n p r o c e s s , a methodology f o r f i c t i o n . I i n t e n d t o demonstrate t h a t one can c o n n e c t the method o f w r i t i n g the l a t e r f i c t i o n s , a method which commands f i c t i o n a l form and c o n t a i n s t h e m a t i c meaning, w i t h the t h e m a t i c l e v e l o f Under the V o l c a n o ; t h a t t h i s t h e m a t i c l e v e l i s c o n g r u e n t w i t h , and c o n t a i n e d by, the form w i t h i n which Under the V o l c a n o i s w r i t t e n ; and t h e r e f o r e t h a t a c o n n e c t i o n e x i s t s between the formal p r o c e s s e s o f both Under the V o l c a n o and the l a t e r f i c t i o n s . Lowry's "new form," which advances from the j o u r n a l form through the w r i t e r ' s p r o c e s s o f w r e s t l i n g w i t h the problems i n h e r e n t i n the j o u r n a l i s t ' s p e r s p e c t i v e , s p r i n g s o r g a n i c a l l y from Under the V o l c a n o ; t h i s becomes a p p a r e n t when one approximates Lowry's own r e t r o s p e c t i v e gaze i n t o Under the V o l c a n o i n an attempt to c a p t u r e the a u t h o r ' s own sense o f the s a l i e n t l e v e l s . I d e a l l y , t h i s c r i t i c a l method w i l l informuan a n a l y s i s o f 75 Under the V o l c a n o ' s formal p r o c e s s e s , and, by e x t e n s i o n , w i l l q u a l i f y the meaning o f the work e s t a b l i s h e d on the t h e m a t i c l e v e l . Under the V o l c a n o c o n t a i n s the f l e d g l i n g "new form;" based on the e v o l u t i o n o f t h i s p r o s e form through the l a t e r works, the book i n v i t e s new r e a d i n g s . Lowry's l a t e r works s h i f t , but do n o t c a s t o f f , the w e i g h t o f h i s p a s t c r e a t i o n . A d d r e s s i n g h i m s e l f to the t h e m a t i c meaning o f Dark As the Grave, W. H. New c a p t u r e s the c e n t r a l problem i n Lowry's t h e o r y o f i n c r e m e n t a l f i c t i o n a l u n i t s . And i n the l i g h t o f Lowry's method o f e v o l v i n g f i c t i o n , the o b s e r v a t i o n approaches d i r e c t l y the d i f f i c u l t y i n h e r e n t i n the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f j o u r n a l e n t r i e s , themselves a f i c t i o n o f s o r t s , i n t o a r t i s t i c c r e a t i o n s : The problem b e i n g e x p l o r e d i n v o l v e s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between an a u t h o r andhis work - - o b v i o u s l y , h e r e , between f a c t and f i c t i o n , which t o g e t h e r c r e a t e a k i n d o f d i a l o g u e between l e v e l s o f the mind. When a w r i t e r w r i t e s a work, he i s e x p r e s s i n g something o f h i m s e l f . Y e t when he f i n i s h e s i t , p u b l i s h e s i t , launches i t i n t o the w o r l d on i t s own, i t becomes something s e p a r a t e . I t a c q u i r e s i t s own i d e n t i t y o r " r e a l i t y . " I f the w r i t e r cannot s e p a r a t e h i m s e l f from t h a t e a r l i e r w o r l d -- i f he c o n t i n u e s t o i d e n t i f y w i t h the c h a r a c t e r s t h a t i s -- he runs the r i s k o f l o s i n g h i s i d e n t i t y i n the " r e a l " w o r l d and so e n d i n g up wandering i n limbo. P a s t , p l a c e , and p r e s e n t meld t o g e t h e r as the mind s h u t t l e s through i n t r i c a t e realms o f r e a l i t y t h a t d i f f e r both i n degree o f a c t u a l i z a t i o n and i n k i n d . 5 The v a l u a b l e o b s e r v a t i o n here i s t h a t time u n i t s meld t o g e t h e r . Lowry wants h i s f i c t i o n a l u n i t s to c o u n t e r p o i n t one a n o t h e r , t o i m p l y , through j u x t a p o s i t i o n and the t h e o r y o f montage, an image c o n t a i n i n g a d e f i n i t i v e s t a t e m e n t upon the u n i v e r s e . The image i s o f the r e a d e r ' s making and i t i n h a b i t s an a p p r o a c h a b l e f u t u r e time s p h e r e , a u n i t y p r o j e c t e d f o r w a r d i n time. Thus, 76 the c oncept o f i n c r e m e n t works i n two ways; e a r l i e r f i c t i o n d e f i n e s the sphere which l a t e r f i c t i o n s w i l l be b u i l t upon, and l a t e r f i c t i o n s c o n t i n u e the p r o c e s s o f e v o l v i n g new meanings t o the e a r l i e r works. W. H. New i s c o r r e c t i n a s s e s s i n g the problem, but i t i s one which Lowry embraces as c e n t r a l t o h i s t h e o r y o f f i c t i o n ; h i s task i s t o c o n t a i n p e r s p e c t i v e s o f the p a s t , n o t s e p a r a t e h i m s e l f from them. Even though Under the Volcano i s a f i c t i o n a l " f a c t , 1 ' a completed work, Lowry, i n h i s l a t e r works, cannot abandon i t to s t a s i s . I f i t does not c o n t i n u e to e v o l v e through h i s own w r i t i n g s , i t d i e s , abandoning the Mexican l a n d s c a p e i t c o n t a i n s t o an unredeemable f a l l e n w o r l d . What Under the V o l c a n o , i n i t s e l f , means, i s o b v i o u s l y worth p u r s u i n g ; what i t comes t o mean t o Lowry i s , I t h i n k , o f f a r g r e a t e r i n t e r e s t to h i s c r i t i c s . Two works r e f l e c t d i r e c t l y upon the t h e m a t i c meaning and the form o f Under the V o l c a n o -- c l e a r l y the two level's are r e l a t e d . Dark As the Grave appears t o dea l most d i r e c t l y w i t h the t h e m a t i c meaning o f the e a r l i e r work, so much so t h a t the book has been m i s t a k e n l y r e c e i v e d as a mere r e t r o s p e c t upon e a r l i e r themes. The book shows S i g b j ^ r n "moving i n the m i d s t o f h i s own g c r e a t i o n , " a t t e m p t i n g t o s t a n d " o u t s i d e h i m s e l f . . . as i f he were w a t c h i n g a f i l m w i t h themselves as a c t o r s " (Dark As the Grave, p. 166). The r e c u r r e n c e o f p a t t e r n s u n i f i e s the book's s t r u c t u r e and method w i t h i t s themes; thus S i g b j 0 r n i s d e s c r i b e d i n a s e r i e s o f s i m i l a r and s t a t i c u n i t s : " I t was t h i s scene 77 t h a t kept r e p e a t i n g i t s e l f , o v e r and o v e r a g a i n , l i k e a d i s r u p t e d f i l m r e p e a t i n g i t s e l f (and t h a t d i s r u p t e d f i l m was u n c o m f o r t a b l y an image o f h i m s e l f too) ..." (Dark As the Grave, p. 88). F i n a l l y he p e r c e i v e s t h a t he stands i n a r e s p o n s i b l e r e l a t i o n to h i s p r o j e c t e d , o b j e c t i v e image o f h i m s e l f , and, f o r m a l l y , the book's n a r r a t o r and p r o t a g o n i s t merge t o g e t h e r as o p p o s i n g l e v e l s o f r e a l i t y c o a l e s c e : "were we n o t empowered as the d i r e c t o r o f t h a t f i l m a t l e a s t to t u r n the a p p a r e n t d i s a s t e r o f our l i v e s i n t o triumph?" (Dark As the Grave, p. 249). Whereas Dark As the Grave seems t o a p p l y most d i r e c t l y to the t h e m a t i c l e v e l o f Under the V o l c a n o , the l e t t e r t o C a p e 7 seems t o address i t s e l f most d i r e c t l y to the book's form. T h a t the Cape l e t t e r i s w r i t t e n to j u s t i f y the book's p u b l i c a t i o n seems t o me no b a s i s f o r i n v a l i d a t i n g what i t s a y s . Lowry was always "compelled" t o w r i t e ; here he s i m p l y adapts t o the form o f the l e t t e r , and perhaps the Cape l e t t e r b e longs i n Lowry's i n c r e m e n t a l f i c t i o n a l u n i t . Here he admonishes h i s r e a d e r t o be " p r e p a r e d t o g r a p p l e w i t h the form o f the book" (Cape l e t t e r , p. 58) and, through r e f l e x i v e r e f e r e n c e t o a l l o w "t h e book t o s i n k s l o w l y . . . i n t o the a c t i o n o f the mind" (Cape l e t t e r , p. 73). The luminous wheel, he a r g u e s , i s , among o t h e r meanings, r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the t r o c h a l "... form o f the book, o r s u p e r f i c i a l l y i t can be seen s i m p l y i n an obvious movie "sense as the wheel o f time w h i r l i n g backwards u n t i l we have r e a c h e d the y e a r b e f o r e and C h a p t e r II and i n t h i s s e n s e , i f we l i k e , we can l o o k a t the r e s t o f the book through L a r u e l l e ' s 78 e y e s , as i f i t were h i s c r e a t i o n " (Cape l e t t e r , pp. 70-71, emphasis mine). Most i m p o r t a n t , however, are Lowry's s u g g e s t i o n s t h a t the book, by i t s e s s e n t i a l form, c o n t a i n s w i t h i n i t s e l f the l e v e l s o f s i g n i f i c a n c e which he o r h i s r e a d e r s l a t e r come t o see i n i t . He i m p l i e s t h a t the n a r r a t i v e l e v e l o f t h e book i s s e l f - r e f l e x i v e , t h a t the themes o f the book are c o n t a i n e d by i t s n a r r a t i v e p r o c e s s , when he remarks t h a t . the c o n s t a n t r e p e t i t i o n o f c h u r r i g u e r e s q u e ' o f an o v e r l o a d e d s t y l e ' seemed t o be a s u g g e s t i o n t h a t the book was s a t i r i z i n g i t s e l f " (Cape l e t t e r , p. 82). And he makes c l e a r t h a t the form o f the novel has e v o l v e d upon i t s own terms, t h a t he has not f o r c e d h i s material i n t o the form which the t r a d i t i o n a l novel imposes, when he remarks t h a t "Hugh and the Consul are the same p e r s o n , b u t w i t h i n a book which obeys not the laws o f o t h e r books, but those i t c r e a t e s as i t goes a l o n g " (Cape l e t t e r , p. 75). The employment o f the word " s u p e r f i c i a l l y , " i n r e f e r e n c e t o the i m p l i c a t i o n t h a t , t h e m a t i c a l l y , C h a p t e r s II t o XII o f Under the V o l c a n o can be r e a d as Jacques L a r u e l l e ' s f i l m , appears t o mark a t r a n s i t i o n p o i n t f o r Lowry. Dark As the Grave s u g g e s t s a s t r o n g e r emphasis upon the importance o f t h i s theme. T h i s t r a n s i t i o n can be noted i n o t h e r l e t t e r s . In 1950 Lowry notes o t h a t "the whole book c o u l d be taken t o be M. L a r u e l l e ' s f i l m . " By 1951 Lowry has seen w i t h i n Under the V o l c a n o a s e r i e s o f c i r c u m s c r i b i n g spheres o f r e f e r e n c e p a r a l l e l i n g the model d e s c r i b e d by h i s canal metaphor i n "Through the Panama:" ". . . t h e m a t i c a l l y s p e a k i n g , though, the p e l a d o i n Chapter VII I — by e x t e n s i o n the 79 C o n s u l , by e x t e n s i o n M. L a r u e ! l e -- g i v e s the c l u e . " And by 1953 Lowry has come t o p e r c e i v e L a r u e l l e i n a r e l a t i o n t o Under the V o l c a n o p a r a l l e l t o S i g b j 0 r n ' s r e l a t i o n to The V a l l e y o f the Shadow o f Death i n Dark As the Grave. In f a c t , the theme o f S i g b j 0 r n coming t o l i v e i n L a r u e l l e ' s tower i n Dark As the Grave i n d i c a t e s a r e l a t i o n t o L a r u e l l e f a r more t e r r i f y i n g s u b j e c t i v e l y than t h a t o f h i s r e l a t i o n t o the C o n s u l : "As I've s a i d , he d o e s n ' t even t h i n k he's a p n o v e l i s t h i m s e l f . The V o l c a n o -- which " L a r u e l l e " doesn't t h i n k much o f a t f i r s t -- . . . appears l e s s as a novel t h a t as a s o r t o f mighty i f p r e p o s t e r o u s moral deed o f some o b s c u r e s o r t . . ."10 The p o i n t o f t h i s t r a n s i t i o n i n Lowry's under- s t a n d i n g o f h i s own m a s t e r p i e c e seems c l e a r : Lowry s u b s e q u e n t l y d i s c o v e r e d f u r t h e r i m p l i c a t i o n s i n : t h e r e l a t i o n between L a r u e l l e and Under the V o l c a n o than he had imagined when w r i t i n g i t , and the d i s c o v e r y , o r r e - d i s c o v e r y (because L a r u e l l e i s p a r t i a l l y e f f a c e d from t h i s r o l e which he so o b v i o u s l y p l a y s i n e a r l i e r d r a f t s o f Under the V o l c a n o 1 ^ ) , l e d him t o e x p l o r e f u r t h e r the r e l a t i o n o f a c r e a t o r t o a c r e a t i o n which i n c l u d e s h i m s e l f i n Dark As the Grave, "Through the Panama," and "Ghostkeeper." Under the V o l c a n o e v o l v e s i n t o the l a t e r f i c t i o n s as Lowry's angle o f v i s i o n upon i t changes, and the l a t e r , f i c t i o n s c o n t i n u e i t s meaning, f o r i t s form i s f l e x i b l e . A m e t a p h o r i c a l a p p l i c a t i o n to the new form o f f i c t i o n i n Dark As the Grave, where a c o n d u c t o r p l a y s the f i r s t t h r e e p a r t s o f a c o n c e r t on s u c c e s s i v e n i g h t s and on the f o r t h u n i f i e s a l l o f them i n harmony, i s based d i r e c t l y on Under the 80 Volcano. The f i r s t three parts correspond to the p r i n c i p a l dramatised characters of the book, Yvonne, Hugh, and the Consul. But the fourth " v o i c e , " which contains them a l l , i s L a r u e l l e ' s b r i n g i n g them a l l back to l i f e a f t e r they have already been r e a l i z e d i n t h e i r i n i t i a l "performance." The image of the new form per t a i n s not to the means by which Under the Volcano was w r i t t e n , but rather to the means by which i t continues to be w r i t t e n . Under the Volcano r e a l i s e s i t s dimensions of s i g n i f i c a n c e only as the new form, which evolves from i t and continues to contain i t , begins to r e a l i z e i t s e l f i n the l a t e r works. The quotation that broaches t h i s chapter i s from the Consul's unsent l e t t e r to Yvonne t h a t L a r u e l l e f i n d s one year a f t e r the a c t i o n of the f i c t i o n . Although the l e t t e r does not f a c t o r i n t h e i r dramatized r e l a t i o n s h i p , i t c l e a r l y modifies both L a r u e l l e ' s and the reader's sense of " t h a t s e l f we created, apart from us" (p. 45) and becomes an i n g r e d i e n t in t h e i r f i c t i o n i f not t h e i r actual experience. The l e t t e r i s something o f a l i t e r a r y c r e a t i o n , i n h e r e n t l y c o n f e s s i o n a l because o f the l e t t e r form, and although i t i s t h e m a t i c a l l y u n r e a l i z e d , i t s h i f t s the readers concentration 12 away from L a r u e l l e onto the Consul. The c o i n c i d e n t a l appearance of i t may appear s t r a i n e d , but i t s importance i s more metaphorical than thematic. The means by which the unsent l e t t e r becomes open to the reader describes a process, and t h i s process p a r a l l e l s the means by which the s t o r y of Under the Volcano i s t o l d . Several c r i t i c s make passing references to the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t the 81 Under the Volcano we r e a d may c o r r e s p o n d to L a r u e l l e ' s u n r e a l i z e d f i l m , "a modern f i l m v e r s i o n o f the F a u s t s t o r y " (p. 33) aimed a t "changing the w o r l d " ( p . 15), but as f a r as I know, no one has r e a l l y e x p l o r e d the t h e m a t i c s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h i s , o r has a p p l i e d i t to the r e l a t i o n between the a r t i s t and h i s m a t e r i a l t h a t Lowry's l a t e r f i c t i o n s so c a r e f u l l y d e s c r i b e . T e c h n i c a l l y , the book i s r e n d e r e d from a p o i n t o f view of' s e l e c t i v e o m n i s c i e n c e where the n a r r a t o r roves i n and out o f the c h a r a c t e r s ' s u b j e c t i v e t h o u g h t s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , the r e a d e r remains unable t o d i s c r i m i n a t e between i d e a s and p a t t e r n s t h a t a r e those o f the c h a r a c t e r s , and those t h a t p r o p e r l y b e l o n g t o the 14 i n t e r m e d i a t i ng n a r r a t o r . Lowry approaches the f i c t i o n ' s " f a c t s " by c o u n t e r p o i n t i n g the i m p r e s s i o n s o f f o u r major p r o t a g o n i s t s , a d e v i c e he was n e v e r to employ a g a i n d r a m a t i c a l l y , b u t because no one c h a r a c t e r ' s p e r s p e c t i v e i s v e r i f i e d by the n a r r a t o r as b e i n g f a c t u a l l y a c c u r a t e , the d e v i c e confuses r a t h e r than c l a r i f i e s the r e a d e r ' s sense o f what a c t u a l l y happens. From t h i s i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o make an a b s o l u t e c o n n e c t i o n between the d r a m a t i z e d c h a r a c t e r , L a r u e l l e , and the a c t i o n o f Chapters II t o X I I , b u t t h e r e appears t o be s u f f i c i e n t i n t e r n a l e v i d e n c e t o promote the p ursuance o f t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y and to r e a d the book i n t h i s l i g h t . Lowry g i v e s us an unsent l e t t e r t o open the way to the Consul's s t o r y ; i t s importance hangs somewhere between what i t says and i t s e f f e c t on L a r u e l l e as he reads i t . C h a p t e r I n o t o n l y s e t s the s t a g e b u t a l s o p o r t r a y s the s t a t e o f mind o f the c h a r a c t e r who i s c o m p e l l e d to remember the events o f the y e a r b e f o r e . I t has been p o i n t e d o u t t h a t L a r u e l l e ' s p r e s e n t has been shaped by the 82 past actions of the Consul, that in one way he adopts the Consul's 15 role in the world. Yet when writers experiment with f ict ion - - and the form of the Volcano, where the story opens with the remember- ance of a character who has died and goes on to te l l of his l i f e , should be suff ic ient ly unusual to establish that the book is experimental - - their readers invariably are forced to account for the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of what they read. ; We know the Consul only to the extent that the narrator, with al l his devices, reveals him, and since the book is framed, in a scene that recalls Hesse's magic theater in Steppenwolf, by Laruelle's act of remembering, i t is thematically supportable that the story of the Consul, l ike the "fact" of his let ter , i s .ent ire ly the property of Laruelle. And Laruelle, rather than being shaped by the Consul, may himself have shaped Geoffrey as an.artist does a f ict ional character. Lowry implies a reciprocal relation between a dramatised character, who relates a story which part ia l ly concerns himself, and his protagonist. This same relationship becomes the unifying principle of Lowry's later f ictions where the emphasis is upon autobiographical material. The story of the Consul is everyone's story who lives in modern times; in Under the Volcano Lowry gives us a new version of f ict ional autobiography. Martin Trumbaugh writes Dark As the Grave, the story of S i g b j 0 r n Wilderness, and S i g b j 0 r n objectif ies autobiography by accrediting i t to his character Martin in "Through the Panama." Under the Volcano is Laruelle's story, objectif ied onto "the Consul" (the use of a third person "name" indicates this 83 o b j e c t i f y i n g d i s t a n c e ) i n the same manner t h a t Lowry w r i t e s Dark As t he Grave i n the t h i r d p e r s o n . Here Lowry l a p s e s i n t o the f i r s t p erson i n moments o f i n t e n s i t y and t o t a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n ; L a r u e l l e h i m s e l f e n t e r s h i s own s t o r y and l i v e s c o n c o m i t a n t l y w i t h h i s c h a r a c t e r s , m o s t l y t o o b s e r v e , sometimes t o a c t , o c c a s i o n a l l y t o p o s t u r e i n the a d u l t e r o u s r e l a t i o n t o a m a r r i a g e u n i t t h a t a c o u r t o f law would d e f i n e , a p t l y , as "c o - r e s p o n d e n t . " Dave G o d f r e y , i n a s h o r t s t o r y e n t i t l e d " R i v e r Two B l i n d 16 J a c k s " uses a f r a m i n g d e v i c e f o r h i s s t o r y t h a t e s t a b l i s h e s t h a t i t i s j u s t t h a t : a s t o r y : T h i s i s one.of my g r a n d f a t h e r ' s , and l i k e a l l o f h i s , I am n o t s u r e i f i t i s t r u e o r n o t . He was an o l d man when I knew him; t r u t h and f a n c y ran l i k e two t r i b u t a r i e s from the r i v e r o f h i s memory. . . . I would never say he l i e d . . . I am even r e l u c t a n t t o say he e x a g g e r a t e d . . . I c a l l him i n s t e a d a t r a d e r o f t r u t h s . The s t o r y t h a t f o l l o w s i s g l a r i n g l y u n r e a l , more o f a l e g e n d than a " t r u e s t o r y " ( i n e v i t a b l y , p e rhaps, an oxymoron). I t s s i g n i f i c a n c e i s e n t i r e l y p e r s o n a l , f o r the f a c t s i t r e l a t e s c o r r e s p o n d t o the p a t t e r n i n g o f i m a g i n a t i o n and memory o f the g r a n d f a t h e r , who i s h i m s e l f , one s u s p e c t s , a m y t h i c a l c h a r a c t e r . T h i s f r a m i n g d e v i c e i n h e r e n t l y d i s t a n c e s the a c t i o n , and p l a c e s i t w i t h i n a c o n t e x t u a l r e l a t i o n t o a g i v e n t e l l e r o f t a l e s . Readers look l e s s f o r the meaning o f the s t o r y than f o r i t s r e l e v a n c e t o f i r s t , the d r a m a t i z e d t e l l e r , and nex t , t o the w r i t e r h i m s e l f . The s t o r y b e g i n s , c o n t r a r y t o the p a t t e r n o f the t r a d i t i o n a l n o v e l , a f t e r the a c t i o n has been completed; the o p e n i n g s e c t i o n , i n e f f e c t , d i s p l a c e s the s t o r y 84 i n t o a modern c o n t e x t , and the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n t e l l s the s t o r y a g a i n i n a remote, p a s t - t e n s e s e t t i n g . T h a t c r i t i c s o f Under the Volcano i n v a r i a b l y dwell upon the o p e n i n g c h a p t e r , which f o r some i s the book's o n l y c l a i m to m o d i f i c a t i o n o f the t r a d i t i o n a l n o v e l form, seems t o me s u f f i c i e n t e v i d e n c e o f t h i s c h a p t e r ' s e f f e c t t o i n d i c a t e t h a t something o f the same p r o c e s s o p e r a t e s here. A f e e l i n g o f e n t r o p i c , tremendous l e t h a r g y seems to hang ove r the c h a p t e r , and d e t a i l s d e s c r i b e a p a t t e r n t h a t u n i f i e s the c h a r a c t e r L a r u e l l e t o the s e t t i n g : " v o i c e s s i n g i n g , d i m i n i s h i n g , d y i n g i n the wind, i n a u d i b l e f i n a l l y " (p. 16). The l a n d s c a p e o b v i o u s l y c o n t a i n s a s t o r y : ". . . from these mountains emanated a s t r a n g e m e l a n c h o l y f o r c e t h a t t r i e d t o h o l d him here b o d i l y , which was i t s w e i g h t , the w e i g h t o f many t h i n g s , b u t m o s t l y . t h a t o f sorrow" (p. 19); we f e e l t h a t we must know the p l a c e t o see the importance o f the s t o r y , b u t more i m p o r t a n t l y , t h a t we must know the s t o r y to know the p l a c e . Thoughts and words seem i n e v i t a b l y t o be t u r n i n g t o a l e g e n d a r y d e n i z e n o f the p l a c e -- the Consul -- whose p r e s e n c e , l i k e t h a t o f i n d i g e n o u s gods, i s s t i l l m i r r o r e d i n the l a n d s c a p e l o n g a f t e r he i s dead. We b e g i n to c o n s t r u c t an image o f t h i s c l e a r l y magnetic p e r s o n a l i t y from the e f f e c t he has had upon h i s f u t u r e , b u t the way i n t o the p a s t i s b l o c k e d : we a r e , as the Consul acknowledges j u s t b e f o r e h i s d e a t h , " r e a d i n g him s t r i c t l y i n the p r e t e r i t e t e n s e " (p. 331). S t o r i e s command s t o r y - t e l l e r s , however, and we f o c u s upon L a r u e l l e , the keeper and s h a p e r o f the e v e n t s , the p r i s m i n t o the r e a l m o f s t o r y which i s p r e c u r s o r r t o h i s p r e s e n t b e i n g . H i s s u b j e c t , he t e l l s 85 us, i s a " q u i x o t i c o r a l f i c t i o n " (p. 38), one which he w i l l be c o m p e l l e d , i f we w a i t l o n g enough, t o r e l a t e , and s u d d e n l y we are i n h a b i t i n g the m y t h i c w o r l d and s e e i n g something o f the p r o c e s s by which f a c t s e v o l v e i n t o l e g e n d . The f i r s t c h a p t e r d e s c r i b e s a p a t t e r n and t e x t u r e t h a t , as the p r e s e n t f a c t , c o n t a i n s , l i k e a p a l i m p s e s t , the e n t i r e s t o r y , whose p r e s e n c e i s e v i d e n t i n the m y t h i c p a t t e r n t h a t i n f o r m s i t s p r e s e n t b e i n g . I t i s i t s e l f . a complete p i c t u r e -- a l o c k i n the m e t a p h o r i c a l canal — and the p r o c e s s o f r e - c r e a t i n g the h i s t o r y b e h i n d i t w i l l be one o f c o l l a t i n g the p r e s e n t e v i d e n c e we have: the i s o l a t e d glimpses i n t o the p a s t t h a t p r e s e n t m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f the p a t t e r n have made a v a i l a b l e to us. The f i r s t c h a p t e r , by o f f e r i n g a p i c t u r e o f the p r e s e n t , e s t a b l i s h e s t h a t the s t o r y w i l l become r e a l i z e d through the p r i n c i p l e o f montage. A n o t h e r p i c t u r e , a glimpse i n t o the p a s t , is;;about t o be g i v e n , and the " s t o r y , " complete w i t h i t s i n t e r n a l p a t t e r n s and i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e , i n h a b i t s a space and time somewhere between the two p i c t u r e s . The p a s t i s u b i q u i t o u s but p a r a d o x i c a l l y remote, and the o n l y way i n t o i t i s through the i m a g i n a t i o n . At the p o i n t where the r e a d e r e n t e r s i n t o the p a s t a c t i o n b e g i n n i n g w i t h C h a p t e r I I , t h e n , two p a t t e r n s t h a t c o n t r o l the means by which the a c t i o n w i l l be r e n d e r e d have been e s t a b l i s h e d . They a r e c l o s e l y r e l a t e d , b u t i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o d i s c r i m i n a t e between them, a t l e a s t i n i t i a l l y , t o o u t l i n e the e x t r a o r d i n a r y c o n t i n u i t y between Lowry's formal p r o c e s s e s and his- themes. The f t r s t i n v o l v e s Lowry's t e c h n i c a l h a n d l i n g o f p o i n t o f view, and i s most 86 closely modelled in Lowry's own canal metaphor where Sigbjtfrn speculates upon the ar t i s t in his control tower, overseeing some planes of activity and being overseen by others. The f i r s t chapter's present contains within i t the past, and thus the narrator, Laruelle "remembering," contains the individual points of view of the major protagonists. Wayne Booth, in The Rhetoric of Fict ion, acknowledges the role of reflector characters, or.centres of consciousness, as narrators; there is also the "implied author" whom readers create against their own point of view, as the narrating personality behind the chosen wordsJ 7 Thus Hugh, the Consul, and Yvonne are a l l given a certain narratorial role, and their subjective impressions are the action'of their own isolated chapters. Laruelle, the thematic correlative to the implied author, shares the narrator's role with them so that a hierarchy of points of view is established even though past thoughts are made concomital with present ones. Yet the form of the book makes expl ic i t what this handling of point of view would imply: the relation is recriprocal. "Time past 1 contains-' 1 g time future" so that Laruelle, as narrator, becomes a factor of the past; paradoxically, the past and present are harbingers of 19 one another. Set against one another, these two levels' imply an outward series: each character contains his or her own " f lash- back" into the remote past; Laruelle, the narrator of Chapters II to XII, is contained by Lowry, the author of the whole book, and Lowry the author is contained by Lowry the reader who, in the 87 p r o c e s s o f w r i t i n g h i s l a t e r f i c t i o n s , d i s c o v e r s new l e v e l s o f s i g n i f i c a n c e t o f i c t i o n . T h i s d i s c r i m i n a t i n g , almost compart- m e n t a l i z i n g , p r o c e s s belongs t o the r e a d e r ' s r e f l e x i v e r e f e r e n c e upon the completed s t o r y , f o r a t the time o f r e a d i n g , as Tony K i l g a l l i n n o t e s , " t h e r e i s a sense o f time as never q u i t e p a s s i n g 20 o r b e i n g r e c a l l e d , " a sense o f an " a b s o l u t e d i s l o c a t i o n i n time" (p. 248). C l i f f o r d Leech connects the t e c h n i c a l "doubleness o f v i e w p o i n t " between n a r r a t o r and s u b j e c t to the i m p r e s s i o n o f s i m u l t a n e i t y i n time which the f i c t i o n . c r e a t e s : " t h e r e i s a 21 l i f e t i m e i n the moment," not o n l y a c h a r a c t e r ' s , but the n a r r a t o r ' s , a u t h o r ' s , and, i f the s y m b o l i c dimensions o f the book s u c c e e d i n i m p l y i n g u n i v e r s a l i t y , the r e a d e r ' s as w e l l . Independent p e r s p e c t i v e s upon the events o f the s t o r y are j u x t a p o s e d t o imply a s i n g l e v o i c e — the " u n c o n s c i o u s n e s s " Lowry.speaks o f as both p r o t a g o n i s t and 22 c r e a t o r o f The Voyage c y c l e — which i s a t the same time a l l v o i c e s , f u n c t i o n i n g i n harmony. In the F a r o l i t o , the Consul r e f l e c t s upon h i s l o s t p o s s i b i l i t y o f s h a r i n g , n o t s e p a r a t i n g from, the pure form t h a t the p o i n t o f view o f Under the V o l c a n o a s p i r e s towards: Here would have been no d e v o l v i n g through f a i l i n g u n r e a l v o i c e s and forms o f d i s s o l u t i o n t h a t became more and more l i k e one v o i c e to a death more dead t h a t death i t s e l f , b u t an i n f i n i t e w i d e n i n g , an i n f i n i t e e v o l v i n g and e x t e n s i o n o f b o u n d a r i e s , i n which the s p i r i t was an e n t i t y , p e r f e c t and whole . . . (p. 362) His f a i l u r e t r a n s p o s e s i t s e l f , t h e m a t i c a l l y , to L a r u e l l e because L a r u e l l e , f o r m a l l y , o r c h e s t r a t e s the a c t i o n . Though the Consul's f a l l i n i t i a l l y c ompells L a r u e l l e t o c r e a t e , i t a l s o p r e v e n t s him 88 from u n i f y i n g t he d i s c o r d i n p e r s p e c t i v e s t h a t t h i s passage, which has the stamp o f the i n t e r m e d i a t i n g n a r r a t o r upon i t , i d e a l i z e s . The p o i n t o f view which r e n d e r s Under the Vo l c a n o s t r e s s e s the c o n f l i c t i n the v a r y i n g v i e w p o i n t s and j u x t a p o s e s them a g a i n s t one a n o t h e r , y e t a g a i n s t t h i s c o n f l i c t i s s e t the appearance o f the c o l l a p s e o f s p a t i a l and temporal u n i t s i n t o t i m e l e s s f l u i d i t y . The n a r r a t i v e mode o f Under the V o l c a n o , which i s a f a c t o r o f the book's b a s i c form, c o n t a i n s the dual sense o f a c t u a l i z e d c o n f l i c t and p o t e n t i a l harmony -- i n o t h e r words, the t h e m a t i c i s s u e s o f the book -- and t h i s c o n t r a p u n t a l method o f r e n d e r i n g extends i n t o the book's t e c h n i q u e . The s e c o n d t e c h n i c a l method t h a t e v o l v e s from the f i r s t c h a p t e r and Under the V o l c a n o 1 s form i s a c o n t i n u a t i o n o f the montage p r o c e s s . Lowry draws a p i c t u r e o f the p r e s e n t b e f o r e he w r i t e s about the p a s t . Thus the form o f the book i n h e r e n t l y commands two major p i c t u r e s which the r e a d e r i s supposed t o j u x t a p o s e , and from t h i s stems Lowry's j u x t a p o s i t i o n a l , v i s u a l t e c h n i q u e o f r e n d e r i n g d e t a i l s . Memory i s i n h e r e n t l y s t a t i c ; o n l y one d i s c o n n e c t e d scene can be r e c a l l e d i n any moment. Y e t the a c t i o n which memory i s used here t o r e - c r e a t e i s k i n e t i c , f o r a p r o c e s s o f d i s s o l u t i o n w i t h i n the Consul and the peop l e and p l a c e s s u r r o u n d i n g him i s b e i n g t r a c e d . T h i s a s p e c t o f Under the V o l c a n o has t r o u b l e d Lowry's c r i t i c s , and the c o n t r o v e r s y about the b o o k ' s ' s t a t i c and k i n e t i c rhythms i n n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e remains, a t p r e s e n t , u n r e s o l v e d . Paul T i e s s e n has shown how the 89 c i n e m a t i c t e c h n i q u e o f montage, where s t a t i c scenes are used t o imply k i n e t i c a c t i o n , f u n c t i o n s as "both method and metaphor" f o r the book: the cinema n o t o n l y i n f o r m s the book's t h e m a t i c 23 l e v e l but i t i n f l u e n c e s Lowry's h a n d l i n g o f v i s u a l t e c h n i q u e . V i c t o r Doyen has p a r t i a l l y e x p l a i n e d the p r o c e s s whereby the r e f l e x i v e r e a d e r assembles the independent p i e c e s o f the book (one i s reminded o f "Through the Panama's" s e l f - r e f l e x i v e remark t h a t "the whole i s a s t r a n g e assembly o f a p p a r e n t l y ineongrous p a r t s , a p p a r e n t l y s l i p p i n g p a s t one another") and thus approximates the " a u t h o r i a l 24 p o i n t o f view." ' T e r r e n c e W r i g h t has i d e n t i f i e d the s t a t i c n a t u r e o f the book's v i s u a l e l e m e n t s , and he c o n c l u d e s t h a t t h e s e s c e n e s , c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o movements i n a p i e c e o f music, c o n f l i c t , w i t h the r e a d e r ' s p r i m a r y response to the u n f o l d i n g o f a s t o r y con- 25 c e r n i n g c h a r a c t e r s and s i t u a t i o n s . S h e r r i l l Grace concurs w i t h W r i g h t t h a t the " e s o t e r i c l e v e l s o f the book s e t up an i m p o r t a n t rhythm which c o n f l i c t s w i t h the onward t h r u s t o f the s t o r y . " But Grace f o c u s e s the problem, r i g h t l y I t h i n k , n o t upon the n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e o f the book, which f o r these o t h e r c r i t i c s has been t r e a t e d as a disembodied element o f the f i c t i o n , b u t on the form: "when the f u s i o n o f r e a l i s t i c and e s o t e r i c l e v e l s o f Under the V o l c a n o i s c r i t i c i z e d i t i s a c t u a l l y the form o f the novel 27 which i s f e l t t o be weak." The form commands two o p p o s i n g p i c t u r e s o f an h i s t o r i c a l p r o c e s s , the p r e s e n t and the p a s t , and t h i s o p p o s i t i o n f i l t e r s i n t o the n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e , which p l a y s o f f the o p p o s i n g rhythms o f j u x t a p o s i t i o n a l ( s t a t i c scene) and n a t u r a l i s t i c 90 ( k i n e t i c flow) a r t . What Grace i d e n t i f i e s as a problem, however, I see as one o f the book's g r e a t e s t s t r e n g t h s . T h i s o p p o s i t i o n i s the u n i f y i n g p r i n c i p l e o f Under the V o l c a n o : I have t r i e d to show how i t grows- out o f the book's form; W r i g h t , Doyen and Grace demonstrate t h a t i t c o n t r o l s the book's n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e ; T i e s s e n shows how i t works on the v i s u a l l e v e l . What remains t o be demonstrated i s t h a t i t i n f o r m s the p a t t e r n t h a t c o n t r o l s , m e t a p h o r i c a l l y , each l o c k on the c a n a l o r each box i n the Chinese p u z z l e t h a t d e s c r i b e s t h e s e r i e s t h a t i s Lowry's model f o r h i s h a n d l i n g o f p o i n t o f view. And t h e m a t i c s i t u a t i o n and c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , what l i t t l e t h e r e i s o f i t , are themselves f a c t o r s o f the i n h e r e n t o p p o s i t i o n i n the p o i n t s o f view from which the f i c t i o n i s r e n d e r e d . B l a k e ' s maxim t h a t " w i t h o u t c o n t r a r i e s t h e r e i s no p r o g r e s s i o n " c o u l d w e l l have found a p l a c e i n the l i s t . o f e p i g r a p h s t h a t b e g i n t h i s f i c t i o n . Lowry d e a l s w i t h the d i s s i m i l a r n a t u r e s o f p a s t a c t i o n and p r e s e n t e f f e c t ; L a r u e l l e remembers a s e t o f events t h a t were once f a c t and are now t u r n e d to myth i n the r e - c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s ; each major c h a r a c t e r m a n i f e s t s a p a t t e r n e d response t o e x p e r i e n c e t h a t f l u c t u a t e s between v i s i o n s o f o r d e r and the r e c o g n i t i o n o f chaos. C l i f f o r d Leech a p p l i e s the book's t r e a t m e n t o f time t o the theme o f how c h a r a c t e r s apprehend r e a l i t y : . . . t h i s book i n s i s t s on a m u l t i p l i c i t y o f f u t u r e s . There i s what w i l l happen, r e g a r d l e s s . There i s a l s o the f u t u r e we can i m a gine, and t h i s i s as much a p a r t o f o u r e x p e r i e n c e as the t h i n g t h a t must be. 8 The f u t u r e t h a t must be i s the p r o p e r t y o f L a r u e l l e , who i s the 91 o n l y d r a m a t i z e d c h a r a c t e r who knows what " w i l l " happen; t h i s because the a c t i o n , as we have i t , stems from h i s p r e s e n t , h i s c h a r a c t e r s ' f u t u r e . When the w o r l d i s viewed from w i t h i n a s e r i e s o f ongoing e x p e r i e n c e s , the f u t u r e does seem open t o i n f i n i t e p o s s i b i l i t i e s , and a l l c h a r a c t e r s p r o j e c t themselves i n t o i t (Hugh, p. 124; the C o n s u l , p. 143; Yvonne, i n h e r s e v e r a l v i s i o n s o f Lowry's p r e s e n t f a c t : E r i d a n u s ) . T h i s s i m i l a r i t y i n p r o p e n s i t y u n i v e r s a l i z e s the p a t t e r n , , b u t i t a l s o i n d i c a t e s a p o s s i b i l i t y o f the n a r r a t o r ' s " i n t e r f e r e n c e , " the word the Consul uses t o d e f i n e L a r u e l l e ' s r e l a t i o n t o h i m s e l f (p. 314). T h a t a l l c h a r a c t e r s attempt t o grasp the f u t u r e by s e a r c h i n g f o r p a t t e r n s t h a t r e c u r through time adds w e i g h t t o t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y . Hugh: "Yet he f e l t t r a p p e d . The more c o m p l e t e l y f o r the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t i n no e s s e n t i a l sense had he e s c a p e d from h i s p a s t l i f e . I t was a l l h e r e , though i n a n o t h e r form . . . (p. 165) Yvonne: "... h e r own d e s t i n y was b u r i e d i n the d i s t a n t p a s t , arrlimight f o r a l l she knew r e p e a t i t - s e l f i n the f u t u r e " (p. 269) The C o n s u l : " P i c k i n g up the t i r e he [a madman seen by the C o n s u l ] f l u n g i t f a r ahead a g a i n , r e p e a t i n g t h i s p r o c e s s , t o the i n d e s t r u c t i b l e l o g i c o f which he appeared committed, u n t i l o u t o f s i g h t . " (p. 227) '"God, how p o i n t l e s s and: empty the w o r l d i s ! Days f i l l e d w i t h cheap and t a r n i s h e d moments s u c c e e d each o t h e r , r e s t l e s s and haunted n i g h t s f o l l o w i n b i t t e r r o u t e ..." (p. 396) P a t t e r n s o f r e c u r r e n c e , however u n a c c e p t a b l e those p a t t e r n s may seem, a t l e a s t s e r v e t o imply an o r d e r i n the w o r l d , a form c o n t a i n i n g p a t t e r n s o f e x p e r i e n c e t h a t move through time. Yvonne's p e r c e p t i o n o f the slow, r e c u r r e n t movement o f the s t a r s a t the 92 end o f C h a p t e r XI ns the book's most commanding image o f u n i v e r s a l p a t t e r n s o f i n e v i t a b i l i t y . The a c t i o n o f Under the Volcano d r i v e s on towards what r e a d e r s p e r c e i v e must be the book's i n e v i t a b l e c o n c l u s i o n , the death o f Yvonne and the C o n s u l . And through t h i s , L a r u e l l e ' s a f t e r - t h e - f a c t p o i n t o f view i s c o n f i r m e d on the t h e m a t i c l e v e l . But from the s u b j e c t i v e p o i n t o f view o f the p r e s e n t t e n s e , the same p o i n t o f view t h a t r e c o g n i z e s a m u l t i p l i c i t y o f f u t u r e s , i n e v i t a b l e and o r d e r e d p a t t e r n s o f i m p e r m e a b i l i t y seem f a r more remote than do p e r c e p t i o n s o f a p p a r e n t chaos: "'But a f t e r much t e q u i l a the e c l e c t i c systeme i s perhaps un poco descompuesto, comprenez, as sometimes i n the c i n e : c l a r o ? ' " (p. 148) The n a r r a t i v e mode o f Under the V o l c a n o r e n d e r s i n the same v o i c e the o p p o s i t i o n between s u b j e c t i v e apprehensions o f chaos and e x t e r n a l images o f i n e v i t a b i l i t y . A s i m i l a r p o l a r i t y i s found i n the c o n n e c t i o n s t h a t are made to h i s t o r y , myth and l i t e r a t u r e . We r e a d , a t the same time, a very r e v e a l i n g and p e r s o n a l account o f c h a r a c t e r s ' methods o f d e a l i n g w i t h t h e i r own c r i s e s and an anatomy o f man's response to the p a t t e r n i n g o f a n c i e n t and modern h i s t o r y . At one p o i n t the Consul c r i e s out "Ah, the f r i g h t f u l c l e f t , the e t e r n a l h o r r o r o f o p p o s i t e s ! " (p. 134) " O p p o s i t e s " may be a s u b j e c t i v e c o m p a r t m e n t a l i z a t i o n o f events t h a t f a i l s t o r e c o g n i z e the o r d e r e d p a t t e r n which c o n t a i n s a p p a r e n t l y u n c o o r d i n a t e d o r d e r s ( f o r example, r e a d e r s can r e c o g n i z e t h a t the Consul's good and bad " f a m i l i a r s " a r e both a s p e c t s o f h i s own c o n s c i o u s n e s s and are c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n h i s p o i n t o f v i e w ) , b u t such d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s are the f a c t o f a p e r s p e c t i v e 93 c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n a s e r i e s o f e v e n t s . Each p o i n t o f view i n v o l v e d i n the s t o r y must contend w i t h such a p p a r e n t o p p o s i t i o n s , and the book's t h e m a t i c message p a r t i a l l y stems from the means by which apparent chaos o r the c o g n i t i o n o f randomness i s r e s o l v e d i n t o o r d e r and i n e v i t a b i l i t y . The form o f Under the V o l c a n o i n h e r e n t l y launches the c oncept o f p o l a r i t y i n t o the book, and on each l e v e l o f i t s dimensions Lowry f i n d s an e f f e c t i v e means of e x p r e s s i o n f o r t h i s c o n c e p t . The c r i t i c a l r e c o g n i t i o n o f the o p p o s i t i o n o f s t a t i c and k i n e t i c rhythms i n the book i s v a l u a b l e and n e c e s s a r y ; the e v a l u a t i o n o f i t o u t o f c o n t e x t from the r e s t o f the book's v a s t dimensions i s i n d i c a t i v e o f a f a i l u r e to approximate t r u l y "the a u t h o r i a l p o i n t o f view." G e o f f r e y D u r r a n t ' s a n a l y s i s o f n e o - P l a t o n i s m i n "Through 29 the Panama" may i n d i c a t e a v i a b l e s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n s i n t o Lowry's approach t o f i c t i o n . Lowry's f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h the r e l a t i o n between A r t and L i f e , o r f i c t i o n and f a c t , became, i t seems, an o b s e s s i o n i n h i s l a t e r y e a r s and p r o v i d e d a b a s i s f o r f i c t i o n a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n . Whatever dimensions p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n s i n t o Lowry r e v e a l , however, the p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e must be Under the Vol cano, f o r i n t h i s f i c t i o n a r e the r o o t s o f Lowry's l a t e r experiments w i t h p r o s e . With the i m p l i c a t i o n t h a t L a r u e l l e may be the c r e a t o r o f the f i l m Under the V o l c a n o emerges the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t L a r u e l l e , l i k e a l l gods, may have c r e a t e d h i s c h a r a c t e r s i n h i s own image. As n e o - P l a t o n i s t s are aware, the images we are g i v e n are one s t e p removed from t h e i r a r c h e t y p e ; the f i c t i o n we are g i v e n i n Under the V o l c a n o i s by L a r u e l l e ' s r e - c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , one s t e p removed from the f i c t i o n a l f a c t s . N e o - P l a t o n i s t s embrace t h i s p o l a r i t y , b ut may w e l l q u e s t i o n which i s the f a c t , and which the f i c t i o n ? The i d e a l , o f c o u r s e , i s t o u n i f y the a p p a r e n t w i t h the r e a l , o r the f a c t w i t h the l e g e n d , and Lowry's l a t e r f i c t i o n s s t r u g g l e w i t h i n themselves t o r e c o n c i l e the p r o c e s s i m p l i e d by "The Case i s A l t e r e d . " W i t h i n Lowry's d e v e l o p i n g m y s t i c i s m and h i s own sense o f "the h o r r o r o f o p p o s i t e s , " though, comes the r e l e v a n c e o f the new form and i t s r e l a t i o n to the j o u r n a l form. In Under the V o l c a n o the t h e o r y o f o p p o s i t i o n a l u n i t s p a t t e r n s the whole work, b u t i t s development towards u n i t y i n h i s l a t e r w r i t i n g s i s p r e f i g u r e d on the t h e m a t i c l e v e l . In the Cape l e t t e r , Lowry w r i t e s o f Hugh: ". . . h i s d e s i r e t o be a composer o r m u s i c i a n i s everyone's i n n a t e d e s i r e t o be a p o e t o f l i f e i n some way 30 . . .". From t h i s theme e v o l v e s Lowry's s e a r c h f o r u n i v e r s a l p r i n c i p l e s t h a t e v e n t u a l l y l e a d s him t o O r t e g a , where man i s a n o v e l i s t making up h i s l i f e as he goes a l o n g . Thus, a u n i v e r s a l i z e theme expands i n t o a u n i v e r s a l i z i n g p r i n c i p l e which l i b e r a t e s a u t o b i o g r a p h y from s u b j e c t i v i t y . F u r t h e r , Hugh, both a m u s i c i a n and a j o u r n a l i s t , i s d e l i b e r a t e l y c o n t r i v e d as a doppelganger t o , a l t h o u g h a y o u n g e r v e r s i o n o f , the C o n s u l , who c l a i m s "I'm not a j o u r n a l i s t . . . I'm a w r i t e r " (p. 370). T h i s i m p l i e s 95 t h a t , t h e m a t i c a l l y , Hugh, a j o u r n a l i s t , grows i n t o the C o n s u l , a w r i t e r ; t h i s t h e m a t i c p o s s i b i l i t y becomes a f a c t o f Lowry's c r e a t i v e method when he l a t e r attempts t o t r a n s f o r m h i s j o u r n a l e n t r i e s i n t o f i c t i o n . But the r e a l l y i m p o r t a n t c o n n e c t i o n to the method o f Lowry's l a t e r f i c t i o n s stems from Under the Volcano's method o f c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . C h a r a c t e r s are caught i n the j o u r n a l i s t ' s dilemma o f b e i n g c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n a s e r i e s o f events and a t t e m p t i n g t o d i s c o v e r i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e . L a r u e l l e , when r e f l e c t i n g upon those e v e n t s , attempts t o form a l l ways o f s e e i n g i n t o a u n i v e r s a l o r c o l l e c t i v e p a t t e r n o f p e r c e p t i o n , and the t e n s i o n between immediate and r e f l e x i v e p e r c e p t i o n s s u r f a c e s i n the o p p o s i n g rhythms o f the n a r r a t i v e . Through u n i v e r s a l i z i n g the a c t i o n , L a r u e l l e attempts t o c o o r d i n a t e h i s p r e s e n t p e r c e p t i o n s w i t h t h o s e o f the p a s t ( o ' r t h e c h a r a c t e r s ' p r e s e n t p e r c e p t i o n s w i t h those t h a t the f u t u r e r e v e a l s ) ; t h i s i s p r e c i s e l y Lowry's d i f f i c u l t y i n w r i t i n g Dark As the Grave. Both p a s t and p r e s e n t ( o r a r t and l i f e , f a c t and f i c t i o n ) r e q u i r e independent and t o t a l e x p r e s s i o n , f o r both must be r e a l . P r o c e s s and harmony are f a c t s o f the u n i v e r s e ; s e p a r a t e r e a l i t i e s , however, do n o t , as they must, c o a l e s c e . Under the V o l c a n o i s a s u c c e s s , a m a s t e r p i e c e , because i t r e c o g n i z e s the s e p a r a t i o n between meaning and p a t t e r n t h a t temporal p r o c e s s e s i n e v i t a b l y c r e a t e , and Lowry uses t h i s r e c o g n i t i o n t o u n i f y the book's form and n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e s w i t h i t s themes. U n i f y i n g f i c t i o n was, f o r Lowry, o b v i o u s l y a b e g i n n i n g t o the 96 o r d e r i n g p r o c e s s , b u t u n i f y i n g f i c t i o n w i t h L i f e was a f a r g r e a t e r c h a l l e n g e . W i t h i n Under the V o l c a n o he had, perhaps u n c o n s c i o u s l y , f o r m u l a t e d h i s approach t o t h i s c h a l l e n g e , an i r o n i c t w i s t to h i s own theme t h a t i t o n l y r e q u i r e s time f o r i n e v i t a b i l i t i e s t o s u r f a c e . In h i s l a t e r works he l o c k e d h i m s e l f i n t o the problem o f f a c t u a l and f i c t i o n a l d i v e r s i t i e s . He attempted t o u n i f y h i s j o u r n a l s , h i s r e c o r d s o f e x p e r i e n c e s , w i t h the f i c t i o n a l p a t t e r n s he c r e a t e d from a v i e w p o i n t s e p a r a t e d i n time from the f a c t s . T h e m a t i c a l l y , he a s p i r e d t o become both the Consul and L a r u e l l e , f o r w i t h i n t h i s c o n j u n c t i o n l a y the p o i n t o f view which c o u l d b r i n g i n t o b e i n g the new form. The p r o c e s s from j o u r n a l form t o new form p a r a l l e l e d the p r o c e s s o f f a c t i n t o l e g e n d t h a t Under the Volcano r e n d e r e d . I t h i n k Lowry would have seen g r e a t s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the m y t h i c dimensions t h a t he posthumously assumed, f o r he f a i l e d t o r e a l i z e h i s p o t e n t i a l i n h i s l a t e r work. But i n w r i t i n g them he c o n t i n u e d the p r o c e s s towards the t o t a l i t y o f the new form, the form which grew o u t o f those areas he e x p l o r e d i n Under the V o l c a n o and those which, subsequent t o i t s c o m p l e t i o n , he r e t o s p e c t i v e l y d i s c o v e r e d w i t h i n i t . 97 CONCLUSION LOWRY: STRUGGLING WITH THE FORM OF HIS COILED WORK.1 Only once t h a t I know o f does Lowry r e f e r d i r e c t i y t o h i s "new form" f o r p r o s e : t h i s , i n a l e t t e r t o A l b e r t E r s k i n e where 2 Lowry i s d e f e n d i n g h i s experiments w i t h a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l f i c t i o n . There i s l i t t l e h a r d e v i d e n c e , then, which s u p p o r t s the c e n t r a l i t y , o r i n d e e d the l e g i t i m a c y , o f the new form as a v i a b l e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the type o f f i c t i o n which Lowry hoped t o w r i t e . Matthew C o r r i g a n doubts the p h i l o s o p h i c a l v a l i d i t y o f the "new form"; r a t h e r , he sees i n i t Lowry's attempt t o evade, o r d i v e r t h i m s e l f away f r o m , . h i s sense o f h a y i n g f a i l e d t o produce s u c c e s s f u l f i c t i o n i n h i s l a t e r works: What one n o t i c e s most g e n e r a l l y about the f i n a l work i s i t s f a i l u r e t o a c h i e v e a form. . . . Through- out t h i s p e r i o d Lowry i s c o g n i z a n t o f h i s f a i l u r e w i t h n a r r a t i v e and c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , as i n d e e d he i s w h i l e w r i t i n g V o l c a n o ; b u t the problem i s now more c e n t r a l , and somehow he cannot surmount i t as he does i n the e a r l i e r n o v e l . He r a t i o n a l i z e s a "new form" around h i s f a i l u r e : a form t h a t w i l l f o l l o w the c o n f i g u r a t i v e l i f e o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s ( h i s own, though he hopes i n c i d e n t a l l y , modern man's) as i t c o n s t i t u t e s i t s e l f through s t a g e s o f becoming. The. d i r e c t i o n i s c l e a r l y towards s p i r i t u a l and p s y c h i c i n t e g r a t i o n o f an a l m o s t m y s t i c a l k i n d , w i t h some awesome r e f l e x i o n s on h i s i n f e r n a l p a s t thrown i n f o r good measure. 98 But the t h e o r y does n o t s t a n d i n p r o s p e c t i v e r e l a t i o n - s h i p t o work t h a t w i l l d e v o l v e from i t but r a t h e r gets drawn from the work's f a i l u r e ; a t times gets i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the work a t hand, a k i n d o f o b l i q u e d i s c u s s i o n why t h i n g s a r e n ' t w o r k i n g as they s h o u l d , why n a r r a t i v e perhaps i s o b s o l e t e as we u n d e r s t a n d i t , and so on. Almost nowhere does the i d e a o f a new form work s u i g e n e r i s t o produce something new. C o r r i g a n makes a v e r y good argument: the l a t e r works f a i l t o approach the l e v e l o f s u c c e s s o f Under the V o l c a n o and Lowry knows i t ; the "new form" e p i t o m i z e s what Lowry's l a t e r f i c t i o n s o n l y a s p i r e towards; Lowry's c o n c e p t o f the i n t e g r a t i o n between A r t and L i f e remains a p h i l o s o p h i c a l p r i n c i p l e a p p a r e n t l y u n d i g e s t e d i n h i s f i c t i o n a l a p p l i c a t i o n s o f i t . And from t h i s e s t i m a t i o n o f the "new form" as a r e t r o s p e c t i v e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n , C o r r i g a n p r e - d i c a t e s h i s c o n c l u s i o n t h a t Lowry f a i l e d t o c r e a t e f i c t i o n a l u n i t y because he c o u l d n o t b r i n g h i m s e l f t o break away from the form 4 o f the t r a d i t i o n a l n o v e l . To some c r i t i c s , t h i s may appear to be an a r t i f i c i a l c h icken-and-egg d i a l e c t i c . But I b e l i e v e i t c r u c i a l to an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f Lowry's approach t o f i c t i o n to r e c o g n i z e the "new form" as an ongoing p u r s u i t and a r e a l i z a b l e i d e a l , and to view Lowry's f i c t i o n s as c o n s c i o u s e x p e r i m e n t a l attempts to advance towards i t . F o r i f C o r r i g a n i s r i g h t , Lowry 5 6 i s i n d e e d "a n o v e l i s t . . . by a c c i d e n t , " a " n o v e l i s t manque," al t h o u g h some c r i t i c s may e x t e n d a l i t t l e more sympathy t o h i s f i c t i o n a l f a i l u r e s . But t h i s t h e s i s i s concerned w i t h g i v i n g new c r e d e n c e t o Lowry's "new form," and when the s e p a r a t e p i e c e s o f Lowry's i n c r e m e n t a l f i c t i o n a l u n i t are r e a d as experiments o r i n t e r m e d i a t e p o i n t s i n an e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o c e s s , the "new form" becomes n o t Lowry's excuse f o r f a i l u r e b u t the image o f a 99 f i c t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e which guides him i n t o the f u t u r e . The c r i t i c a l i n d u s t r y i s not y e t ready to c l a s s i f y Lowry, and C o r r i g a n ' s argument, perhaps i n a d v e r t e n t l y , promotes such c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . The n e c e s s i t y o f coming t o terms w i t h C o r r i g a n ' s argument, then, e x p l a i n s the i n v e r s e arrangement o f the f i c t i o n s t h a t a r e d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s t h e s i s . From the p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t t h i s arrangement e s t a b l i s h e s , Lowry's s t a t e m e n t o f i n t e n t i o n towards h i s "new form" remains c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the f i c t i o n t h a t a n t i c i p a t e s i t , "Ghostkeeper," f o r i n t h i s s t o r y Lowry approaches t h e m a t i c a l l y the problem o f a d v a n c i n g a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l f i c t i o n from the form i n which i t f i r s t t a k e s shape: the j o u r n a l . And i n "Through the Panama," "Ghost- k e e p e r ' s " p r e d e c e s s o r , Lowry s u c c e s s f u l l y expands the j o u r n a l form and i t s s i n g l e p o i n t o f view i n t o a f i c t i o n which u n i f i e s a complex network o f opposing p e r s p e c t i v e s . "Through the Panama" e v o l v e s from Dark As the Grave, where Lowry s t r u g g l e s towards t h i s u n i f i c a t i o n o f p e r s p e c t i v e b u t f i n d s h i m s e l f as y e t unable to a c c o m p l i s h i t . Y e t the i n f o r m i n g p r i n c i p l e f o r Dark As the Grave stems from Under the V o l c a n o . Here, Lowry c r e a t e s s u c c e s s f u l f i c t i o n by e x t e n d i n g h i s system o f o p p o s i n g o r d e r s o r c o n f l i c t i n g p e r s p e c t i v e s i n t o e v e r y a s p e c t o f the book so t h a t an o p p o s i t i o n a l system becomes a u n i f y i n g p r i n c i p l e f o r f i c t i o n . And i n each one o f t h e s e works, the f i c t i o n a l form t h a t Lowry employs i s the c o n t a i n i n g p r i n c i p l e f o r t he i m b r o g l i o o f themes, imagery, s t y l e , n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e and mode t h a t c o n s t i t u t e s i t s i n d i v i d u a l n a t u r e . Lowry's new form r e q u i r e s a new arrangement o f p a r t s , and 1 0 0 towards t h i s end he c l o s e l y examines elements i n r e l a t i o n t o one anot h e r . Readers are i m p l i c a t e d i n t o t h i s arrangement, and l i k e Lowry h i m s e l f , who always attempts t o p e r c e i v e the t o t a l s i g n i f i c a n c e b e h i n d e v e n t s , they a re meant not o n l y t o respond t o events t h e m s e l v e s , b ut a l s o to see events i n r e l a t i o n t o the w r i t e r who ren d e r s them. Thus, the theme o f s e p a r a t i o n between a p r o t a g o n i s t and h i s w i f e , which occ u r s i n much o f Lowry's w r i t i n g , i s i m p o r t a n t n o t o n l y i n i t s meaning f o r the " s t o r y " b ut a l s o i n i t s power t o r e f l e c t the r e l a t i o n o f a w r i t e r to the w o r l d he c r e a t e s i n f i c t i o n . The new folrm i n c o r p o r a t e s the p r i n c i p l e o f r e l a t i v i t y , and r e a d e r s themselves a re p r i n c i p a l elements w i t h i n i t . Lowry n o t o n l y arranges h i s f i c t i o n s so t h a t h i s r e a d e r s ' p e r s p e c t i v e s a re made p a r t o f the u n i f y i n g s t r u c t u r e , b u t he a l s o e x p e c t s h i s r e a d e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n o r d e r i n g the s t r u c t u r e o f those f i c t i o n s and i n t h i s way to a i d him i n h i s p u r s u i t towards the new form. Lowry p e r c e i v e s everywhere a continuum c o n t a i n i n g f a c t and i m a g i n a t i o n , b u t what i s t r u l y a d m i r a b l e about h i s approach t o s t r u c t u r e i s h i s f i d e l i t y t o h i s p o i n t s o f d e p a r t u r e : f a c t s cannot be r e - s h u f f l e d and y e t they must be con g r u e n t w i t h the f i c t i o n a l o r d e r i n g o f them; the new form must i n c o r p o r a t e i n t o i t s e l f the f a c t o f i t s b e g i n n i n g s i n the j o u r n a l form. Because Lowry's f i c t i o n s stem from a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l m a t e r i a l , f i c t i o n i d e a l l y becomes i t s own s u b j e c t and i n c o r p o r a t e s l i f e i n t o i t s e l f . B ut the new form f o r f i c t i o n can e v o l v e o n l y a t a pace whereby i t c o n t i n u e s t o c o n t a i n the e v o l v i n g p r o c e s s e s o f l i f e . C o r r i g a n i s c o r r e c t i n a r g u i n g t h a t Lowry's "new form" i s p r i m a r i l y a p h i l o s o p h i c a l i d e a l i z a t i o n , 101 bu t i t s e v o l u t i o n always remains f i r m l y r o o t e d i n the f a c t o f a c t u a l e x p e r i e n c e . I have w r i t t e n o f Lowry's " d e v e l o p i n g m y s t i c i s m " i n h i s p u r s u i t towards h i s new form, and t h i s needs q u a l i f i c a t i o n . Lowry c o n s t a n t l y l o o k s f o r hidd e n t r u t h s and f o r a means o f s t r u c t u r i n g them, and f a c t s o f the m a t e r i a l w o r l d a r e , f o r him, doorways i n t o the s t r u c t u r e t h a t b i n d s them. But Lowry i s n o t a n o m i n a l i s t , and the a p p r e h e n s i o n o f new l e v e l s o f r e a l i t y n e v e r undercuts h i s a c c e p t a n c e o f the phenomenal w o r l d . H i s s t r u c t u r e - m a k i n g method, then , s h o u l d be d i s c r i m i n a t e d from the type o f f i c t i o n a l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y t h a t C o r r i g a n seems to e n v i s i o n f o r Lowry's work and t h a t a f i c t i o n s u ch as The A l e x a n d r i a Q u a r t e t e x e m p l i f i e s . Lawrence D u r r e l l has no i n t e r e s t i n c r e d i b l e c h a r a c t e r s ; he f o c u s e s d i r e c t l y upon the s t r u c t u r e t h a t c o n t a i n s them: the c i t y . The o n l y l e v e l o f importance i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p s c h a r a c t e r s form w i t h each o t h e r , and D u r r e l l ' s s t r u c t u r e , o r c o n t a i n i n g p r i n c i p l e f o r t h i s work, i s based upon thes e r e l a t i o n s h i p s . ' A l t e r n a t i v e l y , Lowry, who a l s o l o o k s towards a b s o l u t e s t r u c t u r e and c o n t a i n i n g form, a f f i r m s t o the end the r e a l i t y o f h i s c h a r a c t e r s , a l t h o u g h he does n o t focus on making them f i c t i o n a l l y c r e d i b l e . His i d e a l s t r u c t u r e i s f a r more remote than D u r r e l l ' s , f o r i n i t he must ar r a n g e and combine, y e t a v o i d f a l s i f y i n g , the d i s p a r a t e o r d e r s o f f a c t and f i c t i o n . Under the Vol c a n o i s Lowry's l a s t attempt t o p r e s e n t i n d i v i d u a l r e a l i t i e s a g a i n s t a s t r u c t u r e t h a t depends 102 p r i m a r i l y upon s p a t i a l r e l a t i o n s . In h i s l a t e r works he e x p l o r e s the p o s s i b i l i t y o f i n v e r s i o n s i n temporal p r o c e s s e s , which he r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y d i s c o v e r s o p e r a t i n g i n Under the V o l c a n o , as a means o f r e n d e r i n g the r e a l i t y o f both f a c t u a l events and the s u p e r s t r u c t u r e t h a t c o n t a i n s them. Lowry e n v i s i o n s f i c t i o n as a continuum, embracing and c o n t a i n i n g o p p o s i n g o r d e r s , "with both ends governed under d i f f e r e n t laws, y e t p a r t o f the same community."^ Only w i t h i n the "new form" can the j o u r n a l o f f a c t s be made congruent w i t h the m y s t i c a l a p p r e h e n s i o n o f the hidden s t r u c t u r e o r p r o c e s s t h a t u n i f i e s e v e n t s . The path towards the new form's r e a l i z a t i o n i s the e v o l u t i o n o f the j o u r n a l form. "Form" i s both the b e g i n n i n g and the end o f t h e p r o c e s s , and i n the c r e a t i v e a c t i t becomes the medium f o r t r a n s l a t i n g the p u r s u i t i n t o f i c t i o n . The c r i t i c a l r e - c r e a t i o n o f Lowry's approach t o "form" l e a d s f i n a l l y towards a d e s i r e t o u n d e r s t a n d the w o r l d - v i e w t h a t promotes i t . One b egins w i t h Lowry's l o v e o f knowledge and f a c t , and h i s a s p i r a t i o n towards an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the n a t u r e o f u l t i m a t e t r u t h . The way i n t o Lowry becomes an e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h i s as i t t r a n s l a t e s l i t e r a l l y : " p h i l o s o p h y " . W i l l i a m Gass, i n " P h i l o s o p h y and the Form o f F i c t i o n , " argues t h a t the c r e a t i v e a c t i n h e r e n t l y c h a l l e n g e s the a u t h o r ' s r o l e w i t h i n h i s o r h e r f i c t i o n a l w o r l d . But the a u t h o r ' s approach t o t h i s r e l a t i o n i n e v i t a b l y f i l t e r s i n t o the f i c t i o n ' s themes and q n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e . The approach an a u t h o r adopts depends upon h i s o r her p h i l o s o p h y w i t h r e s p e c t t o f i c t i o n , and the n a t u r e 103 o f t h a t p h i l o s o p h i c a l s t a n c e commands i t s own f i c t i o n a l form from which a l l o t h e r f i c t i o n a l elements f o l l o w . Having e s t a b l i s h e d t h i s , Gass i s then e n a b l e d t o e x p l o r e Under the V o l c a n o , 1 0 and he d i s c o v e r s . i n i t a c o h e s i o n between Lowry's h a n d l i n g o f t i m e , h i s images, and h i s use o f language. The w o r l d Under the V o l c a n o d e s c r i b e s , he c o n c l u d e s , " i s always a m e t a p h o r i c a l model o f o u r own." 1 1 Gass' a r t i c l e i s an i m p o r t a n t one; i t not o n l y s u g g e s t s t h a t Lowry's p h i l o s o p h i c a l o u t l o o k may t r a n s l a t e i n t o t h e p r i n c i p l e which u n i f i e s h i s work ( f o r example, n e x t i n s e r i e s t o the u n i f y i n g o p e r a t i o n s o f the book's form l i e s the a u t h o r ' s p h i l o s o p h i c a l s t a n c e ) , but a l s o t h a t through t h i s approach and the c r i t i c a l r e - c r e a t i o n o f i t emerges a means o f c o o r d i n a t i n g the book's s u p e r s t r u c t u r e w i t h the dimensions o f the r e a l w o r l d which i t m e t a p h o r i c a l l y m i r r o r s . Gass w r i t e s a f t e r the f a c t o f Lowry's w r i t i n g , b u t the p r o c e s s he d e s c r i b e s i s r o o t e d i n the works o f a w r i t e r from whom Lowry 12 draws obvious themes and images: Samuel T a y l o r C o l e r i d g e . C o l e r i d g e d e f i n e s the p h i l o s o p h i c a l f a c u l t y o f the mind i n B i p g r a p h i a L i t e r a r i a , C h a p t e r F o u r t e e n : The o f f i c e o f ph i 1os ophi ca1 d i sq ui s i t i on c o n s i s t s i n j u s t d i s t i n c t i o n ; w h i l e i t i s the p r i v i l i d g e o f the p h i l o s o p h e r to p r e s e r v e h i m s e l f c o n s t a n t l y aware, t h a t d i s t i n c t i o n i s n o t d i v i s i o n . In o r d e r t o o b t a i n adequate n o t i o n s o f any t r u t h , we must i n t e l l e c t u a l l y s e p a r a t e i t s d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e p a r t s ; and t h i s i s the t e c h n i c a l p r o c e s s o f p h i l o s o p h y . But h a v i n g so done, we must then r e s t o r e them i n our c o n c e p t i o n s t o the u n i t y , i n which they a c t u a l l y c o - e x i s t ; and t h i s i s the r e s u l t f o p h i l o s o p h y . 1 3 F o r C o l e r i d g e , the p h i l o s o p h i c a l f a c u l t y makes d i s t i n c t i o n s and 104 d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s , then r e - c o n s t r u c t s a manner o f u n i f y i n g them. In p o e t r y , he a r g u e s , t h i s u n i f i c a t i o n i s a c h i e v e d by the c o m b i n a t i o n o f elements i n t o a p o e t i c form, and t h a t form depends upon the t r u t h s i t i s i n t e n d e d t o convey. " T r u t h , " he c l a i m s , ''either moral 14 o r i n t e l l e c t u a l , ought t o be the u l t i m a t e end" o f p o e t r y , and p l e a s u r e i s r e s i d u a l i n the a t t a i n m e n t o f t h i s end. I f the p o e t succeeds i n the achievement o f such form, he m a n i f e s t s " t h a t s y n t h e t i c and magical power, t o which we have e x c l u s i v e l y a p p r o p r i a t e d 15 the name o f i m a g i n a t i o n , " and t h i s power " r e v e a l s i t s e l f i n the 16 b a l a n c e o r r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f o p p o s i t e o r d i s c o r d a n t q u a l i t i e s . " T h i s u n i f i c a t i o n i s Lowry's goal i n f i c t i o n ; f i c t i o n a l form i s h i s medium f o r a t t a i n i n g i t . What infor m s h i s h a n d l i n g o f f i c t i o n a l form, and h i s approach to the new form, i s h i s m y s t i c a l p r o p e n s i t y and h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l o u t l o o k . In h i s d r i v e t o t r a n s c e n d Under the V o l c a n o , Lowry annexes J . W. Dunne's n o t i o n s o f time i n t o h i s concept o f s p a t i a l r e l a t i v i t y , and thus f i n d s a means o f e x p l o r i n g the r e l a t i o n between a n a r r a t o r and h i s p r o t a g o n i s t i n Dark As the Grave. As W. H. New n o t e s , Dunne's p h i l o s o p h y g i v e s Lowry a means o f p r e s e n t i n g temporal p r o c e s s e s s p a t i a l l y , 1 ^ and t h i s t e c h n i q u e s t a y s w i t h Lowry i n h i s advancement through f i c t i o n towards the new form. Dunne's c o l l a p s e o f t i m e , and the c o r r e s p o n d i n g c o l l a p s e o f the s p a t i a l frame o f r e f e r e n c e t h a t any moment c o n t a i n s , s t r e s s e s the c e n t r a l i t y o f the p e r c e i v i n g c o n s c i o u s n e s s as the o n l y v e r i f i a b l e r e a l i t y . And c o n s e q u e n t l y , a l l f a c t s o f the phenomenal w o r l d are v a l i d 105 o n l y i n r e l a t i o n t o the s t a t e o f mind o f the p e r c e i v e r upon whom they I o o p e r a t e . Dunne g i v e s Lowry a means o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y v e n t u r i n g i n t o the f o u r t h dimension i n o r d e r to develop the form o f h i s f i c t i o n , b u t f o r e x t e n d i n g the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f p e r s o n a l events i n t o u n i v e r s a l dimensions Lowry appe a l s t o a n o t h e r p h i l o s o p h e r , O r t e g a y G a s s e t . O r t e g a a l s o s t r e s s e s the c e n t r a l i t y o f the p e r c e i v e r , b u t h i s p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e i s p r e c i s e l y t h a t which Dunne r e f u t e s : f a c t s . F o r O r t e g a , l i f e p r o g r e s s e s from the f a c t o f b e i n g i t s e l f and moves i n t o the f a c t o f i t s p r o g r e s s i o n . Ortega's h i s t o r y i s a l i n e a r p r o c e s s , not a t e l e o l o g y b u t more o f a t a u t o l o g y ; man i s "what has happened t o him." F o r Dunne, man i s a composite n o t o n l y o f h i s " p a s t " and " p r e s e n t " e x p e r i e n c e , but o f h i s " f u t u r e " e x p e r i e n c e as w e l l . Both p h i l o s o p h e r s s e r v e t o u n l o c k Lowry's p r o g r e s s i o n o f h i s new form from p o i n t s o f s t a s i s . Dunne's method appe a l s t o Lowry. But Ortega's appeal n'.s t o Lowry's v a l u e s , f o r both O r t e g a and Lowry e x t o l t h e primacy o f f a c t s i n human development. C l e a r l y , Dunne and O r t e g a are d i s c o r d a n t t h r e a d s i n Lowry's p h i l o s o p h i c a l o u t l o o k . But i n the p h i l o s o p h i c a l p r o c e s s C o l e r i d g e o u t l i n e s , Lowry f i n d s a method o f r e c o n c i l i n g them. In an e a r l y l e t t e r t o Conrad A i k e n , Lowry s p e c u l a t e s " t h a t maybe I am the chap chosen o f God o r the d e v i l t o e l u c i d a t e the 19 Law o f S e r i e s . " L a t e r , i n the same l e t t e r t o A l b e r t E r s k i n e where he speaks o f h i s "new form," Lowry a g a i n a l l u d e s t o the 20 "Law o f S e r i e s . " The Law o f S e r i e s i m p l i e s both a d i s c o n n e c t i o n 106 i n the flow o f time and a r e p e t i t i o n o f a p a t t e r n through t i m e , and i s thus an a b s t r a c t i o n which l o c a t e s s t a r v e and d i s c o n n e c t e d events w i t h i n a k i n e t i c development o r h i s t o r i c a l p r o g r e s s i o n . C l e a r l y , the Law o f S e r i e s i s a s u p e r s t r u c t u r e upon e x p e r i e n c e , but e v e n t s , when c o l l a t e d under the same p r i n c i p l e o f montage which Lowry so o f t e n uses, imply both i t s a p p l i c a t i o n t o e x p e r i e n c e and i t s i n d i v i d u a l r e a l i t y . A l t h o u g h Dunne and O r t e g a o f f e r Lowry o p p o s i n g systems o f apprehending time, the Law o f S e r i e s absorbs both t h e i r p h i l o s o p h i e s . Ortega's quanta o f events r e s o l v e i n t o i n d i v i d u a l forms which i s o l a t e the p a t t e r n o f the p e r c e i v e r ' s h i s t o r y . And Dunne's employment o f s e r i a l a n a l o g i e s t o d e s c r i b e 21 a n o n - s e r i a l p r o c e s s a l l o w s the i s o l a t i o n o f moments from the continuum o f time, and o f f e r s as w e l l a means o f r e - c o n n e c t i n g t h o s e moments t o the whole p a t t e r n which c o n t a i n s them. One i r o n y i s t h a t the method o f p r e s e n t a t i o n t h a t c o l l a p s e s Dunne's argument a l l o w s Lowry a means o f employing the c o n c l u s i o n s t h a t t h i s method l e a d s t o . But Lowry was a b l e t o s u b o r d i n a t e the p a r t i c u l a r d i f f e r e n c e s between Dunne and O r t e g a t o the c o n c e p t o f time which each p h i l o s o p h e r , from h i s own p o i n t o f view, seemed to r e c o g n i s e . And i n the Law o f S e r i e s Lowry found a p h i l o s o p h i c a l answer t o h i s problems w i t h c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g the u n i v e r s e . From t h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l d i s c o v e r y , Lowry deduced, i n the manner C o l e r i d g e d e s c r i b e s , a f i c t i o n a l form which c o n t a i n s i t . The c a n a l metaphor i n "Through the Panama" most c l o s e l y h i n t s a t t h i s form; the f r a m i n g d e v i c e s o f Under the V o l c a n o and "Ghostkeeper" 107 p o i n t i n a s i m i l a r d i r e c t i o n . But the model i n which the Law o f S e r i e s f i n d s i t s most a p p o s i t e r e - c r e a t i o n i s i n the f i c t i o n a l composite which Lowry e n v i s i o n e d as u n i f y i n g h i s s e p a r a t e works through an i n c r e m e n t a l p r o c e s s and a s e r i a l p r o g r e s s i o n : The Voyage t h a t Never Ends. Such i s . L o w r y ' s f i c t i o n a l t r a n s l a t i o n o f a p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o n c e p t , h i s e x t e n s i o n o f the j o u r n a l form from an i n i t i a l r e c o r d i n g medium t o a u n i f y i n g s u p e r s t r u c t u r e . And i t s s t a t e o f i n c o m p l e t i o n i s i t s e l f a s t a t e m e n t upon the c o n t i n u i t y i n Lowry's approach t o the d i v e r s e realms o f L i f e and A r t . NOTES TO THE INTRODUCTION ' S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s o f Malcolm Lowry, ed. Harvey B r e i t and and M a r g e r i e Bonner Lowry ( P h i l a d e l p h i a and New York: J . B. L i p p i n c o t t , 1965),.210. 2 S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s , p. 210. Here Lowry i s q u o t i n g O r t e g a . 3 S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s , p. 211. 4 S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s , pp. 330-31. 5 S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s , p. 331. Matthew C o r r i g a n , "Malcolm Lowry: The Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e , " Boundary 2, 3, 2 ( W i n t e r , .1975), 416-17, 434. 7 N o r t h r o p F r y e , Anatomy o f C r i t i c i s m : Four Essays ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n Univ. P r e s s , 1957), 82-84, d e f i n e s "form" i n terms o f the r e l a t i o n between s t r u c t u r e and meaning, and notes t h a t the form i t s e l f s t a n d s i n some r e l a t i o n t o e x t e r n a l n a t u r e . He notes t h a t "as s h a p i n g p r i n c i p l e , i t may be thought o f as n a r r a t i v e , o r g a n i z i n g t e m p o r a l l y what M i l t o n c a l l e d , i n an age o f more e x a c t t e r m i n o l o g y , the 'matter' o f h i s song. As c o n t a i n i n g p r i n c i p l e i t may be thought o f as meaning, h o l d i n g the poem t o g e t h e r i n a s i m u l t a n e o u s s t r u c t u r e . " Malcolm Bradbury, "Malcolm Lowry as M o d e r n i s t , " P o s s i b i l i t i e s : E ssays on the S t a t e o f the Novel (London: O x f o r d Univ. P r e s s , 1973), 189^90. 9 See, f o r example, Douglas Day, 'Malcolm Lowry: A B i o g r a p h y (1973; r t p . New York: D e l l , 1975), 4301 T o w r y was a g r e a t ^ a u t h o r who happened to have w r i t t e n o n l y one g r e a t book." 1 0 Matthew C o r r i g a n , "Malcolm Lowry: The Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e , " p. 412. 108 109 See e s p e c i a l l y T e r e n c e Bareham, " A f t e r the V o l c a n o : An Assessment o f Malcolm Lowry's Posthumous F i c t i o n , " S t u d i e s i n the N o v e l , 6, 3(Autumn 1974), 349-62; M u r i e l C. Bradbrook, Malcolm Lowry: His a r t and e a r l y l i f e ; a s t u d y i n t r a n s f o r m a t i o n (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. P r e s s , 1974]T Matthew C o r r i g a n , "Malcolm Lowry: The Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e " ; W. H. New Malcolm Lowry ( T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d and S t e w a r t (NCL), 1971). 12 Douglas Day, P r e f a c e " t o Malcolm Lowry's Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d ( T o r o n t o : General P u b l i s h i n g , 1968), x i i i . 13 Matthew C o r r i g a n , "Malcolm Lowry: The Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e , " p. 431. 14 Malcolm Lowry, Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d ( T o r o n t o : General P u b l i s h i n g , 1968JT 15 " S o l i p s i s m " i s the catch-word o f a l a r g e f a c t i o n o f Lowry's c r i t i c s , u s u a l l y the e a r l i e r ones. See R i c h a r d H. C o s t a , Malcolm Lowry (New York: Twaynes, 1972); K i n g s l e y S h o r t e r , "Lowry's P r i v a t e T r i p , " New Leader, Sept. 15, 1969, pp. 14-16; George Woodcock, " A r t as the W r i t e r ' s M i r r o r : L i t e r a r y S o l i p s i s m i n Dark As the Grave," Malcolm Lowry: The Man and h i s Work, ed. George Woodcock (Vancouver: Univ. o f B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s , 1971), 66-70. L a t e r c r i t i c s , i n g i v i n g new credence t o Lowry's attempt to t r a n s c e n d the t r a d i t i o n a l a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l form, have shown l e s s p r e d i l e c t i o n i n e q u a t i n g s u b j e c t i v i t y w i t h bad a r t . 16 W. H. New, "Lowry's Reading," Malcolm Lowry: The Man and h i s Work, p. 127. ^ Matthew C o r r i g a n , "Malcolm Lowry: The Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e " , p. 424. C o r r i g a n argues t h a t "the problem w i t h Lowry i s t h a t he wants t o do h i s own r e f l e x i v e c o n s c i o u s n e s s ( i . e . the w r i t e r ' s ) j u s t i c e by a l l o w i n g i t to become a l l t h a t i t i s c a p a b l e o f becoming; b u t t h a t he wants t h a t becoming (which as we've seen takes the c h a r a c t e r beyond mere c h a r a c t e r i n t o h i s t o r y , and even p r o c e s s ) t o s e t t l e i n t o a normal n a r r a t i v e framework." 18 R u d o l f Arnheim, E n t r o p y and A r t : An Essay on D i s o r d e r and Order ( B e r k e l e y : Univ. o f C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 197T), 13. 19 Paul T i e s s e n , "Malcolm Lowry and the Cinema," Malcolm Lowry: The Man and h i s Work, pp. 133-43, and Under the VoTcaho: Lowry and "the Cinema ( u n p u b l i s h e d M.A. t h e s i s , Univ. o f A l b e r t a , 1968). M a r g a r e t N. Davidson, Malcolm Lowry: The Ci nemati c DeVi ces Used i n Under the V o l c a n o ( u n p u b l i s h e d M.A. t h e s e s , Washington S t a t e U n i v . , 1969). John F r a n c i s Knol 1, Malcolm Lowry and the Cinema ( u n p u b l i s h e d PhD d i s s e r t a t i o n , S a i n t L o u i s U n i v . , 1972). 20 S e r g e i E i s e n s t e i n , Notes o f a F i l m D i r e c t o r , t r a n s . X. Danko (1948; r p t . New York: Dover P u b T i c a t i o n s , 1970), 77-78. 21 V i c t o r Doyen, "Elements Towards a S p a t i a n Reading o f Malcolm Lowry's Under the V o l c a n o , " E n g l i s h S t u d i e s , 50(1969), 65-74. S h e r r i l l E. Grace,~ t I~Under the V o l c a n o : N a r r a t i v e Mode and T e c h n i q u e , " J o u r n a l o f Canadian F i c t i o n , 2, 2 ( S p r i n g 1973), 57-61. 22 T e r r e n c e W r i g h t , '"Under the V o l c a n o ' : The S t a t i c A r t o f Malcolm Lowry," A r i e l I , 4 ( 0 c t . 1970), 67-76. Matthew C o r r i g a n , "Malcolm Lowry: the Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e , " p. 416. NOTES TO CHAPTER I Matthew C o r r i g a n , "Malcolm Lowry: The Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e , " Boundary 2, 3, 2 ( W i n t e r , 1973), 409, notes t h a t "Ghost- keeper," i n i t s p r e s e n t s t a t e , i s f a r more s a t i s f y i n g than i t would be had Lowry completed i t . M a r g e r i e Lowry, i n an e d i t o r i a l note o f "Ghostkeeper," Malcolm Lowry: Psalms and Songs, ed. M a r g e r i e Lowry (New York: S i g n e t (New American L i b r a r y ) , 1 9 7 5 ) , 202, notes t h a t " t h i s i s n o t a ' f i n i s h e d ' s t o r y , i t i s a f i r s t d r a f t , w i t h n o t e s . " 3 Malcolm Lowry, "Ghostkeeper, I b i d . , p. 222-23. Subsequent r e f e r e n c e s are t o t h i s e d i t i o n . 4 W. H. New, "Lowry's Reading," MalcOlm Lowry: The Man and h i s Work, ed. George Woodcock (Vancouver: Univ. o f B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s , 1971), 128. c J . W. Dunne, An Experiment w i t h Time (New York: M a c M i l l a n , 1927), 54. 6 W.H. New, "Lowry's Reading," p. 128. ^ Matthew C o r r i g a n , "Malcolm Lowry: The Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e , " p. 415. I l l NOTES TO CHAPTER II Malcolm Lowry, "Through the Panama," Hear Us 0 L o r d From Heaven Thy D w e l l i n g P l a c e ( P h i l a d e l p h i a and New York: J . B. L i p p i n c o t t , 1961), 38. Subsequent r e f e r e n c e s are t o t h i s e d i t i o n . 2 O x f o r d E n g l i s h D i c t i o n a r y . T e r e n c e Bareham,."After the V o l c a n o : An Assessment o f Malcolm Lowry's Posthumous F i c t i o n , " S t u d i e s i n the N o v e l , 6, 1(Autumn, 1974), 352-53. 4 See Matthew C o r r i g a n , "Malcolm Lowry: The Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e , " Boundary 2, 3, 2 ( W i n t e r , 1975), 433. 5 I b i d . , p. 432. In S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s o f Malcolm LoWry, ed. Harvey B r e i t and M a r g e r i e Bonner Lowry ( P F i l a d e l p h i a and New York: J . B. L i p p i n c o t t , 1965), 268, Lowry notes t h a t Hesse i s the w r i t e r t o whom he f e e l s he bears the c l o s e s t resemblance. 7 Sharon Spencer, Space, Time and S t r u c t u r e i n the Modern Novel (New York: New York Univ. P r e s s , 1971), 94. o J o s e O r t e g a y G a s s e t , "The D o c t r i n e o f the P o i n t o f View," The Modern Theme, t r a n s . James Cleugh (London: C. W. D a n i e l , 1931), 90. ^ J . W. Dunne, An Experiment With Time (New York: M a c M i l l a n , 1927), 186-88. Dunne g i v e s as an example o f the i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f p e r c e i v i n g the r e l a t i o n between l i n e a r time and i d e n t i t y t h i s a n a l y s i s : You b e g i n by s t u d y i n g Jones as a c o n s c i o u s i n d i v i d u a l . A l l t h a t y o u here d i s c o v e r i s t h a t he cannot p o s s i b l y be c o n s c i o u s u n l e s s he i s s e r i a l l y c o n s c i o u s . 112 N o t i n g t h i s , you p r o c e e d t o examine him as an i n d i v i d u a l who e x p e r i e n c e s i n s u c c e s s i o n a l l the s t a t e s o f t h a t which he o b s e r v e s . T h i s i n v o l v e s y o u r making y o u r p i c t u r e one dimension l a r g e r than Jones. Whereupon, the a n a l y s i s e x h i b i t s Jones t o y o u as a c o n s c i o u s , p s y c h i c a l i n d i v i d u a l t r a v e l l i n g a l o n g a time dimension. But i t g i v e s no i n d i c a t i o n t h a t he'isanything more than aniautomaton. You f i n d , however, t h a t , i n p r o c e d i n g thus f a r i n y o u r a n a l y s i s , you have l o g i c a l l y committed y o u r - s e l f t o e n l a r g i n g y o u r canvas by y e t a n o t h e r dimension. . . . C o n t i n u a t i o n o f the a n a l y s i s shows y o u a s e r i e s o f Joneses each o b s e r v i n g the Jones o f the n e x t lower term. A l l these are i m p e r i s h a b l e e x c e p t the f i r s t ; and a l l are automatons e x c e p t the l a s t , about whom you do not y e t know enough to dogmatize. . . . the f o c u s s i n g o f a t t e n t i o n i s a f u n c t i o n o f the u l t i m a t e Jones ( t h e l a s t Jones c o n s i d e r e d i n the s e r i e s ) . . . ^ W i l l i a m H. New, Malcolm Lowry ( T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d and S t e w a r t (NCL: Canadian W r i t e r s S e r i e s ) , 1971), 17. 1 1 W. H. New, "Lowry's Reading," Malcolm Lowry: The Man and h i s Work, ed. George Woodcock (Vancouver: Univ. o f B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s , 1971), 126. 12 Malcolm Lowry, Under the V o l c a n o (1947; r p t . , London: Penguin, 1962), 344. 13 G e o f f r e y D u r r a n t , "Death i n L i f e : N e o - P l a t o n i c Elements i n 'Through the Panama, "' Mal colm Lowry: The Man and h i s Work, p. 54, p o i n t s o u t t h a t t h i s p h r a s e r e f e r s t o t h i s s t o r y , ancl notes t h a t f o r the r e a d e r o f "Through the Panama" " i t s i n t e r e s t l i e s i n the open exposure o f the method." 14 A r l e n J . Hansen, "The C e l e b r a t i o n o f S o l i p s i s m : A New T r e n d i n American F i c t i o n , " Modern F i c t i o n S t u d i e s , 19, ^ ( S p r i n g 1973), 8. " NOTES TO CHAPTER I I I ' Malcolm Lowry, Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d ( T o r o n t o : General P u b l i s h i n g , 19687! 2 R i c h a r d H. C o s t a , Malcolm Lowry (New York: Twayne's, 1972), 107. 3 Douglas Day, Malcolm Lowry: A B i o g r a p h y (1973; r p t . New York: D e l l , 1975), 430, i s an e x c e p t i o n . F o r him, Lowry i s a one-shot n o v e l i s t who, a f t e r c o m p l e t i n g Under the V o l c a n o , had w r i t t e n h i m s e l f out. 4 Matthew C o r r i g a n , "Malcolm Lowry, New York P u b l i s h i n g and the 'New I I l i t e r a c y , ' " E n c o u n t e r , 35, 1 ( J u l y , 1970), 83. 5 I b i d . , p. 82. Douglas Day, " P r e f a c e " t o Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d ( T o r o n t o : General P u b l i s h i n g , 1968), x v i . 7 I b i d . , p. x x i . The m a n u s c r i p t o f Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d i s housed i n the Malcolm Lowry P a p e r s , S p e c i a l C o l l e c t i o n s D i v i s i o n , Main L i b r a r y , o f the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, Boxes 14(20-38), 15(1-21). T h i s r e f e r e n c e , p. 377, and t h o s e f o l l o w i n g , c o r r e s p o n d t o the p a g i n a t i o n o f the m a n u s c r i p t . g Dark As the Grave m a n u s c r i p t , pp. 428-29. I U For example, S i g b j t f r n ' s i d e a t h a t g e t t i n g o u t o f bed ". . . s y m b o l i z e d the s t r u g g l e between l i f e and death" i s found on both p. 130 and p. 191; the e v o c a t i o n o f Dunne's n o t i o n o f dreaming i n which " s l e e p means the r e - e x p e r i e n c i n g o f one's p a s t , f o r g e t t i n g one's p r e s e n t and p r e f e e l i n g one's f u t u r e " (p. 114), r e c u r s on p. 192. U n l e s s the e d i t o r s were unaware o f t h i s r e p e t i t i o n , 114 115 o r u n l e s s the r e a s o n i n g f o r the s e l e c t i o n o f a d m i s s i b l e r e p e t i t i o n was basedfon the l e n g t h o f the passage, the e d i t i n g p o l i c y f o r Dark As the Grave must appear e r r a t i c . 1 1 Dark As the Grave m a n u s c r i p t , p. 371. C f . the p u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n , p. 202. 12 See S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s o f Malcolm Lowry, ed. Harvey B r e i t and M a r g e r i e Bonner Lowry ( P h i l a d e l p h i a and New York: J . B. L i p p i n c o t t , 1965), 331-32. 13 Malcolm Lowry, Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d ( T o r o n t o : General P u b l i s h i n g , 1968),' 1. Subsequent r e f e r e n c e s are t o t h i s e d i t i o n . 14 Matthew C o r r i g a n , "Malcolm Lowry: The Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e , " Boundary 2, 3, 2 ( W i n t e r , 1975), 413. ^ See Lowry's note to h i s r e a d e r s on pp. 49-50 ( m a n u s c r i p t , p. 377) about the r e l a t i o n between the p r o t a g o n i s t o f Dark As the Grave and the n a r r a t o r o f Under the V o l c a n o . The same type o f r e l a t i o n s h i p i s o p e r a t i n g w i t h i n Dark As the Grave, and the t e c h n i q u e a p p l i e s outwards to Lowry's o t h e r f i c t i o n . An awareness o f t h i s p r o c e s s q u a l i f i e s the c r i t i c a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f Lowry's i n c r e m e n t a l t h e o r y o f f i c t i o n . . ^ See Matthew C o r r i g a n ' s "Malcolm Lowry: The Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e , " p. 431; r e p r o d u c e d on p. 8 o f t h i s t h e s i s . ^ See Dark As the Grave, pp. 151-52. Reproduced on p. 63 o f t h i s t h e s i s . NOTES TO CHAPTER IV 1 Malcolm Lowry, Under the V o l c a n o (1947; r p t . London: Penguin, 1962). Subsequent r e f e r e n c e s are to t h i s e d i t i o n . 2 The O x f o r d E n g l i s h D i c t i o n a r y g i v e s as an o b s c u r e meaning o f " a l t e r e d 1 1 " ! " T h i r s t y , d r i e d up." 3 Dale Edmonds, "Under the V o l c a n o : A Reading o f the Immediate L e v e l , " T u l a n e S t u d i e s i n E n g l i s h , 16(1968), 79, c o n c l u d e s t h a t the m a t e r i a l i s p r e s e n t e d e n i g m a t i c a l l y and t h a t we can n e v e r be s u r e we a r e d e a l i n g w i t h r e a l i t y . Andrew P o t t i n g e r , "The C o n s u l ' s 'Murder'" Canadian L i t e r a t u r e , 6 7 ( W i n t e r , 1976), 53-63, examines the r e l a t i o n between the focus o f n a r r a t i o n and the g i v e n f a c t s i n C h a p t e r XII and notes t h a t t h e r e i s s u f f i c i e n t i n t e r n a l e v i d e n c e to doubt the f a c t s t h a t the r e a d e r i n i t i a l l y g r a s p s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , h i s good o b s e r v a t i o n s are r a t h e r debased when he goes on to argue t h a t the C o n s u l , i n f a c t , r e a l l y may be a spy. S h e r r i l l Grace, "Under the V o l c a n o : N a r r a t i v e Mode and T e c h n i q u e , " J o u r n a l o f Canadian F i c t i o n , 2, 2 ( S p r i n g , 1973), 58, notes t h a t the n a r r a t o r always mediates between the r e a d e r and the book's c h a r a c t e r s and t h a t i t remains u n c l e a r how much the n a r r a t o r has a l t e r e d . Lowry c l a i m s t h a t the e f f e c t i s i n t e n t i o n a l . In the l e t t e r t o Cape, S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s o f Malcolm Lowry, ed. Harvey B r e i t and M a r g e r i e Bonner Lowry ( P F i 1 a d e l p h i a : J . B. L i p p i n c o t t , 1965), 70, he c o u n t e r p o i n t s the Consul's d r e a d f u l "mania o f p e r - s e c u t i o n " a g a i n s t h i s sense t h a t h i s r e a d e r s f e e l " t h a t he i s i n d e e d b e i n g f o l l o w e d t h r o u g h o u t the book." He f u r t h e r notes o f s e v e r a l o f h i s v i s u a l images t h a t " t h e s e are p r o j e c t i o n s o f the Consul and o f the f u t i l i t y o f h i s l i f e , and a t the same time are r i g h t , are t r u e , are what one sees h e r e " (p. 78). 4 R i c h a r d H a u e r C o s t a , Malcolm Lowry (New York: Twayne, 1972), 107. 5 W i l l i a m H. New, Malcolm Lowry ( T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d and S t e w a r t (NCL), 1971), 45. 116 117 D Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d ( T o r o n t o : General P u b l i s h i n g , 1968), 141. Subsequent r e f e r e n c e s are t o t h i s e d i t i o n . ^ S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s o f Malcolm Lowry, pp. 57-88. Subsequent r e f e r e n c e s to the Cape l e t t e r are t o t h i s e d i t i o n . 8 I b i d . ^ p. 192. 9 I b i d . , p. 251. 1 0 I b i d . , pp. 331-32. 1 1 See Douglas Day, Malcolm Lowry: A B i o g r a p h y (1973; r p t . New York: D e l l ( L a u r e l Paperback Edi t i o n ) , 1975), 247-48. 12 See John C h a l k e r , '"Under the V o l c a n o : ' G e o f f r e y ' s Unposted L e t t e r " London Review, (Autumn, 1968), 26-33. 13 Stephen Spender, " I n t r o d u c t i o n " t o Under the V o l c a n o (New York and P h i l a d e l p h i a : L i p p i n c o t t ( S i g n e t Paperback) 1966), v i i - x x v i , d i r e c t s the r e a d e r t o the c i n e m a t i c t e c h n i q u e o f Under the V o l c a n o , and t h i s encourages A. C. Nyland, "The Luminous Wheel: The E v o l u t i o n o f Malcolm Lowry's S t y l e , " Malcolm Lowry: Psalms and Songs, ed. M a r g e r i e Lowry (New York and T o r o n t o : New American L i b r a r y , 1975), 170-71, to s u g g e s t the concept as a f a i r r e a d i n g o f the t e x t . Paul T i e s s e n , i n Under the V o l c a n o : LOwry and the Cinema (M.A. T h e s i s , Univ. o f A l b e r t a , 1968), w r i t e s the most i n t e r e s t i n g c r i t i c i s m t o date on the n o v e l ' s c i n e m a t i c t e c h n i q u e . John K n o l l , Malcolm Lowry and the Cinema (PhD d i s s e r t a t i o n , S a i n t L o u i s Univ. j 1972), e s s a y i n g the same ground as T i e s s e n , p e r c e i v e s Lowry as e d i t o r o f L a r u e l l e ' s f i l m . M. C. Bradbrook, Malcolm Lowry: His A r t and E a r l y L i f e : A Study i n T r a n s f o r m a t i o n (London: Cambridge Univ. P r e s s , 1974) launches tn~e p o t e n t i a l debate when she extends L a r u e l l e ' s c o n c e p t i o n o f the Consul as L o r d Jim t o h i s own r o l e as Marlow and notes t h a t L a r u e l l e " p r e s i d e s o v e r t he whole t a l e as a s h a p i n g f i g u r e " (p.. 12) a l t h o u g h "the book i s not j u s t what he s e e s " (p. 60). W. H. New, Malcolm Lowry, p. 3 2 , . h i t s the p o i n t s q u a r e l y when he co n c l u d e s t h a t L a r u e l l e , i n the a c t o f remembering, " c o n t a i n s " the e v e n t s o f the y e a r b e f o r e ; he f i n d s h i s way t o t h i s not through the e x a m i n a t i o n o f the book's n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e ( c f . T i e s s e n ) but i t s s t r u c t u r e . Tony K i l g a l l in,'Lowry ( E r i e , O n t a r i o : P r e s s P o r c e p i c , 1973), seems t o be the c r i t i c most e x c i t e d about L a r u e l l e and the book's c i n e m a t i c t e c h n i q u e s (see p. 131), b u t he a p p l i e s h i s f i n d i n g s , s t r a n g e l y I t h i n k , t o the book's m y t h i c and s y m b o l i c dimensions. Evidence'abounds w i t h i n Under the Volc a n o and any r e a d e r who l o o k s f o r i t can f i n d i t . My i n t e r e s t i s l e s s w i t h e s t a b l i s h i n g the p o i n t t h e m a t i c a l l y than w i t h e x t e n d i n g i t i n t o t he formal 118 p r o c e s s e s o f the book. But Douglas Day's Malcolm Lowry: A C r i t i c a l B i o g r a p h y , pp. 247-48, i n d i c a t e s t h a t i n e a r l i e r d r a f t s LarueTTe i s p o r t r a y e d as dreaming the e v e n t s o f t h e y e a r b e f o r e and then b r i n g i n g them t o l i f e . And a c a t a l o g u e w r i t t e n by Lowry i n the m a n u s c r i p t o f Dark As the Grave, p. 286, which shows a p a r t o f the r e l a t i o n between Lowry and h i s c h a r a c t e r s , i n d i c a t e s the c e n t r a l i t y o f L a r u e l l e : In R e a l i t y In the V a l l e y Bad g u i l t y s e l f p l us i m a g i n a t i o n S e l f p l u s i m a g i n a t i o n S e l f p l u s even l e s s i m a g i n a t i o n S e l f p l u s P r i m r o s e ' s i m a g i n a t i o n S e l f p l u s Fernando Marquez Di t t o The Consul L a r u e l l e Hugh Yvonne V i g i l Juan C e r i l l o 14 See S h e r r i l l Grace, and T e c h n i q u e , " p. 59. 'Under the V o l c a n o : N a r r a t i v e Mode Edmonds, ' p. 70. 1 5 See Dale Immediate L e v e l , Dave G o d f r e y , " R i v e r Two B l i n d J a c k s , " Canadian S h o r t S t o r i e s , 2nd s e r i e s , ed. Robert Weaver ( T o r o n t o P r e s s , 1968), 301-17. 17 "Under the V o l c a n o : A Reading o f the O x f o r d Univ. Wayne C. Booth, The R h e t o r i c o f F i c t i o n ( C h i c a g o : o f Chicago P r e s s , 1 9 6 1 ) , 1 5 3 , 74-75. 18 Univ. 19 W. H. New, Malcolm Lowry, p. 32. T h i s p r o c e s s i s s u p e r b l y m i r r o r e d i n Lowry's use o f R e v e l a t i o n s imagery. A p a r t from the t h e m a t i c c o n n e c t i o n s , R e v e l a t i o n s c o r r e s p o n d s i n form to Under the Volcano's temporal p r o c e s s e s . S t . John's a l l e g e d "dream" e x p e r i e n c e p r o v i d e s the m a t e r i a l f o r h i s c h r o n i c l e o r j o u r n a l e n t r y t h a t g i v e s form to what i s to come, and i n t h i s way, the a c t u a l e x p e r i e n c e f o l l o w s the r e c o r d ' o f i t i n the h o l y book. L i f e f o l l o w s A r t h e r e , and A r t i s based upon the p r e c o n c e i v e d e x p e r i e n c e o f the l a t e r e x p e r i e n c e . The book and the f a c t , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , c r e a t e one another. The r e l e v a n t q u e s t i o n f o r Under the V o l c a n o , t h e n , i s , does L a r u e l l e c r e a t e the C o n s u l ' s s t o r y , o r does i t c r e a t e him? Under the V o l c a n o abounds i n t h e s e types o f i n v e r s i o n s . Because the form e s t a b l i s h e s t h i s on the n a r r a t i v e l e v e l , the t h e m a t i c l e v e l employs s e v e r a l such p o s s i b i l i t i e s . In the p e l a d o 119 e p i s o d e o f Chapte r V I I I , the l e g a l problem a r i s e s o f becoming an " a c c e s s o r y a f t e r the f a c t " (p. 245). But w i t h Lowry's h a n d l i n g o f time, such f i n e d i s t i n c t i o n s between b e f o r e and a f t e r a r e i m p o s s i b l e t o make. In the m e t a p h o r i c a l a p p l i c a t i o n o f the pe l a d o to the C o n s u l , Hugh and L a r u e l l e a re t o some e x t e n t promoters o f h i s d o w n f a l l , and y e t are a f t e r the f a c t a c c e s s o r i e s as w e l l . 20 Tony K i l g a l l i n , Lowry, p. 97. 21 C l i f f o r d Leech, "The Shaping o f Time: Nostromo and Under the V o l c a n o , " Imagined Worlds: Essays oh Some ErTglish Novels and N o v e l i s t s i n Honour o f John B"utt, ed. Maynard Mack and Ian Gregor (London: Methuen, 1 9 6 8 7 7^39. 22 S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s o f Malcolm Lowry, p. 331. 23 Paul T i e s s e n , Under the Volc a n o : Lowry and the Cinema, quote i s on p. 84. 24 V i c t o r Doyen, "Elements Towards a S p a t i a l Reading o f Malcolm Lowry's Under the V o l c a n o , " E n g l i s h S t u d i e s , 59(1969), 73. 25 T e r r e n c e W r i g h t , '"Under the Vo l c a n o ' — The S t a t i c A r t o f Malcolm Lowry," A r i e l I , 4 ( 0 c t . 1970), 67-76. ?6 S h e r r i l l Grace, "Under the V o l c a n o : N a r r a t i v e Mode and Tech n i q u e , " p. 57. 2 7 I b i d . , p. 57. 28 C l i f f o r d Leech, "The Shapi n g o f Time: Nostromo and Under the V o l c a n o , " p. 228. 29 G e o f f r e y D u r r a n t , "Death i f L i f e : N e o - P l a t o n i c Elements i n 'Through the Panama,'" Malcolm Lowry: The Man and h i s Work, ed. George Woodcock (Vancouver: Univ. o f B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s , 1971), pp. 42-55. 30 S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s o f Malcolm Lowry, p. 75. NOTES TO THE CONCLUSION From "Joseph Conrad," S e l e c t e d Poems o f Malcolm Lowry, ed. E a r l e B i r n e y (San F r a n c i s c o : C i t y L i g h t s , 1962), IT. 2 S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s o f Malcolm Lowry, ed. Harvey B r e i t and M a r g e r i e Bonner Lowry ( P h i l a d e l p h i a and New York: J . B. L i p p i n c o t t , 1965), 331-32. 3 Matthew C o r r i g a n , "Malcolm Lowry: The Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e , " Boundary 2, 3, 2 ( W i n t e r , .1975), 412-13. 4 I b i d . , p. 416. 5 Douglas Day, " P r e f a c e " t o Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d ( T o r o n t o : General P u b l i s h i n g , 1968), i x . R i c h a r d K. C r o s s , "Moby Dick and Under the V o l c a n o : P o e t r y from the Abyss," Modern F i c t i o n S t u d i e s , 20, 2(Summer, 1974), 151. ^ The image i s o f the Panama Canal i n Malcolm Lowry, "Through the Panama," Hear Us 0 L o r d From Heaven Thy D w e l l i n g P l a c e ( P h i l a d e l p h i a and New York: J . B. L i p p i n c o t t , 1961), 62. Q W i l l i a m H. Gass, " P h i l o s o p h y and the Form o f F i c t i o n , " F i c t i o n and the F i g u r e s o f L i f e (New York: Knopf, 1970), 3-26. Gass notes t h a t an authoP's concept o f t h i s r o l e need have no c o n n e c t i o n t o how he c o n c e p t u a l i z e s h i m s e l f i n the r e a l w o r l d : "Thus, so many o f the t h i n g s which are f a l s e o r f o o l i s h when taken t o the r e a l w o r l d -- i n r e l i g i o n o r p h i l o s o p h y -- become the p l a i n e s t s tatements o f what's t r u e when taken t o f i c t i o n , f o r i n the b e g i n n i n g is _ the word, and i f the e s t h e t i c aim o f any f i c t i o n i s the c r e a t i o n o f a w o r l d , then the w r i t e r i s c r e a t o r -- he i s god -- and the r e l a t i o n o f a w r i t e r t o h i s work r e p r e s e n t s i n i d e a l form the r e l a t i o n o f the f a b l e d C r e a t o r t o h i s c r e a t i o n . " (p. 18) 120 121 I b i d . , pp. 19-20. Gass e x p l a i n s : [The a u t h o r ] may e n j o y h i s a l l e g e d omnipotence, h i s o m n i s c i e n c e and omnipresence, b u t w i t h i t , s p o i l i n g i t , i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . What about a l l t h a t p e r f e c t i o n ? Can he take upon h i m s e l f t h i s burden? Can he a s s u r e h i s r e a d e r s t h a t h i s w o r l d i s good, whatsoever happens? He can e x p l a i n i t no b e t t e r than the t h e o l o g i a n ; t h e r e f o r e s h o r t l y the n o v e l i s t who assumes the p o i n t o f view o f the omnipotent, o m n i s c i e n t and o m n i p r e s e n t n a r r a t o r b e g i n s t o i n s i s t upon h i s i m p e r f e c t i o n ; a p o l o g i z e , i n a g e n t l y way p e r - haps, f o r h i s c u t p u r s e s , whores, h i s murderers,and i n g e n e r a l s u r r e n d e r h i s p o s i t i o n . . . And when the a r t i s t b e g i ns t o e x p l a i n t h a t , o f c o u r s e , omnipotence i s a r t i s t i c a l l y v u l g a r , t h a t one must l i m i t o n e s e l f t o a p o i n t o f view, he i s i n s i s t i n g , f o r h i s w o r l d , upon the r e s t r i c t i o n o f knowledge t o the human, and o f t e n o n l y t o a few o f t h e s e , and f i n a l l y o n l y t o r a r e moments o c c u r r i n g i n the b e s t minds. He a l l o w s h i m s e l f to be governed by them, no t t o govern, as i f God s t e p p e d down i n f a v o u r o f moving mass and e f f i c i e n t c a u s e s , so t o say: " T h i s i s not mine; I do n o t t h i s ; I am n o t here." Novels i n which the n o v e l i s t has e f f a c e d h i m s e l f c r e a t e w o r l d w i t h o u t gods. 1 0 W i l l i a m H. Gass, "In Terms o f the T o e n a i l : F i c t i o n and the F i g u r e s o f L i f e , " F i c t i o n and the F i g U r e s o f L i f e , pp. 55-76. 1 1 I b i d . , p. 60. 12 W. H. New, "Lowry's Reading," Malcolm Lowry: The Man and H i s Work, ed. George Woodcock (Vancouver: Univ. o f B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s , 1971), 128, connects C o l e r i d g e t o Lowry: "The problem o f h a r m o n i z i n g the mind w i t h the o u t s i d e environment i s , o f c o u r s e , a c e n t r a l one i n works l i k e C o l e r i d g e ' s 'Rime o f the A n c i e n t M a r i n e r ' , which Lowry absorbed so t h o r o u g h l y as to b i n d i t i n t e g r a l l y i n t o the s t r u c t u r e and e f f e c t o f 'Through the Panama'. From C o l e r i d g e , Lowry a l s o a c c e p t e d many o f h i s i d e a s about the f l u i d i t y o f time . . ." M. C. Bradbrook, Malcolm Lowry: His A r t and E a r l y L i f e : A Study i n T r a n s f o r m a t i o n (London: O x f o r d Univ. P r e s s , 1973), 125, s u g g e s t s t h a t C o l e r i d g e may i n f o r m Lowry's p r o p e n s i t y t o p e r c e i v e "both the n a t u r a l and the i n v i s i b l e w o r l d s i n the w o r l d o f common l i f e . " And W. H. New, i n "A Note on Romantic A l l u s i o n s i n Hear Us 0 L o r d , " S t u d i e s i n Canadian L i t e r a t u r e , 1, 1 ( W i n t e r , 1976), 131, s u g g e s t s t h a t C o l e r i d g e ' s "The A e o l i a n Harp," where "animated n a t u r e / Be b u t o r g a n i c harps d i v e r s e l y fram'd," p r o v i d e s Lowry w i t h a p a r a l l e l between f i c t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e and the means by which s e p a r a t e e n t i t i e s , i n 122 the a g g r e g a t e , make a u n i f i e d whole i n L i f e . C o l e r i d g e thus o f f e r s Lowry a method f o r f i c t i o n a l form: " C o l e r i d g e ' s l i n e s s e r v e both t o remind us o f the t e c h n i c a l s t r u c t u r e — the use o f a n a l o g i e s , m o t i f s , images -- t h a t p r o v i d e t h i s u n i t y , and t o focus o u t a t t e n t i o n on the work's i n t e l l e c t u a l b a s i s . " 13 Samule T a y l o r C o l e r i d g e , B i o g r a p h i a L i t e r a r i a , E n g l i s h Romantic W r i t e r s , ed. David P e r k i n s (New YorF: H a r c o u r t , Brace & World, 1967), 453. 1 4 I b i d . , p. 454 1 5 I b i d . , p. 455. 1 6 I b i d . , p. 455. 1 7 W. H. New, "Lowry's R e a d i n g , " p . 128. New says o f Dunne's book: "Though i t had a s t r o n g f o l l o w i n g i n the decade o r so a f t e r i t s p u b l i c a t i o n , i t has been a t t a c k e d -- f o r ' s p a t i a l i z i n g ' a n o n - s p a t i a l c o n c e p t , f o r i d e n t i f y i n g the problems o f time p a s s i n g w i t h those o f time p a s t , and f o r i n t e r p r e t i n g time as i t s e l f a pro c e s s i n time -- bu t such o b j e c t i o n s d i d not p a r t i c u l a r l y d i s t u r b Lowry. Paul T i e s s e n shows how Lowry's ' c i n e m a t i c ' t e c h n i q u e i n works l i k e Under the V o l c a n o , f o r example, i s adopted t o p r e s e n t i n g temporal f l u x i n s p a t i a l terms. Dark As the Grave extends the method and most c l e a r l y demonstrates Dunne's i d e a . " 18 And a t t h i s p o i n t Dunne's l o g i c caves i n . He presupposes the c e n t r a l i t y o f the p e r c e i v i n g c o n s c i o u s n e s s when he r e f u t e s the v a l i d i t y o f the phenomena, and the time scheme i n which they o p e r a t e , which t h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s p e r c e i v e s . But he g i v e s no a p r i o r i e v i d e n c e f o r the f a c t o f b e i n g upon which h i s experiments w i t h time are p r e d i c a t e d . Phenomena are e v a l u a t e d i n r e l a t i o n t o a p e r c e i v i n g c o n s c i o u s n e s s ; l o g i c demands t h a t t h i s method be r e c i p r o c a l , and t h a t s t h e - s p a c e a n d i t i m e i s p h e r e s . o f i t h e '"perceiving con- sc49Usinessnalso be'e-Valuated i n r e l a t i o n to the phenomena he p e r c e i v e s . 19 S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s o f Malcolm Lowry, p. 49. 2 0 I b i d . , p. 332. 21 See J . W. Dunne, An Experiment With Time (New York: M a c M i l l a n , 1927), 186-87, r p t . , note to Chapter II #9. See a l s o note #17 above. BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Sources Lowry, Malcolm. Under the V o l c a n o . 1947; r p t . , London: Penguin, 1962. "Through the Panama." Hear Us 0 L o r d From Heaven Thy D w e l l i n g PI ace. P h i l a d e l p h i a and New York: J . B. L i p p i n c o t t , 1961. , Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d . T o r o n t o : General P u b l i s h i n g , 1968. _ . M a n u s c r i p t o f Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d . Is L a i d . Malcolm Lowry-Papers, S p e c i a l C o l l e c t i o n s D i v i s i o n , Main L i b r a r y , Univ. o f B r i t i s h Columbia, Boxes 14 (20-38), 15 ( 1 - 2 1 ) . . "Ghostkeeper." Malcolm Lowry: Ps^l.ms and Songs. ed. M a r g e r i e Lowry. New York and T o r o n t o : S i g n e t (New American L i b r a r y ) , 1975, pp. 202-27. S e l e c t e d L e t t e r s o f Malcolm Lowry. ed. Harvey B r e i t and M a r g e r i e Bonner Lowry. P h i l a d e l p h i a and New York: J . B. L i p p i n c o t t , 1965. Secondary Sources C r i t i cs on Lowry Bareham, Te r e n c e . " A f t e r the V o l c a n o : An Assessment o f Malcolm Lowry's Posthumous F i c t i o n . " S t u d i e s In the N o v e l , 6, HAutumn, 1974), 349-62. ~ 123 124 B a x t e r , C h a r l e s M. B l a c k Holes i n Space: The F i g u r e o f the A r t i s t i n N a t h a n i a l West's Miss L o n e l y h e a r t s , Djuna Barnes' Nightwood, and Malcolm Lowry's Under the V o l c a n o . U n p u b l i s h e d PhD d i s s e r t a t i o n : S t a t e Univ. o f New York a t B u f f a l o , 1974. Bradbrook, M. C. Malcolm Lowry: H i s A r t and E a r l y L i f e : A Study i n T r a n s f o r m a t i o n . London: Cambridge Univ. P r e s s , 1974'. Bradbury, Malcolm, "Malcolm Lowry as M o d e r n i s t . " P o s s i b i l i t i e s : E ssays on the S t a t e o f the N o v e l . London: O x f o r d Univ. P r e s s , 1973, pp. 181-91. C a r r o y , Jean-Roger. "Obscur p r e s e n t , l e f e u . . .". Les L e t t r e s N o u v e l l e s , 5 ( J u i l l e t - A o u t , 1960), 83-88. C h a l k e r , John. "'Under the V o l c a n o : ' G e o f f r e y ' s Unposted L e t t e r . " London Review, (Autumn, 1968), 26-33. C o r r i g a n , Matthew. "Masks and the Man: The W r i t e r as A c t o r . " Shenandoah, 19(Summer, 1968), 89-93. --. "Malcolm Lowry, New York P u b l i s h i n g , and the 'New I l l i t e r a c y . "' E n c o u n t e r , 35, l ( J u l y , 1970), 82-93. . "The W r i t e r as C o n s c i o u s n e s s : A View o f 'October : .>fy Ferry»to"Gabri61 afh" •MaTcolm Lowry':.: Tihe Man and His^Work:? ed. George Woodcock. Vancouver: Univ. o f B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s , 1971, pp. 71-77. . "Malcolm Lowry: The Phenomenology o f F a i l u r e . " Boundary 2, 3, 2 ( W i n t e r , 1975), 407-42. C o s t a , R i c h a r d Hauer. Malcolm Lowry. New York: Twayne's, 1972. C r e s w e l l , Rosemary. "Malcolm Lowry's O t h e r F i c t i o n . " Cunning Exi 1 e s : S t u d i e s o f Modern Prose W r i t e r s , ed. Don Anderson and Stephen K n i g h t . Sydney: Angus and R o b e r t s o n , 1974, pp. 62-80. C r o s s , R i c h a r d K. "Moby Dick and Under the V o l c a n o : P o e t r y from the Abyss.'""""Modern F i c t i o n S t u d i e s , 20, 2(Summer, 1974), T49-56. D a v i d s o n , M a r g a r e t Normanton. Malcolm Lowry: The C i n e m a t i c Devices Used i n Under the V o l c a n o . U n p u b l i s h e d M . A! t h e s i s , Washington S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , 1969. Day, Douglas. " P r e f a c e " t o Dark As the Grave Wherein My F r i e n d Is L a i d . T o r o n t o : G e n e r a l P u b l i s h i n g , 1969, pp. i x - x x i i i . 125 Day, Douglas. Malcolm Lowry: A B i o g r a p h y . 1973; r p t . , New York: D e l l , 1975. Dodson, D a n i e l B. Malcolm Lowry. New York and London: Columbia Univ. P r e s s (Columbia Essays on Modern W r i t e r s S e r i e s ) , 1970. Doyen, V i c t o r . "Elements Towards a S p a t i a l Reading o f Malcolm Lowry's Under the V o l c a n o . " E n g l i s h S t u d i e s , 50(1969), 65-74. D u r r a n t , G e o f f r e y . "Death i n L i f e : N e o - P l a t o n i c Elements i n 'Through the Panama. "' Malcolm Lowry: The Man and H i s Work, ed. George Woodcock. Vancouver: Univ. o f B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s , 1971, pp. 42-55. Edmonds, Dale. "Under the V o l c a n o : A Reading o f the 'Immediate L e v e l . ' " T u l a n e S t u d i e s o f E n g l i s h , 16(1968), 63-105. E p s t e i n , P e r l e S. The P r i v a t e L a b y r i n t h o f Malcolm Lowry: Under the V o l c a n o and t h e ~ C a b b a l a . New York": H o l t , R i n e h a r t and Winston, 1969. "Swinging the Maelstrom: Malcolm Lowry and J a z z . " Malcolm Lowry: The Man and H i s Work. ed. George Woodcock. Vancouver: Univ. o f B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s , 1971, pp. 144-53. Gass, W i l l i a m H. "In Terms o f the T o e n a i l : F i c t i o n and the F i g u r e s o f L i f e . " F i c t i o n and the F i g u r e s o f L i f e . New York: Knopf, 1970, pp. 55-76. Grace, S h e r r i l l E. "Under the V o l c a n o : N a r r a t i v e Mode and T e c h n i q u e . " J o u r n a l o f Canadian F i c t i o n , 2, 2 ( S p r i n g , 1973), 56-61. Heilman, Robert B. "The P o s s e s s e d A r t i s t and the A i l i n g S o u l . " Malcolm Lowry: The Man and H i s Work, ed. George Woodcock. Vancouver: Univ. o f B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s , 1971, pp. 16-25. K i l g a l l i n , Antony R. " F a u s t and Under the V o l c a n o . " Malcolm Lowry: The Man and His Work, ed. George Woodcock. Vancouver: Univ. o f B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s , 1971, pp. 26-37. _—, LoWry. E r i n , O n t a r i o : P r e s s P o r c e p i c , 1973. K n o l l , John F r a n c i s . Malcolm Lowry and the Cinema. U n p u b l i s h e d PhD d i s s e r t a t i o n , S a i n t L o u i s U n i v e r s i t y , 1972. 126 Leech, C l i f f o r d . "The S h a p i n g o f Time: Nostromo and Under the V o l c a n o . " Imagined Worlds: Essays on Some E n g l i s h N o v e l s and N o v e l i s t s i n Honour o f John B u t t s , ed. Maynard Mack and Ian Gregor. London: Methuen, 1968, pp. 323-41. L y t t l e , Andrew. "The Hero With the P r i v a t e P a r t s , " The Hero With the P r i v a t e P a r t s . Baton Rouge: L o u i s i a n n a S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1966, pp. 42-59. McCormick, John. C a t a s t r o p h e and I m a g i n a t i o n : An I n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the Recent E n g l i s h and American N o v e l . London: Longman's, 1957, pp. 85-89. New, W i l l i a m H. "Lowry, the Cabbala and C h a r l e s J o n es." 1970; r p t . , A r t i c u l a t i n g West. T o r o n t o : New P r e s s , 1972, pp. 189-95. , "Lowry's Reading." 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New York and P h i l a d e l p h i a : J . B. L i p p i n c o t t ( S i g n e t P a p e r b a c k ) , 1966, pp. v i i - x x v i . T i e s s e n Paul G. Under the V o l c a n o : Lowry and the Ciriema. U n p u b l i s h e d M.A. t h e s i s , Univ. • o f A l b e r t a , ~ l 9 ~ 6 8 . — "Malcolm Lowry and the Cinema." Malcolm Lowry: The Man and H i s Work, ed. George Woodcock. Vancouver: Univ. o f B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s , 1971, pp. 133-43. 127 Widmer, E l e a n o r . "The Drunken Wheel: Malcolm Lowry and Under the V o l c a n o . " The F o r t i e s : F i c t i o n , P o e t r y , Drama, ed. Warren F r e n c h . Del and, F l o r i d a : E v e r e t t / E d w a r d s , 1969, pp. 215-26. Wood, B a r r y . "The Edge o f E t e r n i t y . " Canadian L i t e r a t u r e . 70(Autumn, 1976), 51-58. Woodcock, George. "Malcolm Lowry's 'Under the V o l c a n o . ' " Modern F i c t i o n S t u d i e s , 4, 2(Summer, 1958), 151-56. . ed. Malcolm Lowry: The Man and H i s Work. 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