Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Immortal Voice

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 PM


From Malcolm Lowry's reply in 1947 to a hostile review
by Jacques Barzun of Lowry's novel  Under the Volcano  —

"The end, I suppose, is intended to crush one completely.

'Mr. Lowry has other moments, borrowed from
other styles in fashion, Henry James, Thomas Wolfe,
the thought-streamers, the surrealists. His novel can
be recommended only as an anthology held together
by earnestness.'

Whatever your larger motive–which I incidentally believe
to be extremely sound–do you not seem to have heard this
passage or something like it before? I certainly do. I seem
to recognize the voice, slightly disguised, that greeted Mr.
Wolfe himself, not to say Mr. Faulkner, Mr. Melville and Mr.
James–an immortal voice indeed that once addressed Keats
in the same terms that it informed Mr. Whitman that he knew
less about poetry than a hog about mathematics."

See as well the Log24 posts from the date of Barzun's death.

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