The Voyage That Never Ends: Malcolm Lowry's Fiction by Sherrill E. Grace

By Sherrill E. Grace

Sherrill Grace exhibits how Malcolm Lowry's topic of a cyclical trend of initiation, repeated ordeals with failure and retreat, through good fortune and improvement, which in flip gave method to clean defeat, encouraged the constitution, narrative kind, and the symbolic development in his writing. the writer additionally contains an appendix during which she examines the weather of Conrad Aiken's fiction and prose that had an important impression on Lowry's paintings.

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Extra info for The Voyage That Never Ends: Malcolm Lowry's Fiction

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Unable to help either of them, incapable finally of escaping from the circle of self, Plantagenet leaves the hospital and descends deeper into his private hell. The novella falls into three distinct sections. The first and last portray Plantagenet before and after the hospital experience, and the last section repeats several details (for example, the bar, the old lady, the church) from the first. Together they frame the central action, setting off and emphasizing the world Outward Bound: Early Stories, Ultramarine, Lunar Caustic 31 of the insane.

44) Significantly, this vision is one of movement where enclosing circles break: lamps explode, their "globes" flying into the sky, eyes waver, and "diminishing" are "catapulted east and west"; even the enclosing glass of windows shatters, allowing bats and ravens to "wheel enormously" through their empty frames. Dana must eventually accept this vision of the chaotic flux; however, at this point in his voyage he is only capable of seeing chaos as nightmare. The closest he comes at this point to acknowledging his true position occurs in the dream which concludes the chapter — without his compasses (to draw continual circles or to locate his own centre) he is "Lost.

The circumference of the circle, symbolized by the encircling walls of train or ship, is moving, while the centre, Goodyear's consciousness, is expanding and changing. "June the 30th, 1934" represents Lowry's first attempt to meet and overcome the everpresent physical and spiritual boundaries and crossroads which he per- 24 The Voyage That Never Ends ceived in life. Through the journey metaphor and the images of transformation, this story signals a character's release from the fixed circle of consciousness into a repeated shaping of new circumferences around an ever-expanding perceiving centre.

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