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Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place [Paperback]

Malcolm Lowry
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug 1996 0881842818 978-0881842814 New edition
Malcolm Lowry was a rare talent whose ambition was equaled only by his problems. Struggling with alcoholism and singularly unable to manage his own life, he "believed himself to be hopelessly unlucky"; and as volume editor Nicholas Bradley points out, "the evidence suggests that he was right." This collection of short stories reveals a world of crashing prose in which Lowry draws heavily from his turbulent life to forge a tale of both heaven and hell on earth. From the rich paradise of British Columbia and the echoing beauty of Italy, to the unrelieved suffering of Mexico, Lowry's stories are layered, interwoven tales that speak to an unrealized literary potential. This new edition includes an introduction, chronology, and notes, providing key insight into one of the underappreciated literary minds of the twentieth century. An exciting and offbeat addition to Oxford's Outlooks on Canadian Literature series.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers Inc; New edition edition (Aug 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881842818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881842814
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,574,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Nicholas Bradley is an Associate Professor in English at the University of Victoria. He specializes in Canadian literature, American literature, contemporary poetry, and environmental criticism. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That's the way you can write 8 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's individual, a look at the world that's as unique as it is personal. The mastery of English prose is consummate, yet unassuming.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Malcolm Lowry, Forgotten Genius 18 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a Canadian publication which is interesting because if one country above all others claims Malcolm Lowry as their own, it's Canada. Between 1940 and 1954 Lowry lived in a wooden shack on a beach just north of Vancouver.

For most of his life Lowry was a restless traveller at war with immigration officials, policemen, lawyers, hotel managers, doctors, his father and just about anyone else who couldn't quite see the world in the same context as 'Malc.' Yet on that secluded beach he found peace of sorts and the inspiration to write his finest works. This son of a wealthy shipping broker, raised close to golden beaches and pretty woodland on the Wirral never forgot his bucolic upbringing and often harks back throughout his writing to the scenes of his youth. Like the Wirral is to Liverpool his beach hut was a few miles from another great Western seaport, Vancouver. Lowry needed to be able to escape from cities (which he generally loathed) to his rural, oceanic writing spaces.

This collection of short stories has all the tranquil beauty of his beaches, seascapes, mountains and forests along with the alcohol blared angst when his introspection and hand-wringing comes close at times to Joyce's great works. Two tales dominate the collection, polar opposites in terms of style but both Lowryesque to the core. 'The Forest Path to the Spring' and 'Through The Panama' have at their base the majesty and danger of mother nature yet both treat their subject matter in very different ways. The proto-ecological 'Forest Path' is an essay of love and respect for the beauty of the Canadian forests and beaches of his retreat along with the love of his wife and companion, Marjorie.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over the Volcano 31 Mar 2000
By "kathrynka" - Published on Amazon.com
Certainly the centerpiece of this collection is the novella "The Forest Path to the Spring," perhaps Lowry's only work to offer redemption. It's the counterpoint of his Under the Volcano, the Paradiso to Volcano's Inferno. In a "northern paradise" like that daydreamed by Yvonne in Under the Volcano, (and like the Lowrys' own Dollarton beach shack) the narrator faces his demons and routs them. Like Thoreau, he learns to live deliberately, to see the world itself. Lowry's descriptions of the Canadian wilderness are lyrical without being fanciful; instead of the internal phantasmagoria of Geoffrey Firmin's haunted mind, "The Forest Path to the Spring" gives us a real forest, real stars, a real spring. The story can be read as fiction and as a meditation on the nature of reality. It's Lowry's most mature work and, if not his best, a close second to UTV. The other stories in the collection, often featuring Lowryesque writer-protagonists, play with conjunctions of art and life. In the metafictional "Through the Panama," snippets of history, travelogues, poems, and children's songs weave throughout a journey through the Panama canal. In other stories, an author unexpectedly meets, in a zoo, the elephant who inspired his best-selling comic novel, and a disillusioned writer finds "strange comfort" in the impoverished and unhappy lives of Keats and Poe. Ironically, most of the pieces in "Hear Us O Lord" were not published in Lowry's lifetime. Those that were ("The Bravest Boat") are the weaker links in the collection, tamer and more traditional than one would expect from a writer of Lowry's wild talents. Perhaps, again like Poe, he was an artist in advance of his time.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good 6 April 2009
By J. Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
I have read Under the Volcano and a number of his other works by Lowry.
Clearly, and most agree that Under The Volcano is Lowry's best novel but he has a number of other interesting works including this collection of short stories.

Lowry fought alcoholism much of his adult life and this is reflected in his writings including Ultramarine, Under the Volcano, and in Lunar Caustic. The present set of stories was started towards the last decade of his life, and includes Through the Panama, based on a trip by boat approximately 10 years before his death. It is a more conventional story and one of the seven in this collection.

Most of his early works lack the coherent structure of a conventional novel - similar to the rambling style of Ultramarine or Lunar Caustic. The present stories contain that element but some are more conventional and have a beginning and end. In addition to the seven stories, there is an excellent foreword covering the works of Lowry by John Donatich.
Through the Panama is a narrative using a diary style to describe a trip, often through rough seas from California to England, taking the Panama canal. It is my favourite and one of the longest stories. It has a beginning and end and includes a side trip to Curacao. There are many references to other writers such as Kafka in this story. It has a well written storm at sea section, and there are many references to other writers and alcohol.

The title for the collection comes from an ancient Manx fisherman's hymn. The phrase appears in two of the stories.

The other stories are:

The Bravest Boat: this is about a small boat launched by a child with a written message for an unknown finder.
Strange Comfort Afforded by the Profession: a very short story of a writer visiting Rome.
Elephant and Colosseum: about a writer reunited with an elephant after many years.
Present Estate of Pompeii: a man and his wife visit the ruins of Pompeii and think about life and time.
Gin and Goldenrod: about a couple out for a walk in an area under development.
Forest Path to the Spring: this is a highly creative and well written piece based on the author immersed in the wonders of nature and his new life with his new wife. I think this is Lowry's best work.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange yet comforting 7 Sep 2001
By Jerry Gunning - Published on Amazon.com
Although I read this book years ago I still think of it often. The Forest Path to the Spring, read today, is very much a story about how to live out of the media, out of consumerism, out of materialism that consumes contemporary society. And suggests how to be content; suggests alternatives to corporations or churches defining your life and your happiness for you(Selling you a life, as Marcuse would say). And this is exactly why we read isn't it? We read to seek the answer to lifes most important question - "What is worthwhile?". In a beautiful story Lowry tells us what he found worthwhile on The Forest Path to the Spring.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lowry's life on the Dollarton Flats 29 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I have been staying for the past three weeks a few hundred yards from where Lowry wrote Under the Volcano, which I had already read and which was all I knew about Lowry, when somebody suggested I read The Forest Path to the Spring - the last of these stories - which described this area as it was 50-60 years ago. He and his wife were squatters, owning only the house they had built for themselves, but not the land. The FPTTS is the story of how they first came here, how and why they stayed and describes many things that are unchanged: the inlet, the seabirds, the trees the sky and - of course - the mountains. I go home to London tomorrow, but am so glad to have read this whilst being in this landscape.
It's self indulgent in parts, but that can happen when a writer is aiming for honesty and originality, there's nothing derivative about any of it, not a cliche anywhere. It's an inner journey too of course: the real path through the forest contains other journies: his work, his marriage his growing self knowledge and sobriety.
Now the area is full of ugly suburban housing with garages and the sound of seabirds is often drowned by the hum of power tools. Much of the forest is now covered in concrete, but the inlet, the mountains, trees and sky remain of course. It's great here if you don't look down!
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ambitious short stories that experiment with form 10 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Hear Us O Lord contains a variety of story forms which Lowry attempted, and some themes which will be familiar to readers of his other works. Such stories as The Forest Path to the Spring and others are an integral part of his ouevre. A wonderful story about the dungeons of Pompeii - forgive me forgetting the story name for I've lost my copy - is the other highlight of the book. Even where the story is secondary to the form, as in Through the Panama, Lowry achieves some success - we must remember the time at which these stores were written, and I don't think I've seen this type of experimentation dating from this period. On the whole HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, I've only given just 3 stars because of its flaws. If you;re lucky enough to find a copy, maybe you;ll get the beauiftul cover of a woodcut with Christ ushering in the rainstorm in the distance.
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