Writing Techniques in Under the Volcano

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To understand how Lowry's novel evolved throughout a decade's constant and frustrating revisions from one addict's case history into what Philip Toynbee, coming on the book late in his career after missing it for fifteen years, calls "one of the great English novels of this century," it is necessary to leave aside alchemy and addiction, the Cabbala and black and white magicians. It is necessary even to forget Lowry's obsession that he was himself being written. For a decade during which the man knew all the miseries of Job, the artist prospered. Malcolm Lowry struggled with his book, but the struggle was as directive as a sculptor's and as strategic as a film cutter's. As his view of his material deepened, Lowry decided on a blocking-out technique, or something like it, as a way of discovering, exploring, developing his themes, of conveying their meaning, and, finally, of evaluating them...

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This section contains 460 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Under the Volcano Study Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Under the Volcano from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.