Souls and Shamans in Space: The Cosmopolitan, Prismatic Psychology of Malcolm Lowry

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Abstract

In reinterpreting his vision of the world, this paper investigates international influences – especially Russian literary sources mentioned in his letters – on the multicultural, cosmic mindset of the English Modernist novelist, Malcolm Lowry (1909-57). It assesses the psychological, psychogeographic and ethnographic forces at work in his approach to Jacob Bronowski’s ensuing Ascent of Man. In doing so, it analyses how Aztec and Zapotec anthropological, shamanic, and cabbalistic factors impact upon a psychological reading of Under the Volcano (1936-47) and Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend is Laid (1945-68), and how the soul of Eridanus both inspires and lies at the heart of The Forest Path to the Spring (1947-61). It concludes that, for Lowry, the true salvation of mankind is attainable only in the fusion of the two worlds (the natural and the divine) and the two minds (the rational and the spiritual).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalPlaneta Literatur: Journal of Global Literary Studies
Volume3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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