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Malcolm Lowry's Under the volcano : an interpretation Thomas, Hilda L. 1965

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MALCOLM LOWRYTS UNDER.THE VOLCANO: AN INTERPRETATIONbyHILDA L • THOMASB.A., The University of British Columbia, l94A THESIS SUBTTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMaster of Artsin the DepartmentofEnglishWe accept this thesis as conforming to therequired standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF R!LIASeptember, 1965In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment ofthe requirements for an advanced degree at the University ofBritish Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freelyavailable for reference and study, I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarlypurposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or byhis representatives, It is understood that copying or publi’cation of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowedwithout my written permission,TDepartment ofThe Universityof British ColumbiaVancouver 8, CanadaDate 5epternber 10, 1965.IIABSTRACTSince its publication in 191+7, Malcolm Lowry’s novelUnder the Volcano has been gaining in reputation until it hascome to be regarded as one of the masterworks of this century.The aim of this thesis is to consider Under the Volcano in thelight of the Romantic and Symbolist tradition in which it belongs, and to provide an interpretation of the novel throughan exploration of its structure, symbolism and theme.Chapter I attempts to demonstrate that an understandingof the world view which Lowry adopts in Under the Volcano -the doctrine of universal analogy, which had such a profoundinfluence on the nineteenth-century Romantic and Symbolistwriters - is essential to an appreciation of. the formal designand the theme of the novel.Chapters II and III examine the implications of two ofthe major symbols of Under the Volcano - the wheel and theabyss — and attempt to show how these symbols function onseveral levels to support both the narrative sequence and themythic framework of. the novel. Some attention is paid to themetaphorical identification of the protagonist with the arche—typal ‘suffering hero,’ especially in relation to the Promethean and Orphic imagery employed in the novel.Chapter IV is concerned with the tragic stature of thehero, particularly as it is revealed irf the culminating scenesof the novel, and with an examination of the paradoxical resolution of the central conflict — the struggle between loveand death.The Conclusion contains a brief review of some criticalcomments on the novel and modern literature in general, whichmay contribute to an appreciation and understanding of Lowry’sachievement in writing Under the Volcano.IIIIv.TABLE OF CONTENTSINTRODUCTION . .. .. .. ...... ... . . ... .. .. ...... 1CHAPTER I. THE PATH THROUGH HELL. ...........CHAPTERII:THEWHEEL........... ..... 22CHAPTERIII:THEABYSS...................... 33CHAPTER IV: THE CONSUL AS TRAGIC HERO....... 4.9-CONCLUSION ..............................•.. 60BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67ACKNOWLEDGENTSThe writer wishes to thank Dr. Ear]eBirney, throughwhom she first became acquainted with the work of MalcolmLowry, for his encouragement and assistance. She alsowishes to thank the staff of the Special Collections Division of the University of British Columbia Library for..theircourtesy in king the Malcolm Lowry Papers available toher during the preparation of this thesis.The writer wishes to express her gratitude to Dr.Donald G. Stephens for his patient guidance in the preparation of the material.INTRODUCTIONIn this analysis of Malcolm Lowry’s novel Under the Volcanocertain primary assumptions have been made. The first of these isthat the novel stands as an autonomous work of art, which can beunderstood without reference to the personal biography of theauthor. A comment by Northrop Frye is worth quoting in thisconnection. He says:The readiness of even sympathetic readersto confuse a poet’s life and his imagination seemsto be based on the assumption that the life is realand the poetry a by—product, so that to search forbiography in poetry is, from this point of view,searching for the reality under a disguise. Theresult, in the criticism of English literature, isthat the process of interpreting an unchangeableand deliberately created body of poetry has come tobe regarded as fanciful, and the process of reconstructing a vanished life out of a chaos of documents,legends, allusions, gossip and guesswork a matter ofexact research. But this is an inversion of thepoet’s own attitude to his life. The linear sequenceof events is imaginative material, just as the dataof sense experience are, and are there to be castinto the forming crucible of the mind. In the resulting novel or drama we may, if we know the poetpersonally, recognize things that remind us of pastevents in his life, but to read the work of art assomething to be interpreted by past events is themost arrant Philistinism. To dissolve art back intothe artist’s experience is like scraping the paintoff a canvas in order to see what the “real” canvaslooked like before it assumed its painted disguise. 1It is not the purpose of this thesis, then, to determine how farthe Consul can be identified with Malcolm Lowry, although suchidentification will inevitably be made. It was Lowry’s own1. Northrop Frye, Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake,Beacon Press, 1962, p. 326.2tortuous struggle with alcoholism which enabled him to renderin exact detail the Consul’s state of mind through various stagesof drunkenness, and his personal preoccupation with ‘correspondences’ which led him to conceive the novel in terms of a complex interweaving of symbolic elements. But the distinction between experience and art, between the life of the author and theachieved content of the novel is demonstrated in every page(one might say, every line) of Under the Volcano. Lowry cancommunicate with the highest degree of verisimilitude thephysical sensations, the disconnected thought processes, thedevious rationalizations of his central character. But he canalso order and control his material with critical detachment.The shifts in point of view employed in the novel make it possible for Lowry to regard the Consul at times with full objectivity, to mix irony with compassion, to introduce elements ofwit and bawdy humour, and to render the landscape of Mexico onthree levels simultaneously: with the clarity of detailedphysical reality; on the symbolic level of universal vision; andfinally, but not merely, in terms of the Consul’s private vision.In an early version of the novel, Lowry has Laruelle suggestthat the Consul’s self—destruction might have been averted hadhe been able to project his intense and horrified vision of theworld in the form of a work of art.2 This passage is cut fromthe final version of Under the Volcano, perhaps because Lowry2. The Malcolm Lowry Papers, UBC Special Collections lAbiBox 4. Second draft of Under the Volcano, p. 4. Furtherreferences to the Malcolm Lowry Papers will appear in thefootnotes as P, followed by the catalogue number and pagereference, where possible.3realized that it was a comment more applicable to himself than tohis protagonist. During his life Lowry seems to have alternatedbetween two states of being. In the alcoholic phases he felthimself to be a visionary, communicating only with demons, angelsand spirits, alienated from the world of men. Doubtless thisaccounts for much of the intensity with which he invested thewhole of the natural world in his writing. In the alternate, thesober phases, Lowry sought, through the exercise of craftsmanship, to impose order on the discontinuous elements of experience.“The Forest Path to the Spring” in particular, but also theother stories in Hear Us 0 Lord From Heaven Thy Dwelling Place,record the continuing efforts of Lowry the man to free himselfthrough artistic expression from the bondage of the dark anddestructive forces by which he felt himself invaded and surrounded, and to arrive at a sense of wholeness. The stories, viewedas a record of Lowry’s personal struggle, provide a remarkabledemonstration of what Jung designates the ‘individuation process.’But the concern here is not with the therapeutic value, toLowry, of his writing, but with the fact that Lowry as artist wasable to see steadily and whole what for Lowry the hypochondriac,the dipsomaniac,the compulsive personality, was only an unsteady, flickering, and fragmentary continuum of events. Had itbeen otherwise, Under the Volcano would be little more thananother Lost Weekend, set in Mexico, and the Consul apatheticdrunk rather than a hero of tragic stature.Details of Lowry’s personal life, then, will not be introduced into this study, except where they seem to confirm insights derived from the novel itself. A clear distinction must4be made, however, between the biography of an author and theintention which underlies a given work. In the words of JohnSenior,Beauty in a work of art, as in mathematics, is precisely the natural result of the work’s adequacy toits intentions.3And further,when we speak of the artist’s intentions we meanthe “idea” or “form” which he attempts to give hismaterial •14The underlying intention of Under the Volcano is inseparablylinked to a particular world view, a knowledge of which isessential to a full understanding of the novel. The nature ofthat view - which was by no means peculiar to Lowry - will beexplored in the first chapter of this thesis.A second basic assumption of this thesis, which again concerns the exclusion of certain materials from consideration, isthat Lowry cannot be regarded as a ‘Canadian’ novelist, exceptin the most superficial understanding of the term. George Woodcock, in making the claim that Lowry did not write about Canadaas a ‘transient outsider,’ says:he lived himself into the environment that centeredupon his fragile home where the Pacific tides lappedand sucked under the floorboards, and...identifiedhimself with that environment - despite trials offlesh and spirit — as passionately as those otherstrangers who have rendered so well the essence oftheir particular corners of Canada, Grove and Haig—Brown.3. John Senior, The Way Down and Out: The Occult in SymbolistLiterature, Cornell University Press, New York, 1959,p. 47.4. Senior, p. 4.5...Canada...stirred him through a sympathy that ledtowards total involvement.2But it must be added that for Lowry, Canada, like Mexico inUnder the Volcano, undergoes a symbolic transformation, andbecomes identified with the sacred centre, the universal ‘placewhere you know.’ Thus the ‘sense of redemption’ which, as Woodcock suggests, pervades “The Forest Path to the Spring”6 is ameasure of Lowry’s inner development, which might or might nothave taken place in another environment, even the initiallyambivalent one of Mexico. Lowry’s landscapes, whatever theirgeographical location, are always primarily landscapes of thesoul. That Lowry conveyed the physical essence of Mexico andof the Pacific Northwest with a superbly accurate ear and eyeis beyond dispute. One publisher’s reader, in fact, felt thatthe chief merit of Under the Volcano lay in its precise evocation of the Mexican scene, causing Lowry to comment withsome ruefulness, tempered by glee, on the irony of such aresponse to a novel which was concerned entirely with portraying the inner mind of the central character:that the book is praised for its observation ofMexico on the part of one who never observed anything whatsoever but the workings of his own mindwould make me cry into my tequila if I had, as Ihaven’t net yet, progressed beyond habanero conaqua .75. George Woodcock “Under Seymour Mountain,’t in CanadianLiterature No. , Spring 1961, p. 4.6. Woodcock, p. 4.7. MIJP, 113b. Letter to Jonathan Cape, 1946.6What makes Under the Volcano an important and moving novelis not its rhapsodic identification with place. Nor is it theoriginality of theme or technique. Lowry certainly hadthe ambitiousness essential to greatness, a masteryof structure, an absolute command of prose diction,an awareness of both the lineal and spatial possibilities of fiction, and a consciousness of historyand politics.0But, as George Woodcock has pointed out, hebelonged in the early twentieth century cosmopolitantradition that seemed to reach an end about the timeof his death - the tradition of Proust and Gide...9The success of Under the Volcano stems rather from Lowry’s ability to go beyond what Mark Schorer has described as the‘prevailing and tiresome realism of modern fiction.’ Schorercontinues:When we feel that we are no longer in a position tosay what life means, we must content ourselves withtelling how it looks. Those of our novelists whohave transcended realism have done so by a boot-strapmiracle, by supplying the myth themselves.... In adisintegrating society such as this, before it canproceed with other business, litature must becomethe explicit agent of coherence.LUJThis is precisely what Under the Volcano attempt5 to do — to saywhat life means, not merely how it looks. It may seem paradoxical to describe as an ‘agent of coherence’ a novel whose ex. John McCormick, Catastrophe and Ima4nation: An Interpretation of The Recent English and American Novel,Longmans, Green and Co., London, 1957, p. 66.9. Woodcock, p. 5.10. Mark Schorer, The Necessity of Myth,” in Appendix toMyth and Mythmaking, Henry A. Murray, ed., George Braziller, New York, 1960, p. 357.7plicit theme is the alienation and total disintegration of anindividual and, by implication, a whole era. But in its graspof the individual, temporal and universal implications of situation, in the fusion of sensibility and idea, Under the Volcanosucceeds in making an aesthetically coherent representation ofincoherence, fragmentation, and disintegration.McCormick has adopted the term ‘cognitive’ to describenovels like Under the Volcano in which ‘ideas, characters, andsituation become meaningless if we attempt the operation ofremoving from their total dimension the objective frameworkof idea in which the characters live and have being,’11 and itis certainly true that the threads of imagery and symbol,action and idea, are so closely woven together in Under theVolcano as to make their separate exegesis almost impossible.This thesis will attempt to explore some of the major elementsin the design of the novel, and to suggest an interpretationwhich may clarify some of the ambiguities of theme.11. McCormick, p. 5.CHAPTER ITHE PATH THROUGH HELLGeorge Woodcock has placed Under the Volcano in the traditionof Proust and Gide,- and indeed the form of the novel suggestsa ‘search for lost time,? or a regressive view of fictionaltime such as one encounters in Gide and James Joyce. An analysis of the techniques which Lowry empicys, and of the formalstructire of the novel, may help to clarify his position inthat tradition.It is in Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past that the firstconcerted attempt is made to employ the concept of association,not in the Lockian sense of Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, but interms of psychological processes, the evocation and reflectionof internal states which operate outside the logic of objectivetime and space. In Tom Jones and Tristram Shandy can be seenthe beginnings of an exhuberant recognition of the novel’spossibilities — in the shifting of the scene and plane ofaction, the manipulation of time sequences. The flashback en—abled the novelist to move away from a purely linear and objective view of time, and to achieve in fictional time a kindof equivalent to Bergson’s dure, in whick fragments of timecan be transposed, rearranged, repeated, compressed or stoppedaltogether. The contemporary novel has achieved the same kind1. Woodcock,9of freedom in the handling of spatial elements through theapplication of a technique which is generally associated withthe cinema rather than the novel. This is, of course, montage.The chief exponent of the theory of montage in the cinemaw the Russian cinematographer Sergei Eisenstein. Eisensteindefines montage as the juxtaposition and superimposition offragments of reality in such a way that they ‘collide’ toproduce, dialectically, a heightened expressiveness. He citesas an example of montage. a scene from Madame Bovary, where thecross-cutting of the intimate dialogue between Emma and Rodoipheand the oratory in the square leads to an ironic intensificationof meaning. In James Joyce’s Ulysses, montage becomes the chief,indeed, the only, technique. The effect of the novel dependsentirely on the juxtaposition and superimposition of fragmentsof reality; on a ‘contrapuntal method of combining visual andaural images,’2 on cross-cutting, simultaneity and transfer.The same technique is used extensively by Lowry in Under theVolcano.Lowry’s brief experience as a scenario writer and hisintense interest in filmic art, particularly the German expressionist films of the 1920’s and 30’s, with their GrandGuignol accumulation of horrors, may have led him to adoptcertain film techniques in the writing of Under the Volcano.At any rate, the style of the novel certainly lends itselfto description in filmic terms, from the laconic compression2. Sergei Eisenstein, Film Form: Essays in Film Theory,London, 1951, p. 2L,.10of the opening scene, the alternation of ‘still’ shots witha confused but tightly integrated mosaic pattern, constantlymoving, and the cross—cutting of dialogue, to the progressivefragmentation of scene, which mirrors the inner disintegrationof the central character at the end of the novel. The effect ofChapters Ten and Twelve of the novel, where the Consul, underthe effect of mescal, makes his final, irrevocable choice between Yvonne and the Farolito — between Heaven and Hell, lifeand death - is rather like that of a film which has been speededup to the point where it is impossible to see the links betweeneach frame, and where it has become difficult even to recognisethe objective content of the images. The rapid cross-cutting,the superimposition of scene on scene and the proliferationof apparently unconnected detail place the reader in the Consul’sposition; he is both spectator and actor in this frantic,surreal scenario. Chapter Eleven affords a certain necessaryrelief by placing the reader, like Yvonne and Hugh, in a moresober relationship to the rapid unwinding of events, so that hecan see, without altogether comprehending, the connectionbetween scene and scene.Eisenstein’s theory of the nature of the work of artis interesting in this connection. He writes:art is nothing else but an artificial retrogressionin the field of psychology towards the forms ofearlier though-processes, i.e., a phenomenon identical with any given form of drug, alcohol, shamanism,religion, etc.The dialectic of works of art is built upon amost curious “dual-unity.t The affectiveness of awork of art is built upon the fact that there takesplace in its dual process: an impetuous progressiverise along the lines of the highest explicit steps11of consciousness and a simultaneous penetration bymeans of the structure of the form into the layersof profoundest sensual thinking. The polar separationof these two lines of flow creates that remarkabletension of unity of form and content characteristicof true art-works.3Under the Volcano exhibits exactly this polarity, this dual—unity. Lowry was striving to achieve through montage and thefullest possible exploration of tonal and spatial variation aneffect of total synecdoche, where every fragment of reality,every bird, beast, stone, image, sign or action could stand forthe whole, by implication, the whole in this instance beingnot merely the rendering of an individual tragedy, but anarchetypal view of the tragic struggle of universal man in thefallen world. Early reviewers who complained about the bewildering profusion of sensual detail, the-overburdened style ofthe novel, simply failed to recognise the world view whichprovides the novel with its underlying unity of form and meaning. Their failure is understandable, for Lowry adopts theview which prevailed in English literature and science untilthe end of the seventeenth century, but which survives todaychiefly as an aspect of occultism, in its various and ratherquestionable manifestations.According to this view, which can be traced in its essentials at least back to the mysteries of Eleusis,man was the elements; he was minerals and metals;he was fruit and trees, vegetables and flowers.He was also winds and storms and tempests.43. Eisenstein, pp. lII, 145. -2. Marjorie Nicolson, The Breaking of the Circle: Studies inthe Effect of the “New Science” Upon Seventeenth-CenturyPoetry, Columbia University Press, New York, 1960, p. 23.12Correlative with this concept was the idea of a universe of“harmony,” “symmetry,’ and “proportion,”5 in which ‘man’s bodyand the body of the world,...man’s soul and the soul of theuniverse’6were regarded as perfectly analogous elements in thegreat circle o± being which symbolized, in turn, the perfectionof God. Man’s organs, faculties and virtues could thus be understood as an ‘imitative hierarchic structure.’?In spite of the ‘breaking of the circle,’ the view of parspro toto was preserved in English poetry against ‘single visionand Newton’s sleep’ by William Blake, whose readings in Boehme,Paracelsus and Swedenborg, among others, have been thoroughlydocumented by recent critics, and in French literature by thesymbolist poets and novelists. Gwendolyn Bays, in her study ofRimbaud, traces the course of the Hermetic doctrine from theseventeenth to the twentieth century. She writes:In the literature of French arid German Romanticism,the poet is again a seer, but in a very differentsense. The mystic has become a magician, an explorerof dreams and the night, an adept of Mesrner’s “animalmagnetism,” making his way as intrepidly through thegates of horn as through the ivory gates of dream.The long—abandoned Homeric theory of the poeticprocess as a lowering of consciousness or the Virgil—ian descent into Avernus was rediscovered.95. Nicolson, p. 336. Nicolson, p. 3.7. William York Tindall, The Literary Symbol, ColumbiaUniversity Press, New York, 1955, p. 34.. Gwendolyn Bays, The Orpc Vision. Seer Poets from Novalisto Rimbaud, University of Nebraska Press, 1964.9. Bays, pp. 12—13.13And Further,Beneath all Symbolist Weltanschauung lay Baudelaire’sHermetic doctrine of correspondences, whereby objectsof the material world are magically charged with lifeand meaning which the poet must decipher and communicate by the Ma11arman principle of uggestion. Toevoke an object is to createSpeaking of a series of lectures on “The Nocturnal Aspects ofthe Natural Sciences” delivered by G.H. von Schubert in iO6,she says:In these lectures, Schubert outlined an idea whichwas destined to become a mere banality as Romanticismprogressed: primitive man lived in a golden ageof perfect harmony with Nature; he was a livingWord, expressing the universal Rhythm, and his verylanguage indicated this harmony. The sciences too,which were one and complete rather than fragmentary,included man in their total account. After the fall,provoked by the willfulness of man, the harmonybetween himself and Nature was broken. The ransomwhich he must pay for his independence is death, orthe loss of inediate consciousness. Only love anddeath are able to put an end to man’s separationfrom the universe and from other individuals. Bymeans of death the superior forces which sleep inusare restored so that death becomes in. fact aresurrection. Within life itself man often has supreme moments when he experiences the joy of “dying”to be born to a higher life. Poetry, religion, andthe passion for knowledge all nd to prepare manfor his final detachment from life. lJThe resemblance between the theme and metaphors of Under theVolcano and this concise description of the Hermetic doctrinein its Romantic guise is immediately apparent.It may seem strange that contemporary writers shouldconcern themselves with such an obviously unscientific worldview. The reasons are many. To begin with, the doctrines of10. Bays, p. 15.11. Bays, p. 57.J4Hermes, alchemy and the Cabala have always lent themselves tosymbolic interpretation, and contemporary psychology is ableto see in the ‘marriage of Sol and Luna’ (the transformationof base metals into gold) or the concept of Adam Kadmon, theoriginal androgynous man, a curious paradigm of the workings ofthe human mind. In Jung, for exanpie, Sol and Luna are interpreted as animus and ma, the male and female halves of thepsyche, and their marriage as the achievement of psychic wholeness or equilibrium. And Frd, in Beyond the Pleasure Principle,refers to the Platonic story of androgynous man in support ofhis concept of the struggle between conflicting elements withinthe ego: Eros, or object-directed libido, which expresses thedesire of the organism for reproduction and continuance; andego—directed libido, which is the desire of the organism toreturn, in a repetitive cycle, to its original inorganic state,12If all bi-sexual organisms were originally androgynous, theconflict can be resolved by the union of the two sexes, throughwhich organisms can reproduce themselves while at the same timeproceeding towards the proper end of life - death. Lowry wasfamiliar with Beyond the Pleasure Principle, and the strugglebetween love and death - the desire of the Consul for reunionwith Yvonne against which is pitted his impulse to self-destruction - provides the dominant theme of Under the Volcano.William York Tindall has pointed out, in The LiterarySymbol, that the Hermetic doctrine ‘as above, so below’ tends12. Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, JamesStrachey, tr., Liverwright, New York, 1950, pp. 79ff.‘5increasingly to become ‘as in, so out,’ ‘as here, so there,’Uor ‘as then, so W•]4 He describes writers like Joyce andBaudelaire as ‘denatured Hermeticists,’3-Spointing out thatwhile Joyce, for example, tends to interpret the doctrine ofJiermes-Thoth in horizontal rather than vertical terms, he employs it extensively in support of his Viconian view of historyas a great wheel of simultaneity. For, like the Consul’s ‘workin progress,’ in which he tries to answer ‘such questions as:Is there any ultimate reality, external, conscious and ever—present etc. etc. that can be realized by any such means thatmay be acceptable to all creeds and religions and suitable toall climes and countries?;6Joyce?s Ulysses and FinnegansWake try to achieve a syncretic world view, using the methodof universal analogy.Analogy is not only the method of Ulysses butits substance. Out of a maze of correspondencesJoyce created a world, complete and self—subsistent,but not without reference to external thing& norwithout power to organize our feelings about them.’?Joyce, like Blake, was aware that to be able to read the ‘signatures’ of the universe was to have at his disposal an unlimited13. Tindall, p. 51k.14. Tindall, p. 56.15. Tindall, p. 51.16. Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano, Reynal and Hitchock,New York, 1947, p. 39. All further references to thiseditionwill appear in the text as tW, followed by thepage number.17. Tindall, p. 60.16source of infinitely expandable symbols.A demonstration of how the method of universal analogyfunctioned for il1iam Blake is given by Hazard Adams in hiscomparative study of Blake and Yeats:The view of space-time expressed [in Blake’s vortexJ...quite naturally leads to certain controllingmetaphors, which themselves beget new metaphors. Forinstance, the cyclic idea of time most certainlysuggests a wheel or some other circular object.Space suggests some kind of physical object. Combining space and time we get a globe. And since ourglobe symbolizes not only the creation of error butalso the vehicle of eventual apocalypse, perhaps itis an egg waiting to be hatched, acting both as aprison and incubator of new life. In space humanbeings are obviously bodies; and since all humanbeings are in reality one being, the fallen humanitycan easily be thought of as a primordial giant,hints of whom appear in the Bible. He is also theAdam Kadmon of the Cabala, and Ymir of the Edda.In Blake he is Albion, the universal man. The symbolproliferates, and he becomes...patriarch of theAtlantic. Legend has it that the Atlantic ocean atone time rolled over a golden continent called At—lantis. This is, of course, the flood of Biblicalmyth too, symbolizing the fall of all things intoopacity, down into materiality. But...water is atraditional symbol of rebirth, purification. So thegreat flood which wiped out the eternal golden ageis also the vehicle of a cleansing ritual by meansof which apocalypse may reappear.-Every one of the controlling metaphors which Adams assigns toBlake appears, in one form or another, in Under the Volcano,not because Lowry derived them directly from Blake - this seemsmost improbable, although Lowry was familiar with Blake C’right through hell there is a path, as Blake well knew...’)(UV36) - but because Lowry is operating within the same mythicl. Hazard Adams, Blake and Yeats: The Contrary Vision,Cornell University Press, New York, 1955, p. 62.17framework. Unlike Blake, however, Lowry attempts to providehis work with a naturalistic surface, a simple narrative levelwhich may be understood by itself, without reference to themythic background against which it is played out. But thereader who is unconscious of the underlying design of the novelis inevitably affected by the tension between the explicitnarrative and the centrifugal force of the symbolic relationships. As Tindall says,When we read a symbolist novel for the firsttime, or even the second or third, we may find itslight or even naturalistic. When we read it again,however, we find that the concrete particulars andarrangement which gave us that impression are thereto carry meanings beyond immediate significance; andas we proceed, a greater meaning gradually emerges.Each rereading adds fresh discoveries, changing ouridea of the whole until we despair of reaching theend of that suggestive complexity.l9Lowry himself wrote of the novel:if you really want to understand the Volcano itwould perhaps be better to say that it is something like, though in reverse, those pictures ofthe insane where a meticulous foreground attemptsto conceal the utter disorder of the background...2°A dramatic demonstration of this method is provided by JeanCocteau’s The Infernal Machine, about which Francis Fergussonsays:The scenic strategy which Cocteau uses tobring the myth into relation with contemporarylife is similar to that which Joyce used inUlysses. Modern life, with its disabused clarity,19. Tindall, p. 71.20. ML?, Ibi, 1946, Letter to Jonathon Cape.its small shrewdnesses, opupies the foreground,while the different reality of the mythic patternis in the surrounding darkness. The visible arrangement of the stage itself presents this scene-within-a—scene: all that goes on upon the lighted platformin the centre feels as contemporary as the newspaper,while the infernal machine slowly unrolls behind the“nocturnal curtains • “21In Under the Volcano, the lighted platform is the ‘real’ landscape of Mexico - the contemporary world of the cinema, thecantina, the telegraph and the radio. But each element has itsplace also in the mythic pattern, the great wheel of time andbeing, imaged in the Ferris wheel of the fiesta. The wheel,in turn, has its origin in the Hermetic symbol of the serpentdevouring its own tail, emblem of the eternal resolution ofantimomies. And, as Hazard Adams says,As long as the contraries maintain the chase, andas long...as the serpent who forms the wheel consumes himself, the contraries do create progressiontoward some finality, where pe opposites aremarried, all things joined.2The world of the French symbolists, and of Joyce and Lowry,is almost entirely desacralized; this point is emphasized timeand again in Under the Volcano. The upper or invisible half haslost its value, as rifldall points out.23 The symbolist writerhas, therefore, two courses open to him: he can use the methodof analogy as Joyce did,to show the connection between man and man, man andsociety, man and nature, and, as if to prove him—self a romantic, between past and present.221. Francis Fergusson, The Idea of a Theater The Art of Dramain Changing Perspective, Anchor Books, 1953, p. 210.22. Adams, p. 63.23. Tindall, p. 52I.. Tindall, p. 59.19The correspondences, in this case, are horizontal rather thanvertical. Or he can, as it were, reverse the vertical pole,turning the mystical ascent to God into a descent into theabyss. In this event the poet (or hero) is crucified, likeBlake’s Christ, head downward; he plunges, or is clung, likeLucifer, into the ‘gouffre.’ Gwendolyn Bays employs the termOrphic to distinguish the nocturnal, the occult vision fromthe genuine mystical experience, and asks;But what did such a probing of the occult and anincreasing awareness of the unconscious signify ifnot...the myth of Narcissus, the poet who discoveredhis own imag in the none-too-clear waters of theunconscious. 5The same point is made by John Senior, who traces the occultsources of symbolist literature to their origins in Egyptian,Orphic and Tantric concepts:The profound symbolism of the mysteries appearsin all...occult systems. The soul is a grain, andunless it die, it cannot flower. The way down - intoHell, into mortification, into the abyss of theunconscious - i the wy up. The descent into Hellis the way to Heaven.20The Orphic path, then, represents an attempt: to achieve divinization through a descent into the lowest reaches of the self,and may involve, as it did for Rimbaud and Baudelaire, the‘drg1ement de touts les sens.’ The object of the descent isthe achievement of equilibrium, of salvation, through DivineLove.25. Bays, pp. 16-17.26. Senior, p. 13.20“Divine Love alone plays upon the keys ofknowledge. I am a musician who has foundsomething like the keyboard of love.”2?So Rimbaud, before the end of the Season, in Hell. The dangerin the process lies in the fact that the nocturnal experience,unlike the mystical, often results in the fragmentation ratherthan the unification of the personality - in madness, as withNerval and Baudelaire, or disgust and alienation, as withRimbaud. The abyss between Chesed and Binah, between Mercy andUnderstanding, (UV 39) may prove unbridgeable. To quote againfrom Senior,The magus invites the infinite into the finiteglass of his soul, and unless he is of superhuman stature, h is likely to be destroyed bythe experience.2bThis imagery is particularly appropriate to describe Lowry’sConsul, as is a further image drawn from Plato:The unconscious soul has a white and ablack horse, and when we overthrow thecharioteer — our reason — either horseis likely to get the bit in his teeth.29The forces unleashed by drugs, by ceremonialmagic, even by yoga exercises when performedwithout regard to the actual life one lives —these forces are most often merely destructiveof the mental and moral faculties as the egogrows stronger.3°27. Rimbaud, quoted in Bays, p. 51.2. Senior, p. 63.29. Senior, p. 155.30. Senior, p. 156.21Malcolm Lowry, the novelist, understood the dangers of thepath through hell, and it is this understanding, with all itsimplication of ambiguity and conflict, that be communicates inUnder the Volcano.CHAPTER IITHE WHEELA major symbol of Finnegans Wake may be the wheel, asTindall suggests,’ but another image, that of the labyrinth,provides a better metaphor for the structure of Joyce’s worldof horizontal correspondences. In analysing Joyc&s works itis possible to explore many passages by a Theseus-like unwinding of the thread of imagery, through which the reflexiverelationship of each part to the symbolic centre can be discovered. The direction is outward, from the centre to theperiphery, in an infinite series of radial movements. Throughthis process, the underlying shape of the wheel is revealed,as a figure in a child’s puzzle is discovered by the joiningtogether of a series of numbers. Under the Volcano does notlend itself so readily to this method of analysis, for it isonly when the wheel is turning that the pattern becomes clear,and the direction is inward, from the rim of the wheel in tothe centre, by analogy with the Consul’s attempt to arrive atthe centre of his own soul, to penetrate the abyss of the self.Joseph Frank has said of Joyce that hecannot be read - he can only be re—read.A knowledge of the whole is essential toan understanding of any part; and ...1. Tindall, p. 59.23such knowledge can be obtained only afterthe book tulyssesj has been read, when allthe references are fitted into their properplace and grasped as a unity.2This is equally true.of Under the Volcano. In its structure, thenovel imitates the concept of the eternal return, the endlesscyclical repetition of life itself, and a full understandingof the theme requires that the reader pursue the circular formof the work from its concldsion back to its starting point.Lowry himself wrote concerning the motto which concludes thenovel (Le Gusta Este Jardin....) that it should beat the end of Chapter III on a separate page....That is like those old swing tunes called AuntHagar Blues...of Ted Lewis when the record endsand yàu are just about to take the record offwhen it ends again, and you then proceed (onehopes - as in this case) to put it on again.He says also thatChapter XII as a whole constitites a kind ofanswer to I as a whole....Moreover there are verygood reasons...for having 12 chapters withoutany break in them, twelve solid blocks, or perhapsone should say spokes, for the form of the book isas it were trochal - as I see it, like a wheel,the image of which keeps recurring.3In the same letter Lowry compares his protagonist to GogoltsTchichikov, and it is interesting to note that one critic hasdescribed Dead Souls asa closed circle whirling on its axle andblurring the spokes, with the theme of thewheel cropping up at each new revolution....2. Joseph Frank, “Spatial form in the Modern Novel,” in JohnW. Aldridge, Critiques and Essays on Modern Fiction 1920-1951Ronald Press, New York, 1952, p. 1.6.3. MLP IBl, Letter to John Erskine, June 22, 19i6.1.. Vladimir Nabakov, Nikolai Gool, New Directions, NorfolkConn., 19L4, p. 76.2i.The image of the wheel is established early in Under theVolcano in the shape of the ‘slowly revolving Ferris wheel’(UV 10) which broods over the fiesta, the very name of which,by one of those curious coincidences of which Lowry was so muchaware, suggests the iron wheel of fate, the inexorable forwardmovement of time and destiny. The wheel, or circle, is alsosuggested by M. Laruelle’s walk, which carries him in an ‘eccentric orbit’ ( 23) around the town, in imitation of the procession of the planets. During this walk Laruelle describes atemporal as well as a spatial circle, returning in memory, ina series of recessive spirals, to the immediate past (the dayof the Consul’s death), to his own childhood memories of theConsul, and further back into the historical past of Maximilianand Carlotta, whose crumbling palace suggests at once the unrealized personal hopes of Yvonne and the Consul, and theequally unrealized universal hope for peace.In the words of Mircea Eliade,the life of modern man is swarming with half-forgotten myths, decaying hierophanies and secularised symbols. The progressive de-sacralisationof modern man has altered the content of hisspiritual life without breaking the matrices ofhis imagination; a quantity of mythologicallitter still lingers in the ill-controlled zonesof the mind.5What Lowry is attempting in Under the Volcano is a -sacralization of the universe. Through the archetype of the suffering hero, and using the unifying device of the Hermetic vision,5. Mircea Eliade, Images and Symbols, Harvill Press, London,1952, p. 1.25he imposes a meaningful pattern on ‘the ‘mythological litter,’making every detail of the novel express some aspect of man’sindividual and social predicament. The circular structure ofthe novel, which precludes a final reading in any sense of theword, holds out some hope for the future; but Lowry’s visionof man in Under the Volcano is fundamentally tragic. He isconcerned primarily with the failure of love, of brotherhood,of understanding, and with man’s seemingly unchanging capacityfor turning the earthly paradise into a hell of guilt andsorrow and separation.It is this burden whichM. Laru.elle feels ‘pressing uponhim from outside’ with ‘the weight of many things, but mostlythat of sorrow.’ (UV 13) The car with its wheel blocked‘against involuntary departure’; (UV 13) .the station with itsvacant tracks and raised signals; (UV 7) the vultures — ‘Cathartes atratus’ (UV 136) - which, like the eagle, can rise sonear to heaven, but which are also emblematic of death: allthese images are reminders that man is free to choose hisdirection, but also of the fact that, like the Consul, hegenerally chooses wrong.At the beginning of Under the Volcano, the choice has, ina sense, already been made for Laruelle. The blitzkreig hasbegun; Hitler’s lightning is ‘peeling the poles,’ providinga suggestive analogy for the Consul’s cryptic recollection atthe beginning of Chapter Ten. (UV 23) The time has passed inwhich ‘an individual life held some value and was not a meremisprint in a communique.’ (UV 5) The only choice that remains26is between one collective ‘side’ and the other. In anothersense, however, M. Laruelle makes an individual and positivechoice when he decides to return to the sleepy French village,wherehe had seen, rising slowly and wonderfullyand with boundless beauty above the stubblefields blowing with wildflowers, slowly risinginto the sunlight, as centuries before thepilgrims straying over those same fields hadwatched them rise the twin spires of ChartresCathedral. (UV l2The spires of Chartres, like the Spire of St. Marks in Proust’sRemembrance of Things Past, have an eternal validity. For M.Laruelle - in spite of the burden of remorse he carries - theysignify a hopeful return to the feeling of peace he had experienced years before under their spell, ‘the spell not eventhe fact he was scandalously in debt there could break.’ (UV 12—13)But even here there is a hint of ambiguity, for Laruelle’saction is coloured by the ‘three sleepless nights’ in which‘an eternity had been lived through,’ when ‘grief and bewilderment at an unassimilable catastrophe had drawn them together,’(UV ) and this, in turn, is a reminder of Hugh’s exclamation,“Good God, if our civilization were to sober up for a couple ofdays it’d die of remorse on the third—” ( 117)Laruelle’s point of departure, like Hugh’s, is Vera Cruz,the site where Cortez landed in Mexico in 1519. C.G. Vaillantwrites:The years before the Spanish Conquest hadto the Aztecs been full of portents suggestiveof future evil. There seems to have been in the27air that same sense of paralysis that the Frenchknew to their cost in 1939 and 1940.°He says further that the Spaniards seemed to the Indians tobe invincible in battle,operating in a manner completely foreign tothe Indian principles of war....The problem that beset Montezuma was notthat the invaders were themselves gods, butthat they were the symbols, the vicars onearth, as it were, of vast unearthly forcesbent on establishing a new social order.?The analogy between Cortez’ and Hitler’s armies is clear. Itis only hindsight - the knowledge that Hitler died in a bunker,a fact which Lowry himself, of course, did not know when hefirst composed the novel - that enables us to accept a positiveresolution of the inherent ambiguity.It becomes clear during the course of Laruelle’s walkthat Mexico itself, or rather that particular part of Mexicowhich was the centre of Aztec civilization, is intended tofunction as a symbolic circle, standing for the whole universeof time and space. Lowry’s choice of setting, or perhaps hisuse of it, is particularly effective, for in Quauhnahuacyou...find every sort of landscape at once,the Cotswolds, Windermere, New Hampshire,the meadows of the Eure-et-Loire, even thegrey dunes of Cheshire, even the Sahara...(j 10)The landscape has the ‘beauty of the Earthly Paradise itself,’( 10) but for Laruelle, as for the Consul, it is a ‘Dora6. G.C. Vaillant, The Aztecs of Mexico, Pelican, 1950,p. 230.7. Vaillant, pp. 232-233.2Paradise’ - Paradise lost. (UV 6) And every element in thislandscape is a ‘signature,’ a reminder of the correspondencebetween macrocosm and microcosm, between past and present,between the body—politic and the body of the earth itself.The Hotel Casino de la Selva, with its ‘air of desolate splendour,(!L1 3) its abandoned swimming pool and deserted jai-alai courts,is an ironic counter-part of the disintegrating world soul. Theruined pyramid at Cholula, which the Consul ‘had proudly insisted was the original Tower of Babel,’(UV ii) recalls thevanished splendour of the original Aztec civilization, andpoints also to the legend which links that culture with thelost continent of Atlantis, supposed to have been destroyed inthe flood of biblical tradition. But the ‘three hundred andsix churches’ at Cholula, ( ii) each of which would once havebeen an Aztec temple, are a reminder of the Conquest, as arethe ‘Two ragged Indians..[whose]...carriage suggested themajesty of Aztec princes’ ( 11) — a conquest made easier forthe Spaniards by the treacherous behaviour of Montezuma’sallies. There is an implied parallel between the meeting ofCortez and Montezuma, which is pictured on the calendar in theCervecerla XX, and the meeting between Hitler and Chamberlainat Munich, where, in the light of the Spanish Civil War, thecumulative process of the “exploitation of everybody by everybody else—i’ (UV 300) would seem to have come full circle.The natural world, as Laruelle perceives it during hisstroll, reflects the dissolution and decay of the human conim—unity. There are frequent echoes of the imagery used to describeanother universal landscape — the waste land of T.S. Eliot’s29early poems:Now the fields were full of stones:there was a row of dead trees. Anabandoned plough, silhouetted againstthe sky, raised its arms to heaven inmute supplication....(UV 9—10)he thought he could distinguish...thatfaint intoxicatthn of voices singing,diminishing, dying in the wind, unaudiblefinally. (UV 10-il)And Laruelie’s walk, like The Waste Land, comes to an end ashe voice of the thunder speaks over the mountains, and therain begins to fall.With his arrival at the Cervecez4aXX, Laruelle has reachedthe centre of the wheel. The cantina is Dr. Vigil’s “placewhere you know,” (UV 25) the symbolic point at which past andpresent intersect, and time is momentarily suspended. It isseven o’clock - the hour at which the Consul died, on the sameday of the previous year. The traditional magical symbols ofbell,book, and candle - the bell which rings its sombre message,‘dolente, dolore,’ over the town, the Consul’s book of Elizabethan plays which, as the Consul predicted, has “become anemblem of what...it is impossible to return”(UV 27) and thecandle which lights the cantina because of the failure of theelectric power - are invoked to suggest escape from clock time.Because of the storm, the “wires have decomposed”, and in thecinema “the function must be suspended.”( 25) The patronsinside the theatre appear to Laruelle like a ‘solid dark friezecarved into the wall,’ ( 2) and the interior of the cinemaresembles a scene from the Inferno:It was difficult to believe so many had lefttheir seats. Dark shapes of pariah dogs30prowled in and out of the stalls. The lightswere not entirely dead: they glimmered, a dimreddish orange-flickering. On the screen, overwhich clambered an endless procession of torch-lit shadows, hung magically projected upside down,a faint apology for the “suspended function...” ( 26)Or, the scene might be intended to evoke Plato’s image of thecave: life itself is merely the reflection on a ‘dark screensuddenly illumined, swept by silent grotesque shadows of giantsand spears and birds, then dark again,’ (UV 2) of some transcendent reality beyond ma&s conception.Even the film Las Manos de Orlac, a rerun of a remake ofan early German film, which is supposed to be showing at thecinema, suggests not so much a circular, forward movement asa marking of time, the static repetition of an action untransformed in or by time. Like the newsreels from the Spanish war,it has not “revived,” it has only “returned.” The symbolicsignificance of the film is related not to the image of thewheel, but to the abyss, the polar separation of opposites.It is another ‘hieroglyphic of the times,’ the story of ‘Anartist with a murderer’s hands,’ ‘by some uncomfortable stretchof the imagination, M. Laruelle himself,’ (UV 25) but alsoGermany, and insofar as he is identified with both, the Consulas well.Laruelle is drinking anis ‘because it remind[s] him ofabsinthe.’ (UV 1+) Absinthe, which for Rimbaud was the ‘greeninn,’ the means of ingress into the world of secret knowledge,is a compound of anis oils and wormwood, and in the label onthe bottle ‘Anis del Mono’ there is perhaps intended a cryptogram. With the help of this ‘greenly chilling then rathernauseating’ drink, (UV 26) and also through the invocation of31Hermes, the ‘golden faceless figurine’ intaglioed in the coverof the Consul’s book of EJ4zabethan plays (UV 34) Laruelle isable to call up first the letter, and, ultimately, the spiritof the Consul. The reading of the letter is like an absolutionfor Laruelle. The cantina takes on for him ‘a beauty and a sortof piety,’ (UV 41) and the ‘freshcoolness of rain—washed air’(.LL 41) suggests purification, rebirth, the possibility of a newbeginning. But time does not at once begin to move forwardagain. As he holds the letter to the candle flame, Laruellesees the figures in the bar ‘for an instant, frozen, a mural;’(UV 42) and in burning the letter he seems to release fromtheir ‘dead husk’ the ‘tiny red worms,’ the sparks of theConsul’s surviving soul, and to bring about a reversal intime:Suddenly from outside, a bell spoke out,then ceased abruptly: dolente...do1oreOver the town, in the dark tempestuousnight, backwards revolved the luminous wheel. (UV 42)The Consul is introduced in Chapter One of Under theVolcano through a series of images which suggest, directly orindirectly, the theme of the novel: separation, disunion, anddisintegration; the struggle between love and death. The wheel,like the Oroboros — the serpent devouring its own tail — is asymbol of the union of opposites and the progression towardsa future goal which arises out of the marriage of contraries.In polar opposition to the positive image of the wheel, at itssymbolic ‘antipodes,’ is the negative image of the abyss, whichstands for the unbridgeable gulf between Mercy and Understanding,between the fallen world (the Q’lipoth, or world of shells of theCabala (UV 39)) and the divine world of love and union. In his32unposted letter to Yvonne, the Consul implores her to helphim across the abyss in his life. But love, which might haveprovided a safe bridge across the abyss, comes, like Yvonne’spostcard, too late. ‘A black storm breaking out of seasontThat was what love was like, Laruelle thought; love whichcame too late. ...And let such love strike you dumb, blind,mad, dead - your fate would not be altered by your simile.’(UV 10) The only alternative route is the path through hell,the ‘way down and out •Lowry conceived his protagonist as the embodiment of theworld soul, In an early draft of Under the Volcano he wrote:?tsupposing...that all the suffering and chaosand conflict of the present were suddenly totake human form, and to become conscious ofitself In ...a man to whom too, like Jesus,the betrayal of the human spirit would appearin the guise of a private, anguishing betrayal.1t“Supposing that all these horrors of todaybefore they became part of our lives hadsuddenly convulsed upon themselves to createa soul, and that that soul had sought a body...the Consul’s. •..If I could only convey theeffect of a man who was the very shape andmotion of the world’s doom...but at the sametime the living prophecy of its hopet’In the following pages an attempt will be made to explore theuniversal implications of the Consul’s ‘descent,’ and to suggesthow, in spite of the apparent finality of the tragedy, it isnevertheless a prophecy of hope.MLP IAbl, Second draft of Under the Volcano, ChapterOne, p. 4.CHAPTER IIITHE ABYSSThe chief symbol in Under the Volcano for the spirit ofand conflict which the Consul embodies is the barranca:Quauhnahu.ac was like the times in thisrespect, wherever you turned the abysswas waiting for you round the corne-r. (UV 15)The ravine which runs right through the town, even cutting acorner off the Consul’s garden, is supposed to have opened upat the hour of Christ’s death.When Christ was being crucified, so ran thesea-borne, hieratic legend, the earth hadopened all through this country....(UV 15)In this light it can be seen as part of a potential circle,for Christ, through his crucifixion, took upon himself all thesins of the world, and in the Harrowing of Hell he triumphedover death and the devil before ascending once more to heaven.The Consul, like St. John of the Cross, or like Dante, ismetaphorically identified with Christ through his descent intothe inner, the spiritual “Malebolge,” (UV 100) by means of whichhe tries to expiate the world’s guilt: “Firmin innocent, butbears guilt of world on shoulders.” ( 137) Mircea Eliadewrites31g.Against...suffering, the primitive struggleswith all the magico—religious means available o him - but he tolerates it morallybeca,iJse it is not absurd. ...suffering isperturbing only insofar as its cause remains undiscovered • 1The Consul’s struggle is accompanied by a sustained de profundis clamavi, an appeal from the depths for something thatwill give meaning to his seemingly senseless suffering.“Please let me make her happy, deliver mefrom this dreadful tyranny of self. I havesunk low. Let me sink lower still, that Imay know the truth. Teach me to love again,to love iife.” ( 29)Like Dante, the Consul is in a dark wood, imaged in the cantinaEl Bosque, in the name Quauhnahuac itself, which means ‘nearthe wood’, and in the actual forest that surrounds the Farolitoin Parian. As Dorothy Sayers expresses it,Once lost in the Dark Wood, a man can onlyescape by so descending into himself thathe sees his sin, not as an external obstacle,but as the will to chaos and death withinhim (Hell).2The Consul prays further, ttGive me back my purity, the knowledgeof the mysteries that I have betrayed and lost. (UV 29) Theidea of a descent into hell is found in the myth of Orpheus,and in the Eleusinian mysteries, the initiation rites are be—lieved to have included a descent into a pit or cave, symbolicof the grave, or the abode of the chthonic dieties, as a necessary prelude to purification and rebirth in union with the1. Mircea Eliade, The Myth of the Eternal Return, Routledgeand Kegan Paul, London, 1955, p. 98.2. Dorothy Sayers, The Comedy of Dante Alighieri The Florentine, Cantica I, Hell, Penguin, l9i9, p. 75n.35divine. Lowry suggests, in a letter to John Erskine, that ‘the“search” for the Consul in Chapter 1 is not unrelated to theEleusinian mysteries,’ 3 although here it is Hugh, with hisnewly purchased guitar in its key-shaped case, who is identified with Orpheus. As he and Yvonne fight their way throughthe dark wood in search of the Consul, Hugh sings, in what seemslike pure irony, a song of the Spanish Civil War, the gist ofwhich is that it is better to die fighting against the imperialists for justice, for a new world (‘un nuevo mund&) than tolive a slave. (UV 332f) Lowry’s intention here was perhaps toestablish an identification between Hugh and the ‘catechumen’in the mysteries, who ‘needed a hierophant or expounder toguide him aright. Yvonne, and, by extension, the Consul,are the hierophants, functioning as Hugh’s guides through thedark wood, the realm of the dead. The initiation rites had alsothe object of protecting the living from being haunted by thespirits of the dead. As Jane Harrison remarks,It is not the guilty conscience of themurderer, but a sort of onset of theconsciousness of the murdered 5that leads to a sense of guilt, and sometimes to madness, aswith Orestes, and with the Consul, who is haunted by the spiritof the German officers murdered aboard the Samaritan. Hugh’s3. IB1, July 15, 1946.4. Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Mystery,” Cambridge, 1911,Vol. XIX, p. 118.5. Jane Ellen Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of GreekReligion, Cambridge U.P., 1908, p. 218.36initiation, therefore, is intended to provide him with a kindof immunity against the Consul’s and Yvonne’s spirits, sincehe is in part guilty of their deaths. For, as the Consulrealizes,what you did impulsively and tried to forgetin the cruel abstraction of youth will beginto strike you in a new and darker light. I amsadly afraid that you may indeed, preciselybecause you are a good and simple person at bottomand genuinely respect more than most the principlesand decencies that-might have prevented it, fallheir, as you grow older and your conscience lessrobust, to a suffering on account of it moreabominable than any you have caused me. How mayI help you.? How ward it off? How shall the murderedman convince his assassin he will not haunt him.(UV 79)The question remains unanswered at the end of the novel, although Hugh’s encounter in the bull ring at Tomalin, his song,which suggests a revival of spirit, and his final departurefrom Vera Cruz (on an errand of rescue, of salvation) leavethe reader with a feeling that Hugh will learn from the Consul’sspiritual journey what he failed to understand after his ownactual ‘Journey to the Orient.’There are other hints which link Hugh’s and Yvonne’sprogress through the wood with the Eleusinian rites, At theabeginning of their search they see ‘cattle...on the slopingfields among gold cornstalks and striped mysterious tents,’( 317) and as they emerge from the restaurant El Popo Yvonnesees, beside the road, ‘a ruined Grecian temple, dim, withtwo tall slender pillars, approached by two broad steps,’(UV 331) which, though it turns out to be only an illusion,suggests the temple to Demeter at Eleusis. The clearest connection, however, is made at the end of Chapter Ten:37And leaving the burning dream, Yvonnefelt herself suddenly gathered upwards andborne towards the stars, through eddies ofstars scattering aloft with ever wider circlingslike rings on water, among which now appeared,like a flock of diamond birds flying softyand steadily towards Orion, the Pleiades...(j 336)A part of the Orphic doctrine was that the souls of the initiatedreturned.in death to the stars, or perhaps even became stars,and although there is a certain grotesque humour in the factthat Yvonne, after failing twice to become a Hollywood ‘star’should achieve her goal in death, the intention is primarilypositive. It is meant to convey the idea that Yvonne has beenreleased from the fallen world, from the ‘burning dream’ ofsuffering and desire; and perhaps also that in the stars shewill be united with the Consul, whose soul is implicitly identified with the Eagle, that ‘dark furious shape, a little worldof fierce despairs and dreams, and memories’ (1W 320) which shefrees from ‘the damp and dark of its prison’. (1W 319)...she was right, it knew it was free - upsoaring, with a sudden cleaving of pinionsinto the deep dark blue pure sky above, inwhich at that moment appeared one star. Nocompunction touched Yvonne. She felt only aninexplicable secret triumph and relief:noone would ever know she had done this; andthen, stealing over her, the sense of utterheartbreak and loss. (1W 320)aIt is through such images of release from suffering andguilt that the ‘prophecy of hope’ which Lowry intended toexpress is carried. The Orphic doctrine, however, was indirect opposition to the Homeric view of man in relation tothe gods.3W.K.C. Guthrie asks,Which idea, then, are we to take as themore truly representative of the Greek religiousmind: that there was a great gulf between mortaland immortal, between man and god, and that forman to attempt to bridge it was hybris andcould only end in disaster, or that there wasa.kinship between human and divine, and that itwas the duty of manto live a life which wouldemphasize his kinship and make it as close aspossible? ‘Lowry alternates between the two ideas in Under the Volcano,but the very title of the novel suggests that the Consul ismore pharmakos than saviour, more Prometheus than Christ.Under the volcano It was not for nothingthe ancients had placed Tartarus under Mt.Aetna, nor within it, the monster Typhoeus,with his hundred heads and- relatively -fearful eyes and voices. (UV 339)The Consul is identified, at various points in the novel, withanother denizen of Tartarus, Prometheus, ‘that poor fool whowas bringing light to the world. (UV 222) Prometheus, likethat other light bearer, Lucifer, acted out of hybris. Indefiance he sought to rob God, to steal the sacred fire ofZeus, which was presumably a symbol for knowledge of thesecrets of the universe. The Consul, ‘peeping, tequila-una—fraid,’ ( 13O) into the barranca, sees it as a kind of‘general Tartarus and gigantic jakes,’ inhabited by a ‘cloacalPrometheus’. (UV 131)6. W.K.C. Guthrie, The Greeks and Their Gods, Beacon PressBoston, 1954, p. 114.For the nineteenth—century Romantics, according to Gwendolyn Bays,Prometheus....represented not only thesuffering hero, but also primordial manin all his innocence, and was so godlikethat he did not fear to enter heaven.?Nor, in the Shelleian version of the myth, did he fear to remain in hell, in defiance of what he felt was the injusticeof the gods. The poet is conceived by Shelley, as by thenineteenth-century German Romantics and the French symbolists,as a kind of Promethean explor6r of the ‘unknown spiritualdepths of man’ . This is also the Consul, as Lowry portrayshim:And this is how I sometimes think of myself,as a great explorer who has discovered someextraordinary land from which he can neverreturn to give his knowledge to the world:but the name of this land is hellIt is not Mexico of course but in theheart. (UV 36)The problem in Under the Volcano is that for the Consul, asLaruelle says (or perhaps it is really the Consul himself whorealizes it)“Je crois que le vautour est douxPrometheus et que les Ixion se plaisenten Enfers.”“Facilis est descensus Averno...” (UV 219)The Consul’s spiritual battleis carried on ‘in a bottle,?( 7) and although alcohol provides a way of ‘seeing’ what7. Bays, p. 69.. Bays, p. 63, (quoting E.T.A. Hoffman)40is otherwise veiled, it is also a means, often, for escapingfrom the problems of existence. Like Yvonne’s horse, the Consuldoes not want to drink; he wishes only to look at his reflection —to peer into the depths of his soul. But this painful descentmust be made in humility: the true road leads through the gateof horn, that is, through the death of the self-seeking ego.And alcohol has the effect of insulating the soul “from theresponsibility of genuine suffering.’ ( 219) It becomesone of the”instruments of the disaster” (liv 217) which it isintended to avert. The narcotic experience may result in apenetration of the abyss, but the explorer finds himself oftenin a hell like the Consul’s from which there is no escape.for those who, for whatever reason,are appalled, heaven turns into hell,bliss into horror, the Clear Light intothe hateful glare of the land of lit-upness.9De Quincey, that ‘mere drug fiend’ (UV 136) who was no doubt aprogenitor of the Consul’s disapproving neighbour, Mr. Quincey,a ‘retired walnut grower’, ( 132) had just this kind of experience under the influence of his particular nux vomica,laudanum:9. Aldous Huxley, Heaven and Hell, Chatto and Windus, London,1956. pp. 52—53.14.1I seemed every night to descend notmetaphorically, but literally to descend —into chasms and sunless abysses, depthsbelow depths, from which it seemed hopelessthat I could ever re—ascend. Nor did I,by waking, feel that I had re-ascended....the state of-gioom which attended thesegorgeous spectacles, amounting at least toutter darkness,, as of some suicidal despondency,cannot be approached by words.1°For Baudelaire and Rimbau.d, hashish and absinthe produced similar experiences. Both regarded the poet as a seer,’une phare’.The poet, they felt could become ‘one of “Les Phares” — thebeacons, the ilium:ined and the illuminating.’11 He couldbecome likePrometheus [who by his ascent into heaven,and Orpheus, [whoj by his descent into hell,attempted to wrest for mankind the secrets ofexistence; the one braved the blinding lightof heaven, the other the impenetrable darknessand uncanny terrors of the underworld.12But, as Senior remarks,the beacons are reflected in the mirror of thesea, that is, they chiefly light the darkregions of the souls of the poets themselves.13The Farolito (which means lighthouse) also suggests a beacon,but it is the kind of lighthouse which, in Lowry’s own words,‘invites the storm and lights it.”4 (UV 200) For those who are10. Thomas De Quincey, The Opium Eater, Ward, Lock and Co.,London, 1910, pp. 105-1Q6.11. Senior, p. 9.12. Bays, p. l9.13. Senior, p. 9.14. See also Malcolm Lowry, “The Lighthouse Invites the Storm,”in Selected Poems of Malcolm Lowr, City Lights Books,San Francisco, 1962, p. iS.4.2appalled, as the Consul is appalled by his inability to acceptsalvation, by the senselessness of his life and his isolationin suffering, the beacon serves only to make the darknessmore visible, to reveal the ‘eternal horror of opposites’(! 130)which lies at the centre of his own being.At the symbolic midpoint of the novel (seven minutes pasttwo o’clock, the seventh hour) there is an implied choice forthe Consul of a genuine Promethean role. The Rivera frescoeson the fairground, which recall the imagery of Chapter One ofthe novel, seem to Laruelle and the Consul, in their “slowdarkening...from right to left” to “symbolise the gradual imposition of the Spaniard’s conquering will upon The Indians,”(UV 212) and, further, the ‘exploitation of everybody by everybody else’. But the painted panels on the carrousel, with itssuggestion of wheels within wheel, reminiscent of the Chariotof Ezekiel, convey an opposite impression. They seem to signifythe possibility of a return to the Garden of Eden, to a timebefore Adam became a “property owner” and was “cut off fromGod.” 133) The panels present what might be interpretedas a capsule history of the world. The last one portrayslovers, a man and a woman reclining by ariver. Though childish and crude it had aboutit a somnambulistic quality and something tooof truth, of the pathos of love. The loverswere depicted awkwardly askance. Yet onefelt that really they were wrapped in eachother’s arms by this river at dusk among goldstars. (UV 214)Looking at it, the Consul experiences a momentary upsurge oftenderness and joy.i3Yvonne, he thought, with sudden tenderness,where are you, my darling?.... A desire tofind her immediately and take her home....seized him, and a desire too, to leadimmediately again a normal happy life withher, a life, for instance, in which suchinnocent happiness as all these good peoplearound him wre enjoying, was possible. ( 2lJ+)But the fall from innocence into experience, from eternity tothe condition of being in time, is irreversible. The Consulfeels this as ‘a great hand...pressing his head down,? (UV 215)and immediately calls for a drink. With his tequila he isserved ‘red shrimps in a saucer’ — “cabrones” (UV 217) — areminder of Yvonne’s infidelity: “Venus is a horned star.”But he recognizes too that his suffering is “largely unnecessary.Actually spurious,” ( 219) and that it may be possible, inspite of his still potent desire for destruction, to ‘reversetheir doom.’ ( 211i.) By-passing the Ferris wheel, which, ashas been pointed out, symbolizes the steady, immutable forwardmovement of time,’the wheel of the law rolling’, ( 21) theConsul wanders to the ‘fin1 frontiers of the fair.’Here the tent booths and galleries seemednot so much asleep as lifeless, beyondhope of revival. Yet there were faint signsof life after all, he saw. ( 220)And here he encounters, is swallowed up in, the Maguina Infernal. The machine recalls the quotation from Cocteau’sMachine Infernale:“Oui, mon enfant, mon petit enfant...les choses qui paraissent abominable auxhumains, si tu savais, de l’endroit ouj’habite, elles ont peu d’importance.”( 209)The passage implies that the ‘loathsome reality’ ( 207) oflife is unimportant; and that there is a transcendent reality44which can be discovered by going beyond, or beneath, the conventional surface of being. And in the machine, which is likea ‘little confession box,’ (WI 221) the Consul is ‘hung upsidedown’ over the world, and he is ‘emptied out.’ ( 222)Everything was falling out of his pockets,was being wrested from him, torn away, afresh article at each whirling, sickeningplunging, retreating, unspeakable circuit,his notecase, pipe, keys, his dark glasses...What did it matter? Let it got There was akind of fierce delight in this final acceptance.Let everything got Everything particularlythat provided means of ingress or egress,went bond for, gave meaning or character, orpurpose or identity to that frightful bloodynightmare he was forced to carry around withhim everywhere uponhis back....(UV 222—223)The Infernal Machine is a climactic symbol for the ,horror ofeternal opposites.’ It stands at the midpoint of the novel inthe dramatic as well as the temporal sense. The conflict hasbeen imaged in a variety of ways in the early chapters of thenovel. The Consul’s letter, in hapter One, with its handwriting ‘half crabbed, half generous, and wholly drunken...the words themselves slanting steeply downhill, though the individual characters seemed as if resisting the descent,’ (UV 35)and the horseman Laruelle encounters on the bridge, ‘thismaniacal vision of senseless frenzy, but controlled, not quiteuncontrolled, somehow almost admirable, (UV 23) reflect theconflict between soul and spirit. The same conflict is mirroredin the sundered rock, La Despedida, which Yvonne and the Consulsee in the printer’s window, ironically juxtaposed with a display of wedding invitations, a reminder to Yvonne of the meaning of the word ‘Divorce’: ‘divorced meant: sundered, severed.’(UV 49) The tragic consequence of their separation is conveyed15through the description of the ruined garden, with its ‘exoticplants...perishing on every hand of unnecessary thirst,...yetstruggling like dying voluptuaries in a vision to maintainsome final attitude of pOtency,in the ‘agony of the roses,’and the ‘plantains with their queer familiar blooms, onceemblematic of life, now of an evil phallic death.’ ( 65)Every element of the landscape corresponds, or hints suggestively, at the struggle between soul and spirit: the poster advertising the boxing match - ‘The Ballon vs. the BouncingBall;’ (UV l) the image of the butterfly escaping from thejaws of the cat, which is a half-ironic, half-hopeful portentof the outcome of the contest; the scorpion on the wall, whichwill “only sting himself to death anyway;11 (UV i) all theseare signatures which, rightly understood point to the analogybetween microcosm and macrocosm.In Laruelle’s zacuali, witi its ‘angels and...cannonballs,’its bedroom windows ‘which, as if degenerate machicolations,were built askew, like the separated halves of a chevron,’(UV 195) recalling the swinging doors of the pulqueria LaSepultura, (UV 109) the grave, the Consul is confronted by apainting, presumably of the Last Judgement. Although he describes it as ‘something between a primitive and a prohibitionist poster,’ ( 199) the painting, Los Borrachones, givesrise to a feeling ‘never felt before with such shocking certainty. It was that he was in hell himself.’ (UV 199) In the‘curious calm’ that follows this realization, the Consul ispossessed by a longing for the Farolito, with its14.6numerous little rooms...where diabolicalplots must be hatched, atrocious murdersplanned....(UV 200)Against this longing,which ‘was so great his soul was lockedwith the essence of the place,’ ( 201) is pitted his lOvefor Yvonne, and his memories of their past life together.‘Could one be faithful to Yvonne and the Farolito both?’ (UV 201)Gazing over the country through Jacque’s binoculars, the Consulsearches for ‘some figment of himself, who had once enjoyedsuch a simple healt1j stupid good thing as golf.’ (UV 203> Heis seeking, in fact, a return to his owii ‘age of innocence’.But now, even more than on the occasion of his first fall frominnocence into experience, ‘The Case is Altered.’ The HellBunker of Chapter One has been replaced by the ‘Golgotha Hole’...Golf gouffre gulf.’ (UV 202)And...far away, like youth, like life itself,the course... extends through the jungle, to theFarolito, the nineteenth ho1e....( 202)The Consul resists, for a time, the demons who are ‘inpossession,’ resists the desire to drink. But the sight ofLaruelle’s naked body under the shower is a horrifying reminder of the ‘anguishing betrayal’ he has suffered. Aftera frantic and unsuccessful effort to telephone Dr. Guzman,the Consul succumbs to the demons who are ‘inside him as wellas outside.’ ( 207) It is impossible without a drink (aswith one) to face the truth, to recover the lost identityhidden behind the dark glasses, the pipe, the consular dignity. His frenzied attack on the spiral staircase in searchof a drink prefigures the motion of the Infernal Machine,which in turn operates as an ironic deus ex machina, strip-47ping him of everything that goes to make up ‘that frightfulnightmare...that went by the name of Geoffrey Firmin.’ (UV 223)The irony lies in the fact that he wakes from one nightmareonly to be confronted by another: “Geoffrey Firmin, this iswhat it is like to die,...an awakening from a dream in a darkplace, in which, as you see, are present the means of escapefrom yet another nightmare.” ( 226)The Consul, like Marlow in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness,has only a choice of nightmares: between the inner darkness,which projects itself on the external world in the form of“wheels within wheels,” (UV 174) “Quod semper, quod ubique,quod ab omnibus,” (UV 233) and the outer darkness of a worldSof “Mass reflexes, but only the erections of guns, disseminating death,” (UV 207) which penetrates the Consul’s soul ina way which is equally “Inhumaciones.” (UV 232) His choice,then, is not the simple choice of Scrooge, whose inner darkness was entirely dispersed by the prayer which Hugh, in hisown simplicity, echoes: “God bless us.”(UV 237) For in theConsul’s world, “The gods exist, they are the devil.”( 209)They are the same gods who bind Ixion to his wheel, or Sisyphus to his endless labour, like the madman with his tire whichhe ‘flung...far ahead again, repeating the process, to theirreducible logic of which he appeared eternally committed...’(UV 224)The Consul, wrestling with the Infernal Machine in anattempt to transcend the human condition, loses his passport,which might have provided egress from the nightmare world ofthe Farolito. But Hugh’s telegram, which ultimately confirmsthe suspicion that he is a “spider,t’ and not a “wrider,”(UV 371) is restored to him. The suspicion is symbolicallyjustified, for the Consul is like a spider caught in a webof circumstance partly of his own making, and not, as he wishedto be, a ‘rider in the chariot.’ In the cantina El Bosque, theConsul, like Hugh at the beginning of Chapter Six, recalls thefirst lines, of Dante’s Inferno. (UV 225) From this point on heis irretrievably lost in the dark wood, the ‘bosca oscura’not ‘selva’ (UV 225) — in the place wherete soul’s cherished sins have become,as it were, externalized, and appear to itlike demons, or “beasts” with a will andpower of their own, blocking all progress.15The headlines from the morning paper, El Universal, which,ironically, had set the Consul’s mind at rest on the occasionof Dr. Vigil’s visit, because they ‘seemed entirely concernedwith the Pope’s illness and the Battle of the Ebro,’ ( l3)and not with his own fate, establish the correspondence betweenthe Consul’s struggle and the struggle for good in the world,and foreshadow the outcome of that battle:Es inevitable lamuerte del Papa. ( 230)15. Sayers, p. 75n.= CHAPTER IVTHE CONSUL. AS TRAGIC HEROAccording to Northrop Frye,Tragedy seems to move up to an Augenblickor crucial moment from wh±h point the roadto what might have been and the road towhat will be can be simultaneously seen.Seen by the audience that is: it cannot beseen by th hero if he is in a state ofhybris, for in that case the crucial momentis for him a moment of dizziness, when thewheel of furtune begins its inevitablecyclical movement downward.Chapter Seven of Under the Volcano, and the single word, ‘Downhill...,’ at the beginning of Chapter Eight, provide an explicitdemonstration of Frye’s statement. It seems appropriate at thispoint to ask: What is it that raises Lowry’s protagonist to thelevel of genuine tragedy?There is a large admixture of irony in Lowry’s treatmentof the Consul. Again according to Frye,irony looks at tragedy from below....It stresses the humanity of its heroes,minimizes the sense of ritual inevitabilityin tragedy, supplies social and psychologicalexplanations for catastrophe, and makes asmuch as possible of human misery seem, inThoreau’s phrase, “superfluous and evitable.” 2Hence the ‘unnecessary suffering,’ which is obliquely commentedon, as the irony is further developed, by the Consul’s own1. Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays, Princeton University Press, 1957, p. 213.2. Frye, Anatomy, p. 237.50quotation from Tolstoi:“The act of a madman or a drunkard,...or of a man labouring under violent excitementseems less free and more inevitable to theone who knows the mental condition of theman who performed the action, and more freeand less inevitable to the one who does notknow it.” ( 3og)But the Consulis not merely a dipsomaniac who cannot make uphis mind to stop drinking, any more than Hamlet is a weaklingwho cannot make up his mind to murder his uncle. A plot structure conceived in these terms would be insufficient to the formof the novel as it is developed. Mark Schorer has remarked thatHemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and Wescott’sThe Pilgrim Hawk are works of art not becausethey may be measured by some external, neoclassic notion of form, but because theirforms are so exactly equivalent with theirsubjects, and because the evaluation of theirsubjects exists in their styles.3The obverse of this statement is, of course, that the subject ofa work must be the ‘equivalent’ of its form and style. The storyof the unsuccessful effort to rehabilitate a confirmed drunkardwould not offer an adequate correlative for the extraordinarycomplexity of form and style of Under the Volcano. Nor does thenovel ever leave the impression of redundancy or trivialitywhich would inevitably result if this were the substance ofthe plot. On the contrary, the effect is of a subject whichexhausts every possibility of the form which contains it, as,to extend Lowry’s own metaphor, the intersecting spokes fill3. Mark Schorer, “Technique as Discovery,” in Aidridge,Critiques, p. O.51up all the space enclosed within the rim of a whirling wheel.Lowry achieves this balance of form and subject by placing thedramatic narrative - the linear progression of events frominnocence to catasophe — within the context of an encyclopaedic, cyclical vision of life, which includes not only thelarger world of historical time, but also a world beyond time.Within this framework, the Consul’s spiritual disintegrationis identified with the disintegration of the political societyin which he exists, and this, in turn, is viewed as a paradigmof the human condition. The reader is led to the realizationthat the Consul’s fall results not merely from his personalweakness, but that, rather, he carries within him the contagion,the taint of evil, of the world in which he lives; he is led,in fact, to a recognition of the inevitability of the tragedy.To quote again from Frye,The tragic hero is very great as comparedwith us, but there is something else, something on the side of him opposite the audience,compared to which he is small, This somethingelse may be called God, gods, fate, accident,fortune, necessity, circumstance, or anycombination of these, but whatever it is thetragic hero is our mediator with it. 1And further,With his fall, a greater world beyond which his4\ gigantic spirit has blocked out becomes foran instant visible, but there is also a sepse ofthe mystery and remoteness of that world.4. Frye, Anatoy, p. 207.5. Frye, Anatoniy, p. 215.0 52Inthe final chapter of Under the Volcano the Consul is imagedin terms which again provide a precise demonstration of Frye’spoint. From the window of the Farolito, the Consul looks downinto the abyss.The sheer height was terrifying, he thought,leaning outwards, looking sideways at thesplit rock and attempting to recall thepassage in The Cenci that described thehuge stack clinging to the mass of earth,as if resting on life, not afraid to fall,but darkening, just the same, where itwould go if it went. ...But it struck himhe was not afraid to fall either. (IN 339)The passage marks the beginning of the Consul’s recognition ofhis own condition, as the physical blindness of Oedipus ispreceded by a growing insight into his own nature. Later theConsul wishes Yvonne would come,’jf only as a daughter, whowould understand and comfort him,...even if but to lead himby the hand, drunkenly homeward through the stone fields, theforests —, ...as he had seen the Indian children lead theirfathers home on Sundays.’ (UV 360) The implied parallel between Oedipus and e Consul affords one of those shifts inperspective which enable the reader to arrive at a new perception of the nature of the tragedy. Both Oedipus and theConsul are guilty of murder, but the nature and extent of theirsuffering is entirely out of proportion with the degree oftheir moral responsibility viewed in rational and human terms.It is intelligible only if they are viewed as surrogate figures,who act out and ultimately expiate the sins of the whole humancommunity.. Both bear not the mark of Cain upon the brow, butrather the mark of the serpent - the swollen foot, lameness -which identifies them with man in the totality of his condition53as fallen being. In the case of Sophoclest hero, however, theagony results ‘in a gradual wLdening of Oedipus’ vision of hisobjective nature, and his heroic stature is increased by hisacceptance of the final revelation. The action of Under theVolcano consists of the gradual narrowing of the Consul’svision, his withdrawal, in a series of ever—narrowing circles,like the circles of Dante’s Hell, into the subjective self,and the simultaneous separation from him of his ‘persistentobjective self,’ (j l3) as he is invaded and possessed bythe unconscious forces of the ‘world soul’. The process, forthe Consul, is also one of self-revelation, of course, foras Jung has pointed out,The Ego...is...a relatively constant personification of the unconscious itself, or...theSchopenhauerian mirror in which,.. the unconsciousbecomes aware of its own face.But as Lowry imagnes it, the conflict is between the unconscious collective forces which seek to overwhelm it and thedivine spark of the Consul’s individual spirit; and theseforces must be confronted before they can be understood andovercome. Hugh is right in regarding the COnsul?S actions asa form of “Thalavethiparothiam,...Or strength obtained bydecapitation,”? (IJY l?g) for the Consul is the sacrificial6. C.G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis: An Inquiry Into theSeparation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy,R.F.C. Hull, tr., Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1963,p. 107.7. In Frazer the word is given Thalevettiparothiam.victim through whose death the whole community is revived.The Coxsul, peering into the barranca as it runs pasthis garden, describes it as a ‘gigantic jakes,’ and thinksthat ‘one might even climb down, if one wished, by easy stageof course, and taking the occasional swig of tequila on theway....’ (UV 131) Each of the bathroom scenes in the novelrepresents a stage in this imagined descent, and each marksalso a further degree of alienation within the Consul’spsyche, culminating, in Chapter Ten, in a grotesque parodyof the Prometheus metaphor. The Consul had remarked earlierto Laruelle, “if I ever start to drink mescal again, I’m afraid,yes, that would be the end.” (UV 216) Seated at the dinner tablein the Saln Of1ia with Hugh and Yvonne, he realizes thatthe mescal had succeeded in a manner somewhatoutside his calculations. ...There was somethingin fact almost beautiful about the frightfulextremity of that condition the Consul nowfound himself in. It was a hangover like agreat dark ocean swell finally rolled upagainst a foundering steamer, by countlessgales to windward that have long since blownthemselves out. (UV 293)The image bears a remarkable resemblance to that used by Jungto describe the feeling produced when ‘the unconscious contentsbreak through into consciousness, filling it with their uncannypower of conviction’:J55A collapse of the conscious attitude is nosmall matter. It always feels like the end of theworld, as though everything had tumbled back intooriginal chaos. One feels delivered up, disoriented,like a rudderless ship that is abandoned to themoods of the elements.In the Consul’s case, his consciousness is overwhelmed by thecollective ‘world soul’, invaded by all the elements. (j 304)Escaping from the dinner table - ‘the supper at Emmaeus’(UV 290) - he finds himself, in imitation of his ‘cloacal Prometheus’, sitting in the jakes outside the Saln Oflia. The outhouse is at once a ‘tomb’, a prison (‘this Franklin Island of thesoul’) and a Hell ‘of the Svidrigailov variety.’ (UV 294) A Hell,that is, for those who, like Dostoiski)s hero, are possessedby evil, by hyperconscience dans le mal. A comparison withOrestes, pursued and possessed by the Erinyes, is suggested byCervantes’ “A stone...clean yourself on a stone, senor.”( 294)But for the Consul there is no Laconian stone which will relieve him of his guilt. There is no defense against the ‘all butirresistible, senseless onrush of wild rage’(W 303) which accompanies the collapse of the final frontiers of the Consul’sconsciousness. In the argument with Hugh which follows his return to the dinner table, the Consul becomes, as it were, Devil’sadvocate.“It seems to me that almost everywhere in the worldthese days there has long since ceased to be anything fundamental to man at issue at all”. ( 309)“Countries, civilizations, empires, great hordes,perish for no reason at all, and their soul and meaning with them, that one old man...sitting boilingin Timbuctoo, proving the existence of the mathematical correlative of ignoratio elenchi with obsolete instruments, may survive.” ( 310). C.G. Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, R.F.C.Hull, tr., Meridian Books, New York, 1956, p. 173.56The image points ironically back to the Consul himself, sittingin the tetone monastic cell’ of the toilet, ( 295) and thisin turn is a reminder of the bathroom scene in Chapter Five,on the occasion of Dr. Vigil’e visit, when the Censul foundhimself ‘gasing at the bathroom wall in an attitude like agrotesque parody oE 81 old attitude in meditation.’ ( 11,5)Here the Consul’s own ‘battle for the survival of the h’ntanconsciousness’ (y 217) is still going on, although he feelshimself ‘being shattered by the very forces of the univ•rse,’(!!! 145) author of the wbrl%s deem, but at the same timeinnocent, ‘a child, a little child, innocent as that otherGeoffrey had been....’ ( 146)Dr. Vigil and the Consul have been discussing the ‘decomposition of the eclectic systemi,” comparing the nervoussystem to an electric circuit. As Dr. Vigil says,“...after imach tequila the eclectic systoWdis perhaps un poco docompuosto, comprenos, assometimes in the cino: claro C!! 144)The image recalls Laruollo’ s experience in Chapter One, whenthe lights of the actual cinema have failed, because the “wireshave decomposed.” (fl 25) Sitting alOne in the bathroom, theConsul sees his soul as a town, ‘ravaged and stricken in theblack path of his excess,’ (j 145) and the reader is remindedof the . nowsrools of the Spanish Civil War which are stillbeing shown at the cinema a year later, of Guornica, . or përhppsMadrid, which wEs destroyed by an invasion from within (thefifth column). The image of the soul as a town has boon introduced by the Consul earlier, in conversation with Yvonne:57“But look here, suppose for the sake ofargument you abandon a beseiged town to theenemy and then - there’s something about myanalogy I don’t like, but never mind, supposeyou do it — then you can’t very well expect toinvite your soul into quite the same greengraces...can you, eh?nt (uv 7)The error in the Consul’s analogy is that it is not Yvornewho has abandoned the town(his soul) but he himself who hasgiven in to ‘the enemy.’ Dr Vigil’s comment, which he repeatsto Laruelle in Chapter One, makes this clear:think, mi amigo, sickness is not only in bodybut in that part used to be call: soul.” (UV lLjThe sickness is within the Consul’s soul, and he sees it, atthis point, as “a sort of eclámpsia.” ( 144) Webster defineseclampsia as ‘Gr. eklampsis a-shining forth, deny, of ék out -lampein to shine...a sudden attack of convulsions, esp. duringpregnancy or parturition.’ The word, which in the context ofthe conversation seems entirely inappropriate, is significantin the larger framework of the novel, where it is related tothe image of the ‘lighthouse which lights the storm,’ and tothe ‘curious familiar glare in [the ConsuPs] eyes...a glareturned inward...like one of those sombrely brilliant cluster-lamps down the hatches of the Pennsylvania on the work of unloading, only this was a work of spoliation...’ ( 49) Thecoal bunker of the ship is a further metaphor for Hell: Hellbunker - golf - gulf. The word eclampsia is also a foreshadowing of the scene of the Consul’s ‘final stupid unprophylacticrejection,’ (UV 34) when, in Maria’s room in the Farolito,which in itself symbolizes the nadir of the Consul’s descent,and at the same time contains reminders of his lost innocence5(‘it closely resembled his old rooms at college....In onecorner...stood a gigantic sabre. Kashmirt’) 1W 34) he experiences the convulsions of birth:God is it possible to suffer more thanthis, out of this suffering something mustbe born, and whatwould be born was his owndeath....(UV 349)The scene marks the culmination of the calamity which has beendrawing nearer at each stage of the novel, the final collisionof the forces of love and death: ‘how alike are the groans oflove to those of the dying, how alike those of love to those ofthe dying’ ( 351) Yet in spite of the grotesque irony withwhich it is pervaded, the ‘crisis’ which the Consul reaches inthis act of love is a moment of epiphany. It represents forhim an escape from ‘the weight of suffering and consciencegreater (it seemed) than that borne by any man who had survived’. (UV 350) The parodox which is central to the theme ofthe novel lies in the fact that the act of love leads to death —in this case the personal death of the Consul - but it leadsalso to the self knowledge which makes possible an acceptanceof life: ‘it was calamity, the calamity of his own life, thevery essence of it he now penetrated, was penetrating, pene—trated.’( 350) The Consul feels afterwards a ‘strange re—lease,’ ( 351) for his soul which was before ‘locked withthe essence’ ( 201) of the Farolito, of Hell itself, is nowfreed from that convulsive embrace. ‘It was as if out of anultimate contamination he had derived strength.’(UV 354) Itis only after this experience that the Consul is able to recognize that the demons and ‘tbeasts” of the dark wood ‘cor59respond in a way he couldn’t understand yet obscurely recognized, to some faction of his own being,’ (!L 362) and toregard his own ‘HellifJ fall’ with a degree of objectivity.he saw...how all the events of the day indeedhad been as indifferent tufts of grass he hadhaif—heartedly clutched at or stones loosedon his downward flight, which were stillshowering on him from above. (UV 362)The analogy with the final canto of the Inferno is clear. Toborrow again from Northro.p Frye,At the bottom of Dante’s hell, which is alsothe center of the spherical earth, Dante seesSatan standing upright in the circle of ice, andas he cautiously follows Virgil over the hipand thigh of the evil giant, letting himselfdown by the tufts of hair on his skin, he passesthe center and finds himself climbing out on theother side of the world to see the stars again....Tragedy and tragic irony take us into a hell ofnarrowing circles and culminate in some such visionof the source. of all evil in personal form. Tragedycan take us no farther....9The descent into Avernus - easy only in the sense that to fallis always easier than to climb — has been completed. There is anecho of Hugh’s humourous story in the final grim pages of thetragedy: “Climbed the Parson’s Nose...in twenty minutes. Foundthe rocks very easy.” “Came down the Parson’s Nose...in twentyseconds. Found the rocks very hard.” (UV l2) The Consul doesnot survive to repeat the climb. Unlike the ‘actor in thePassion Play’ he cannot ‘get off his cross and go home.’(UV l2-3)The sacrifice must be played out to its conclusion. But from thebottom of the abyss he is able, finally, to read the Mene TekelPares: “No se puede vivir sin amar,” ( 375) which explainseverything.9. Frye, Anatomy, p. 239.CONCLUSIONPart of the diff4?ulty in analysing Under the Volcanolies in the fact thatEach rereading adds fresh discoveries, changingour idea of the whole until we despair ofreaching the end of that suggestive complexity.1Tindafl remarks at a later point in The Literary Symbol thatIf wholes are more important than their parts,that is a great disadvantage, greater in thecase of symbolist novels than of a simpler kind;for whereas the common novel depends largelyupon narrative to carry its meaning and narrativeis suitably temporal, the symbolist novel dependsless upon sequence of events than upon reflexiverelationships among its elements.2His conclusion seems perverse, for it is just the complexity ofthe reflexive relationships, the continuous collision of imagesand symbols which rebound to produce new insights into the significance of the work as a whole that makes it so difficult tobreak the symbolist novel into its separate parts. In fact, twoof the major images in Under the Volcano - Las Manos de Orlacand the Samaritan — have scarcely been touched on in this thesis,partly because their moral and political implications seem comparatively easy to grasp, but partly also because to explore thetwo images in detail would lead to a recapitulation, although1. Tindall, The Literary Symbol, p. 71.2. Tindall, p. 263.61with a slightly different emphasis, of much that has alreadybeen said concerning the central theme of the novel: the conflict between lOvepd death, between the urge to create lifeand the impulse which leads to self—destruction.Another difficulty arises when an attempt is made toclassify a novel which, like Under the Volcano, goes beyond the‘suitably temporal, and includes within the boundaries of adramatic narrative a whole universe of time and space. McCormick has called Under the Volcano a ‘cognitive’ novel. Forsteruses the term ‘prophetic’ in much the same way in his discussionof Dostoievski and Lawrence, and of Melville, who, he says,reaches straight back into the universal, to ablackness and sadness so transcending our ownthat they are undistinguishable from glory.3Frye adopts the term ‘romance’ to distinguish works like Wuthering Heights from the conventional novel, for the romance,he says,radiates a glow of subjective intensity that thenovel lacks, and...a suggestion of allegory isconstantly creeping in around the fringes.4Yet after carefully separating specific continuous forms ofprose fiction into four classes — the novel, romance, confession and anatomy - Frye concludes by describing Joyce’s yssesas3. E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel, Harcourt, Brace andCo., New York,- 1927, p. 206.L,.. Frye, Anatomy of Criticism, p. 304.62a complêe prose epic with all four formsemployed in it, all of practically equalimportance, and all essential to one another,so that the book is a unity and not anaggregate. 5He goes on to say thatThis unity is built up from an intricatescheme of parallel contrasts.°His phrase recalls Tindall’s ‘reflexive relationships’, and theterm ‘symbolist’ which Tindall applies to Ulysses and Under theVolcano has the advantage of suggesting the method which bothnovels employ. The suspicion begins to arise, however, that allthe critical terminology is directed simply towards findingsome categorical way of telling good novels from great ones.If this is so, it may be useful to look outside the realm ofliterary criticism for the distinguishing factor.5. Frye, Anatomy, p. 3l1..6. Frye, Anatomy, p. 314.63In Modern Man in Search of a Soul, C.G. Jung speaks of twomodes of literary expression:The psychological mode deals with materialsdrawn from the realms of human consciousness- for instance, with the lessons of life, withemotional shocks, the experience of passionand the crises of human destiny in general...This material is psychically assimilated by thepoet, raised from the commonplace to the levelof poetic experience, and given an expressionwhich forces the reader to greater clarity anddepth of human insight by bringing fully intohis consciousness what he ordinarily evades andoverlooks or senses only with a feeling of dulldiscomfort. The visionary mode, however...isforeign and cold, many-sided, demonic and grotesque...the primordial experiences rend from topto bottom the curtain upon which is painted thepicture of an ordered world...?Whatever the word used to describe them, great novels seemalways to arouse in the reader this sense of a mythic orderwhich lies behina or beyond ordinary experience, and whichcan only be expressed on an epic scale, in the light of aunified, cyclical view of human life. Julian Hartt has remarked thatThe epic hero always drinks deep of the cup ofolitariness; but Melville’s heroes, an Conrad’s,nd here Lowry?s hero might be include seem...olitary figures who pit themselves in ultimategestures of defiance against overpowering evil -the blackness of the world.He goes on to say that7. C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Harcourt,Brace and Co., New York, 1933, p. 179.614.Men may be profoundly affected by their efforts...;but the community is not by so much, or by somuch alone, given new life. But perhaps thecommunity does not exist for them and in them.Perhaps...the community which alone createsthe epic and can be instructed by it has vanished.Mr. Hartt’s comment introduces a problem which must confrontevery writer who attempts to create a modern epic. For the epic,by its very nature, supposes a language and a mythos consecratedto and understood by the whole community. Joyce recognized thisfact when, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, he suggested that the epic writer stands in a medial relation to hissubject and his audience. But in a world characterized by thebreakdown of traditional values, and even of language itself,to which both logical positivism and the world of electronicadvertising testify, how can the epic writer speak to the community? Nathan J. Scott Jr., in an essay entitled “The BrokenCentr&’ remarks thatall the great literature of the modern periodmight be said to be a literature of metaphysicalisolation, for the modern artist...has experienceda great loneliness, the kind of loneliness that isknown by the soul when it has to undertake, unaidedby the ministries either of church or of culture,the adventure of discovering the fundamentalprinciples of meaning. Unquestionably, thisaccounts for the obscurity of so many great moderntexts - of Rimbaud’s Une Saison en Enfer, of Rilke’sDuino Elegies, Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, or MalcolmLowry’s Under the Volcano. Amidst the confusion invalues of his age, the artist is attempting to invent for himself a system of attituds and beliefsthat will give meaning to his world.’. Julian N. Hartt, The Lost Image of Man, Louisiana StateUniversity Press, 1963, p. 16.9. Nathan J. Scott Jr., “The Broken Centre,” in Rollo May, ed.,Symbolism in Religion and Literature, George Braziller, NewYork, 1961, pp. l85-6.65This thesis has attempted to demonstrate that rather than inventing a system of attitudes and beliefs, Lowry tried to revitalize a tradition which belongs in the mainstream of European thought, and which is now acquiring a new vitality in thelight of the insights of contemporary psychology. In the worksof the French Symbolists, the psychological implications of theHermetic doctrine produce a fitful glow which is ‘foreign andcold, many-sided, demonic and grotesque’. In Nerval and Baudelaire, for example, the descent into the self is imaged as a‘Voyage en Orient’, a terrible journey into the unknown, wherethe poet himself suffers the agony of chaos in conflict withbeing, of dying and being reborn. Lowry has succeeded in assimilating the desdichado aspects of the descent into the abyssof the unconscious within the framework of his dramatic narrative. He writes in a letter to Jonathan Cape:I went to incredible trouble to make this storyadequate on the more superficial plane on whichthis book can be read.lUHe achieved a masterful control of the realistic surface of hissetting and characters, so that even a superficial reading ofUnder the Volcano arouses pity and terror in the reader. Butthe surface is supported by what Tindall, speaking of MadameBovary, describes asDissonant unions of inner and outer, past andpresent... which Flaubert called Ttbottomless,infinite, .tt10. MLP LB1, l916.66Tindall continuesUnder its simple appearance, said Flaubert,his novel is a complicated machine. To readsuch books...you need “initiation.” 11Like all initiations, this thesis is only a beginning, ahesitant first step towards achieving understanding of a novelwhich offers an infinite number of planes and surfaces to theperception. It seems appropriate to conclude, therefore, on atentative note - a note of paradox - with Lowry’s own words....See the wound the upturned stone has leftIn the earths How doubly tragic is the hollowedshape - It is a miracle that I may use such wordsAs shape. But the analogy has escaped.Crawling on hands and sinews to the graveI found certain pamphlets on the way.Said they were mine. For they explained a pilgrimageThat otherwise was meaningless as dayBut twice as difficult, to explain away....’211. Tindall, p. 73.12. Malcolm Lowry, “The Plagiarist (fragment)?? in Selectedpoems, p. 76.H 067BIBLIOGRAPHYSELECTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHYThis bibliography lists only those works which providedessential insights or information in the preparation of thisthesis. For a complete bibliography of primary and secondarysources, including review articles, the reader is referred to“Malcolm Lowry (1909-1957) A Bibliography,” prepared by EarleBirney, with the assistance of Margerie Lowry, beginning withPart 1 in Canadian Literature No. , Spring, 1961, and contin—uing in subsequent issues of that quarterly.rJrj1tzJCl)z:Ic:CD0HHCDCDIJIPCD‘1‘1C)(I)IIçyqciCDCOCDlcDiCDI—’‘CDCl>ICDCtlCDCOaCD0CD’-Ct\Oii-.Øl)O-CDHOSCY’OP10)fl7f-’•O(DlCrCD0)‘lOCDli•-C)-‘-4jCD-‘•I-’•.lØ)S(DNrjliiJ.0.‘1--IQ..‘‘CtC)‘.CorC)0IQ..OCO0lCDCD0•‘-.0)0)CDCDCO‘-3‘Hf-O-h-’H0)‘.P’0)CDct’.0CoC)Cs.QH.•‘10C‘-0’0(DC)l-’(O‘1-.0‘lHO‘-9lI—ICD0’00’Coo)CDctt-’lI-CO‘-‘-so’•ct0•0)OCDlcD•.CDCDSCZ$CD.çICDcornU)lIDjli-3D)Cl)HF-dHC)CC)HctY0ICOHIYH0—Q)•HCDC)•It)0C)ctIH‘CDct1•0C)0’HQ)-YlP)I‘1(0H0)0’CDH•10CDCo.HIt)Cl).CtHO!L‘xj0HCl)CD0C)\Ol0I.J.I-IC)Cl)0xjctt-0’-<cHP)CD‘-71Id)‘1li‘-P’C)“co‘4L4Oct0cCl)P5‘-9C)0Cl)•)‘I•ICDI_h‘1Ci)C!)0C)C)‘10Cl)0tCDto1tCYco••I_*)I_’.o‘CD1010)‘1-C)0)H•I-j•Q‘-9‘10)CD‘1LIHcnIct0)0‘-3HbH‘tict00Cl)HCt1(i)colCD(l)HY‘-9‘-1‘-9C’)C)CDz1C)•.CD•0)P1Pc•‘0CDtI-’•OCl)I-’•—HI—’Ic:0)Cl)ctOctC)HO‘1Cl)\JiC)0IH01—’I—’-(0C)OlD0’<0’0’‘tfl(D.0C’)\0‘10H‘10)‘1CD(DCl)—CDC)H‘1ctC)C)—‘10•PCo‘1Oct•H”CDHi-0’Cl)0H‘1CtHI--0‘1HOci’CD0’ctHHCDCoC)-H‘10HCtCD•Cl>•‘IC)\OCI)Ob1eCDi-3H•d00‘1C)CoCoO’F”0‘1‘10)0)Cl)(C)0)•‘1I-’HCtC)0-000I-’Cl)-CD0‘I‘Cl)‘0‘1ci’H0)I-’H0•C)0Cl)\C)CD00C’)0)0p..o.•o--J0‘1CDOI00—0)‘1•Cl0’0-CDiH‘l’-9Ct0p..p.(C)‘10’•H0’00Cl)HCD‘•0HHI-’HQ0—QctC)H00•I—”Cl) C)0.‘-7’0I—’—.COCl)0‘-zjoH’C)‘10CYC)‘1ct•CDoCD0Q)0UQHCDCD‘-SH‘c’‘-S---CDH’‘-S-CLHCDctoI’-cLin00C)to0(0!—‘H’bi‘.IH.\L)’-SPi-!0’-O0l-H-(DC)Oc+C)OC)H’Pi0‘0(DCDCDIDHS-CLC).H’.••ctC.B\Tt’.P0H’O(l)JiLC40’lcttIdCD’.C)ctOQ-‘c--i-o’-s‘-sH-0PlC)CDO-.H••HI—’‘-.OctCDt-f--Q)•H’CnP)O’-it-CtOH0(T)0CDCL‘-tJH’F-”C-.i•‘-5O-Pi0•PictPi•C-‘-5-CD0‘-SPiCLPi‘-Sco’-S‘1CtO’-SH’CL-00CDO•“tjOH’OOCDCD.HD’OH’.0CDCLCOCLCl)to(DCI)C)‘l’ticl”cj—CL.CL400BCtCD••CD.••••Hct”Scf-H’0(I).HtZiPiCOCI)0’l‘CrjCoI—’3’F”-‘.‘-S‘..OCl)Ii‘-5‘-SEHtozj‘‘.Oti1CLCLCOCD-3CDCD•CLctO\flCflCLH’CDHI’-H’1-’-CD‘-5JCD.CDHa’•H0PictP’‘0I1CD(1)fl)(DPi0“j0’CtHCDH’‘OLicf•0)t’-Scat-f-.0‘lOct•p,i-3-it-H’-PitoCDCDH1CD‘..)‘-S.C)01-’COOCD0CD4(0Oto0‘0•b”to“SCo-SCLCoH’$))0)0‘-tjocCD.0HHctC)0)H’0H’0H”-rjCDcf-H(flctHCDCD5H‘.OH-’lO)0-)COct’lCD0HCLCnCDH’Cl)tcj0)‘J-to0H’•C-f-0Co‘00toUCLc0’lH’-3•Is”‘-tj0Cl)CLHto-j-,HCDCDH’CI)•CDH“tjCT)—.)CDCD”5ctF-’‘-SCDP)C)0’CD0)C)0)B0-)HB.0‘-to5c00HHJct“SCD0)(DO‘0CD‘-5HI-iH’0H’CL0-)-(oH-C)H(05CLCtH’CD0’H’50cf-CD0C-f-0HCDCOCDCt0’0’HoHH’C)•-‘-3•H’Co‘ICL00)•5C)0H’000)C)C-f’‘-tCO(DH0’H’toH0H)HCDH’‘1-Cf)Cf’‘-5H)“55HCLO”‘-OctH’CO(I)to(T)Ct’-CD(DO(I)H’P)00)0)005HCo•3Ocf’C)t0)Ct)•‘‘tt\09’tO0-)H’to-Cl)ct•ct-0ct‘-S‘Ji0C)‘0H-Cl)CD00•0H-‘)toCLCD4”H’CDH’0)C)H0HCDCLCL0•CDOH-OC)‘1cFY’HO)0)00”S‘l•YCDCDH’CDOH’0F-”•0Cl)•H’0dOH)CtCCLCt’0CDetC)Ct’CD0.(I)H’H’H)H‘-SI-<ICDHH’H•’(O’l0’CoCLCDCoCD00H’O(D(D0•“5H’H-0)Cl)•‘lCD“5•••H’C)i0-)C)H-0-)(D(DCtcttoH0CL00H‘-SH-CO‘00’H)HHH’H’CDidHCD‘1toH’•H4H0‘IHOCt’-Cl)00)CDHi‘.OCDCL05cf-H’0-Ct-‘-S1-55-zj‘-5H-H’(DC-f’HH’‘-5O)(DCL‘ctL:-0)CDCD1-5‘-SO.0Qcf-CDHH’(DW0Ct-CDtoH’‘-SCt-‘-5•CO00)0)5(T)1-5CC)Cl)HH’CD1-5H-1-10’CL-0)C)00H’CD•CI)C)0CDC-f-OcttzlCDCDCDCDci-c-f-H-“50)0-H-H0•0-HC-f’CDct00)0’-ciH’CO1’iCD(OH’‘-SHCDci’1’).0—CD0Cl)ICL‘-0‘-SH’00•1.—‘-7’I0I0’0’-‘.0•70Scott, Nathan J. Jr. “The Broken Centre.” in Rollo May, ed.Symbolism in Religion and Literature. George Braziller,New York, 1961.Senior,John. The Way Down and Out: The Occult in SymbolistLiterature.Cornell University Press, New York, 1959.Tindall, William York. The Literary Symbol. Columbia UniversityPress, New York, 1955.Vaillant, G.C. The Aztecs of Mexico. Pelican Books, 1950.Woodcock, George. “Under Seymour Mountain.” in Canadian Literature No. 8, Spring, l961.B. WORKS CONSULTEDDunbar, H. Flanders. symbolism in Medieval Thought and ItsConsummation in the Divine Comedy. Russell and Russell,New York, 1961.Donnelly, Ignatius. Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. HarperBrothers, New York, 1882.Eliade, Mircea. Myths, Dreams and Mysteries. Harvill Press,London, 1960.Gaster, Theodore, ed. The New Golden Bough. Anchor Books, NewYork, 1961.Holmyard, E.J. Alchemy. Penguin Books, 1957.Huxley, Aldous. The Doors of Perception. Chatto and Windus,London, 1954..Kracauer, Siegfried. From Caligari to Hitler. Dennis Dobson andCo., London, 1947.Markson, David. “Malcolm Lowry: A Study of Theme and Symbol inUnder the Volcano.” Unpublished Dissertation. Columbia, 1952.,Read, John. Prelude to Chemistry: An Outline of Alchemy, ItsLiterature and Relationships. George Bell and Sons, London,1936.Scholem, Gershom G. Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism. Schocken Books,New York, 1961.Spence, Lewis. The Problem of Atlantis. William Rider and Sons,London, 1934.Watmough, J.R. Orphism. Cambridge University Press, 193i.Zaehner, R.C. Mysticism Sacred and Profane: An Inquiry IntoSome Varieties of Praeternatural Experience. Oxford,Clarendon Press, 1957.71


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