Psychogeographic impact on Malcolm Lowry's consciousness: from the Zapotec and Aztec civilizations to Taoism

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This paper provides an intercontinental, cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary framework for an analysis of the influence of cultures and civilizations - both east and west – upon literature and national identity. It investigates the evolution of the cosmic consciousness of the English Modernist novelist and poet, Malcolm Lowry (1909-57) by scrutinizing the psychogeographic and subconscious dimensions of the Mexican Day of the Dead Hispanic festival which he observed in Cuernavaca in 1936. In its analysis of the material and spiritual domains of both the Aztecs and the Oaxacan Zapotecs, it considers anthropological, cultural, and ethnographic influences associated with pre-Columbian, Mesoamerican rituals. In doing so, it determines Lowry’s dedication to his quest for atonement with the spirits of the dead in works, such as Under the Volcano (1947), Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend is Laid (1968), La Mordida (1996), and The Forest Path to the Spring (1961). In recognition of his need to repent for the debts of the past and for the alienating sins of mankind, synergies are made with cosmic, shamanic, and animist concepts of the universe, as reflected in the celestial visions of the Aztec and Zapotec civilizations. In pursuit of Lowry’s search for universal harmony, cosmopolitan connections are established between the rhythms of the universe reflected in Aztec and Zapotec world-views, the significance of the Pleiades star cluster, the intergalactic symbol of Eridanus, and the philosophical concepts of Taoism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Asian Conference on Literature & Librarianship
Place of PublicationOsaka, Japan
PublisherLibrAsia, IAFOR
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013
EventThe Asian Conference on Literature & Librarianship - Ramada, Osaka, Japan, 4-7 April, 2013
Duration: 1 Jun 2013 → …

Publication series

NameThe Asian Conference on Literature & Librarianship


ConferenceThe Asian Conference on Literature & Librarianship
Period1/06/13 → …

Bibliographical note

© 2013 The Author. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License


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