Under the Volcano

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A novel by M. Lowry, published 1947, considered his masterpiece.

It opens in Quauhnahuac, Mexico, on the Day of the Dead, Nov. 1939, as film‐maker Jacques Laruelle looks back on the dramatic events of the same day in the preceding year, which occupy with many flashbacks, and shifts of time sequence the main action of the book. The characters are the British ex‐consul Geoffrey Firmin, an alcoholic, his wife Yvonne, an ex‐film star who has returned after a year's estrangement, Laruelle, with whom she has had an affair, and the consul's half‐brother Hugh, an anti‐Fascist journalist much preoccupied by the Spanish Civil War. The theme of self‐destruction is linked with the menace to Western civilization, and the mood grows increasingly sombre, ending with the consul's death. The Mexican landscape, over which brood the two volcanoes Popocatapetl and Ixtaccihuatl, is described with much vividness.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).

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Malcolm Lowry (1909—1957) author

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