Literature: Under the Volcano
A modernist novel written by English author Malcolm Lowry and published in 1947.Under the Volcano was strongly influenced by James Joyce and Ulysses, featuring stream-of-consciousness prose and recurring symbolism. However, the linguistic experiments are far less extensive.Taking place on the Day of the Dead, 1938, in Mexico, it is the story of alcoholic British ex-consul Geoffrey Firmin; his estranged wife, Yvonne, and his younger brother, Hugh.An earlier version from 1940 exists, but was roundly rejected by publishers, prompting a rewrite. A film adaptation was made by John Huston in 1984.
This book provides examples of:
- The Alcoholic
- Contemplate Our Navels - but quite poetically
- Downer Ending - Including The Hero Dies
- Drowning My Sorrows
- Extremely Short Timespan - apart from the first chapter, all of the book takes place in less than one day
- Faust - has parallels with that story
- Former Child Star - Yvonne's short-lived teenage acting career
- The Masochism Tango
- One-Hit Wonder - Lowry wrote other books, but none are nearly as well regarded as this one
- Sibling Rivalry - of a sort; for one thing, Geoffrey and Hugh are both romantically interested in Yvonne
- What Could Have Been - in addition to the alternate version mentioned above, Lowry intended for the book to be part of a larger cycle. He didn't get very far.