Under the Volcano Themes & Symbolism

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If Ernest Hemingway was right when he declared that what writers talk about they do not write, Malcolm Lowry's epistolary preoccupations may very well have distracted him from writing fiction. In a sense, however, readers are the beneficiaries of the fruits of Lowry's defects as a working novelist. The long letter he wrote to the English publisher Jonathan Cape on January 2, 1946, protesting a Cape reader's recommendations for cutting and altering, is so thorough an anatomization of the book's themes and techniques that Granville Hicks praised it as "the most careful exposition of the creative imagination" he had ever encountered. Stephen Spender recommended that the letter be made the standard preface to Under the Volcano.

His novel, Lowry wrote, is "principally concerned with the guilt of man, with his remorse, with his ceaseless struggling toward the light under the weight of the past, and with his doom."

Although Under...

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This section contains 635 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.