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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The letters of Conrad Aiken and Malcolm Lowry Sugars, Cynthia Conchita


The fascinating relationship between Conrad Aiken (1889-1973) and Malcolm Lowry (1909-1957) has formed the subject of a number of critical studies and fictional treatments. The study of this relationship is of value both for its biographical interest and literary significance, particularly in terms of the literary influence of one writer upon the other. Through Aiken and Lowry's entertaining and extremely articulate correspondence, one has access to what is possibly the most intimate view of this relationship available to date. Although a number of these letters have been previously published, often in incomplete form, In Selected Letters of Conrad Aiken ed. Joseph Killorin, and Selected Letters of Malcolm Lowry eds. Harvey Breit and Margerie Bonner Lowry, three-quarters of the letters have remained unpublished. This volume provides the first complete collection of Aiken and Lowry's correspondence. It comprises eighty-nine letters from the two writers, including photographs, poems, and drawings which they enclosed in their letters, written between 1929, the year when Lowry wrote his first letter of introduction to Aiken, and 1954. This collection contains the complete texts of all letters together with editorial notes and commentary. In addition, it provides textual notes outlining the changes made by each writer at the time of composition. These letters not only reveal the mutual admiration of Lowry and Aiken, and at times their jealousy of each other, but are literary works in their own right.

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