Monday, 13 October 2014

The Lowry Lounge Saturday 25th October 2014

This year's Lowry Lounge promises to be very special!

The Lowry Lounge with special guest Iain Sinclair
The Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool
Saturday 25 October 2014
Tickets: Walk (11am-1pm) £5/Iain Sinclair talk (2-3.30pm) £5/combined ticket £8/book launch (4-6pm) free. Tickets & Information 0151 702 5324

The Bluecoat’s annual celebration of Merseyside-born ​author of Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry​ ​(1909-57)​, ​features the European launch of his 'lost' novel In Ballast to the White Sea

This autobiographical book, Lowry’s longest and most ambitious project of the mid‐1930s, was thought to have been lost in a fire, but was later discovered in New York Public Library after it become known his first wife, Jan Gabrial, still had a typescript of the book. Now, nearly 60 years after the writer’s death, the first ever published edition will be launched at this day‐long event in Liverpool.

The book is about a Cambridge undergraduate who wants to be a novelist but has come to believe that both his book and, in a sense, his life have already been 'written' by a Norwegian novelist.  Partly set on Merseyside, its annotations have been compiled by Chris Ackerley, with the help of New Brighton Lowry expert Colin Dilnot.

The Lowry Lounge 2014 features writer Iain Sinclair talking about Lowry in relation to his 2013 book American Smoke, which follows in the footsteps of American Beat writers and of Lowry, whose ​work in ​some ways anticipated theirs.

The event also includes a guided walk round Liverpool city centre, led by Colin Dilnot, visiting sites relating to the book and to Lowry’s childhood years on Merseyside. 

The book launch itself will be introduced by the editor of In Ballast to the White Sea, Patrick ​A. ​McCarthy and Vik Doyen, who wrote its foreword. 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Notes on Lowry and War: A Walk in Liverpool July 2014 Part 3

HMS Hyderabad at Bristol 1918
This is the final set of notes following a recent walk I led around Liverpool's Business Quarter and Riverfront organised by The Bluecoat, Liverpool.

Read Part 1
Read Part 2

Stop 5 Canning Dock

The character Geoffrey Firmin, the Consul in Lowry's Under The Volcano was a Lieutenant-Commander of the Q-Ship S.S. Samaritan during WW 1. In the novel, Firmin is haunted by his involvement in the deaths of a captured German U-Boat crew by placing them in the furnace of the Samaritan.

HMS  Baralong

Is the above based on fact? Possible sources:

Ronald Binns [MLN 8, 6] has tracked down the probable historical source of the Samaritan incident: the so-called "Baralong incident" of 19 August 1915, after the capture of the British ship, the SS Nicosian, by the German submarine U-27. A British Q-ship, the Baralong, appeared flying the American flag, let fall its false sides, and sank the submarine. The master, Lieutenant-Commander Godfrey Herbert (whose name and rank is similar to Geoffrey's), ordered his crew to give no quarter, and twelve German sailors were shot. See Baralong Incident for further details

The above was suppressed by British Government during and after war so how could Lowry know the details?

Source 1: Coles, Alan (1986). Slaughter at Sea: The Truth Behind a Naval War Crime - discusses the myth of German sailors being burnt in the furnaces of the SS Nicosian. See Pg 167 - Cole states several sources from Liverpool that this story was common in the docklands of Liverpool - could Lowry have heard these during 1927/28 when he sailed to the Far east and later haunted the dockland pubs?

Source 2: Lowry's brother Wilfrid was then a member of the Royal Naval Reserve based on H.M.S. Eagle (Eaglet) in Canning Dock during and shortly after WW1 - Some of the Q-ship commanders were in the RNR. e.g. Ronald Niel Stuart - he survived the war and was a local hero returning to service with the Canadian Pacific based in Liverpool. Stuart had been a member of the Royal Naval Reserve before the war and became a leading member when he returned.

It isn't impossible that Wilfrid may have heard stories/yarns or quite conceivably unpalatable truths of the Q-ship war, due to his access to sailors who had fought in the war. He may have related these stories to Lowry or Lowry may have heard them first hand and adapted them later from memories of an impressionable child in 1918/19.

S.S. Nicosian

Source 3: The SS Nicosian was owned by the Liverpool based Leyland line - crewed by local sailors - could one of them told Lowry what had happened? Lowry also sailed to the USA in 1928 aboard a Leyland ship SS Dorelian

Source 4: The Baralong Incident was widely reported outside the UK during the war including USA - many varied accounts were written including the furnace story - could Lowry have heard about this from a US source e.g. Conrad Aiken on Lowry's visit to Boston in 1928?

Bowker notes that Lowry wa taken by his bother Wilfrid to see a Q-ship in Liverpool in either late 1918 or 1919 (Bowker Pursued by Furies P16). The Lowry brothers saw a dummy run of the Q-ship drill, dropping the false bulkheads, exposing a gun, and firing a blank round.

The above visit was to see HMS Hyderabad - the ship was docked at Canning Dock in mid December 1918 (Liverpool Echo 27/11/18) as part of a nationwide tour to demonstrate how the ships operated against submarines. The photos below are part of a set made by Tierney's Studios of 6 Lord Street. Liverpool to record the event:

An unidentified U-Boat visited Canning Dock Liverpool around the same time as Hyderabad but full details are yet to be discovered. There is no evidence that Lowry visited the Uboat. Again the submarine was photographed by Tierney's - see photo below with caption "To the victors the spoils":

Lowry must have retained an interest in Q-ships as they appear in the short story 'Goya The Obscure' when Lowry notes an advert; "Mystery Ship VC Visits Wallasey" (Pg. 273). This relates to a lecture given by Vice Admiral Gordon Campbell at Wallasey Town Hall on Friday, January 10th 1930. The advert noted by Lowry appeared twice in the Wallasey News on December 21st 1929 and again on December 28th 1929. A short reminder also appeared inside the paper on December 28th as seen below:

Read more about the above lecture here

Leonard Campbell Taylor  Dazzle-painted ships, including Aquitania, in the Mersey off the Liverpool waterfront

See Edmund Gardner painted as a "dazzle ship"

Lowry refers to dazzle ships in Under The Volcano:

Hugh too was scrutinizing the Gothic writing beneath the photograph: Der englische Dampfer tragt Schutzfarben gegen deutsche U-boote. 'Only on the next page, I recall, was a picture of the Emden', the Consul went on, 'with "So verliess ich den Weltteil unserer Antipoden", something of that nature, under it...' – UTV, 184.

Chris Ackerley has discovered source:

Ger. "The English steamer carries camouflage against German U-boats." The American text corrects Lowry's error, ‘tragt’, which is perpetuated in the British text. In a letter to Albert Erskine [16 July 1946; CL 1, 611], Lowry says that he has lost the original, but that it depicted two photographs, the first a British Q-ship, and the second the Emden, as shown to him in a German restaurant in Mexico City, the captions in Gothic print. Despite this camouflage, his actual source was Felix Graf von Luckner's Seeteufel: Abenteuer aus meinem Leben [Sea Devil: adventures from my life] (K. F. Koehler, 1921), which, however, makes no mention of the Emden (von Luckner was in the South Pacific, the Emden in the Indian Ocean). The Malcolm Lowry Project

Chris Ackerely also notes:

In the Texas manuscript [TM VI, 45], Lowry is explicit about the connection between “Everything about the Samaritan was a fake” and Hugh’s like sense of himself; but in a marginal note wondered if it were not better to abandon the idea of fake altogether.

Lowry sailed back from USA in 1928 aboard the RMS Cedric which was painted in dazzle colours during WW1:
Sholto Johnstone Douglas SS 'Cedric', White Star Liner, Lying in the Mersey

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Notes on Lowry and War: A Walk in Liverpool 6th July 2014 Part 2

A British trench near the Albert-Bapaume road at Ovillers-la-Boisselle, July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. The men are from A Company, 11th Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment.
The second set of notes for a walk I led around Liverpool's Business Quarter and Riverfront organised by The Bluecoat, Liverpool.

Read Part 1
Read Part 3

Stop 3 Pierhead, Liverpool 

Lowry makes several references to the Pierhead and the Liver Buildings in his work. Also the setting for a whole chapter in forthcoming publication of previously unpublished novel In Ballast to the White Sea (October 2014).

Pier Head Liverpool Circa 1930s
Lowry's brother Stuart told their father Arthur that if he survived the First World War he would climb the Liver Building and retrieve one of the Liver birds. (Gordon Bowker Pursued By Furies Pg. 14). Stuart returns from WW1 suffering from arthritis of the foot. Stuart apparently shattered by deaths of comrades. Injury prevents a military career. Finishes war as a Captain (Bowker Pg 15) (See Part 1 for Stuart's army service record)

The Liver Building is topped by the Liver Birds which have become symbols for the city. I am sure that Lowry would have appreciated that irony, with his love of birds, that the mythical Liver Birds are based on the cormorant, which is a symbol of deception and greed - a fitting symbol for Lowry's "terrible city whose main street is the ocean" 'Forest Path to the Spring' (Hear Us O Lord etc pg 226)

The Consul recalls the Liver Buildings in Under The Volcano when he returns to Liverpool aboard his Q-ship Samaritan during WW1; "How strange the landing at Liverpool, the Liver Building seen once more through the misty rain, that murk smelling already of nosebags and Caegwyrle Ale.." (Pg. 135).

Shanghai 1927
Lowry sails to Far East in 1927 from Birkenhead - experiences war first hand in China - Chinese Civil War (See short story China) Later claims that scar on knee is as a consequence of being wounded in the Civil War - a Lowry tall story! ( See Bowker Pg 70.)

Lowry refers to Chinese participation in WW1 in his first novel Ultramarine - the Chinese Labour Corps; "We'll put you in the Chinese Labour Corps. The order of the rising sun - tee hee! - for promiscuous gallantry."  (See Chinese Labour Corps)

Cammell Lairds 1940
'Freighter 1940'  One of several  poems referencing Liverpool during the war written in Lowry's "exile" in Vancouver in WW2 (Collected Poetry Pg. 143);

A freighter builds in Birkenhead where rain
Falls in labourers' eyes at sunset. Then 
She's launched! Her iron sides strain as merchants gaze;
A cheer swoops down into titanic ways.

Lowry referencing Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead.

Lowry writes a poem in 1940 entitled 'Epitaph On Our Gardener, Dead Near Liverpool' when he hears of the death of his old friend - George Cooke - the gardener to the Lowry family who lived in Caldy, Wirral.

Lowry makes reference to the bombing and war on Merseyside;

.....Good folk of Wirral,
Empty the sky one instant of evil.....
Let hatred pause a moment. Rest your gun
Against this stone in heart......... (Collected Poems 210.3)

Continuing with theme that Lowry may have felt guilty about being cut off from his family who were threatened by war? (See Bowker Pgs 270-298) for details of early WW2 "exile" in Canada and relations with his family and possible enlistment in British and Canadian armies) - see poems below written in Vancouver circa 1940

The Prodigal speaks:

I have no forgiveness in my soul
And I want to get out of this hell hole (Collected Poems 209.1)

Read 'Draft Board' 1940-45 :

Back broad and straight from crop to hocks.......
Add 25 counts of progeny
See you in Liverpool (Collected Poems 203.3)

Read 'Dream of Departing Soldier'

Good bye, old comrade, of your death I pray
It proves sweet marjoram nor turn caraway. (Collected Poems 204.2)

Read 'Deserter'

In a refrigerator car at Empress,
Then, lying on bare boards in a small room,
Dead...'Should be in England?' 'Home for Christmas?' (Collected Poems 155.13)

Above poem probably based on yet to be identified newspaper article read by Lowry circa Winter 1939 - probably expresses his feeling that he would not fight/desert if forced to enlist - uses irony of over optimistic prediction that war would be over by Christmas which many thought in WW1. Lowry may also be refering to political situation within Canada in 1939 with regards to conscription (Read more about conscription in Canada in WW2)

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Notes on Lowry and War: A Walk in Liverpool July 2014 Part 1

Last Sunday, I led a walk organised by The Bluecoat, Liverpool around Liverpool's Business Quarter and Riverfront stopping at sites linked to Lowry and his writings and experiences of war.

Part 2
Part 3

Below are notes based on the walk with links to further material plus references to Lowry texts.

Stop 1 Cook Street/Castle Street Liverpool

Cook Street Arcades Liverpool 1941
Read poem 'Imprisoned in a Liverpool of self' Collected Poems 233.2

One of several poems referencing Liverpool during the war written in Lowry's "exile" in Vancouver

Did Lowry see photographs of "gutted arcades" in Liverpool following 1941 German bombing blitz?

These poems appear to be a nostalgic contemplation of a lost past which is threatened by war.

Refer to short story 'June 30th 1934' (originally entitled 'Metal' and begun in 1934 but still being worked on in 1939 - see Bowker Pg. 292) - influenced by Lowry's reading of Ernst Henri's Hitler Over Europe which predicts WW2 and possibly H.J. Massingham's "metallic age" in People and things, an attempt to connect art and humanity 1919 (Note also Lowry's references to Crete may stem from Lowry's reading of Massingham's Through The Wilderness 1935.

Lowry's alter-ego Bill Goodyear seems to reflect guilt of not fighting/volunteering when Goodyear lies to Firmin, a WW1 veteran, who has met on a train while crossing the battlefields of the Somme. This theme underlies Lowry's own experiences of not volunteering for the Spanish Civil war unlike his friend John Sommerfield. (See Gordon Bowker Pursued By Furies Chapter X)

John Cornford
See Spanish Civil War references in Chapter 6 of Under The Volcano - a chapter on Hugh - the consul's half-brother e.g. John Cornford - There is a strong element of Cornford in the characterisation of Hugh: the Communist leanings; the romanticism of Rupert Brooke (Cornford's name-sake); and the desire to rush off to Spain in defence of a dubious freedom. Chris Ackerley 

 'June 30th 1934' WW1 details may be based on Lowry's brother Stuart who fought in WW1.

Stuart's service career 11th (Service) Battalion  Cheshire Regiment. 17.09.1914 Formed at Chester as part of the Third New Army (K3). Stuart enlists 22/9/1914. And then moved to Codford St. Mary in the 75th Brigade of the 25th Division and then moved to Bournemouth. May 1915 Moved to Aldershot. 26.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed in France and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including; 1916: German attack on Vimy Ridge May 1916. German attack on Vimy Ridge, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of the Ancre Heights. 1917 The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Pilkem.

Joins as Lieutenant 26th Service Battalion of Royal Welch Fusiliers - 16.07.1918 in France from the 4th Garrison Guard of the 176th Brigade of the 59th Division. 11.11.1918 Ended the war in Delpre N.E. of Tournai, Belgium.

Did Lowry feel guilty about being cut off from his family who were threatened by war? (See Bowker Pgs 270-298) for details of early WW2 "exile" in Canada and relations with his family and possible enlistment in British and Canadian armies)

Lowry claims to have argued with his father Arthur Lowry in 1934 over possibility of war (Bowker Pg 274)

Lowry - "I continued warning my family but they took no damn notice. Result: they'll probably not only lose all their money, but be killed, when they might have been living in Jerusalem" (Letter to Margerie Bonner Sept. 1939)

Stop 2 Nelson's Monument, Exchange Flags 

Exchange Flags circa 1900
Arthur Lowry worked as cotton broker at Buston's & Co. in Exchange Flags before moving to new purpose built Cotton Exchange in 1906.

The Nelson Monument is a monument to Admiral Horatio Nelson, in Exchange Flags, Liverpool, England. It was designed by Matthew Cotes Wyatt and sculpted by Richard Westmacott. It stands to the north of the Town Hall and was unveiled in 1813.

The Battle of Copenhagen, as painted by Nicholas Pocock

Nelson was a hero of Arthur Lowry's (See Bowker Pg. 14 Arthur raises his hat to the memory of Nelson while sailing to Russia in 1914 when passes the site of the Battle of Copenhagan) - the statue in Exchange Flags references that victory - Arthur would have been reminded of his hero on a daily basis.

Lowry refers to his father as a "Tory of Tory capitalists on a grand scale" - Bowker suggests that Arthur Lowry would have been caught up in jingoism of WW1( See Bowker Pg. 14)

Lowry's rebellion against father's politics - apparent in British Empire references in Chapter 6 of Under The Volcano - see Chris Ackerley - Cambridge left wing influences shown in anti-fascist stance in Under The Volcano ( See also references to Spanish Civil War in Bowker)

The monument also features as a key place in political discussions between Sigbjorn and his father in forthcoming unpublished novel In Ballast to the White (October 2014) - these discussions may possibly reflect ones Lowry had with his father.

1916 - Arthur Lowry sails to USA on board USMS St Louis for cotton business (Bowker Pg 15) - impact of dangers on family and Lowry himself

México City Waltz de Nicolas Comment

Nicolás Comment pasó dos meses en una residencia artística en México y allí fue donde realizó esta serie fotográfica llamada México City Waltz. Este autor nació en Paris en 1973, actualmente todavía vive allí y trabaja para la agencia Vu.

Este trabajo es, ante todo, un poema hecho de imágenes con el fin de componer un equivalente visual de la “prosa espontánea” del México actual y rinde un homenaje a la belleza y a la sensualidad que encontramos en este país.
Un trabajo que bebe de la literatura, tres títulos son el punto de partida de esta serie: Tristessa de Jack Kerouac, Au-dessous du volcan de Malcolm Lowry y Voyage au pays des Tarahumaras d’Antonin Artaud.

To view Nicolás Comment 's photos click here

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

John Davenport Letter in Spectator September 1961

Sue,—Frank Tuohy's introduction to this greatly gifted writer is as penetrating as might have been expected; but it contains some errors of fact, which should perhaps be repaired immediately, to avoid future misunderstanding.

For instance, it is misleading to say that Lowry 'ran away to sea.' He left the Leys School, Cam- bridge, at the normal leaving age in 1927 (he was born in 1909) and went to sea, working as deckhand and trimmer, for about eighteen months; but he was driven to the Liverpool docks in his solid father's solid motor-car. He had no ambition to be anything other than an ordinary seaman; it was a literary, not a marine, apprenticeship; to go to sea was a psychological need, appreciated by his father. It is also misleading to say that 'he wrote Ultramarine a year later.' The first draft was completed by the time he turned up at Conrad Aiken's apartment in Cam- bridge (Mass.) in' July, 1929. They worked on it together, and I saw the results in November of that year in Cambridge (Eng.). Lowry continued to work on it for the next three years. The final version was completed in the summer of 1932 when it was ac- cepted for publication. The typescript of the fair copy was stolen from lan Parsons's motor-car, and the whole thing had to be re-written from the penulti- mate version. ,It was published by Jonathan Cape in 1933, and represented nearly five years' work.

Read full letter here

Robert Youds Malcolm Lowry's shack - 2012

Originally positioned as a painter, by the mid-nineties Victoria-based artist Robert Youds shifted his practice of translating light and colour to what he describes as “light paintings.” His large three-dimensional works, while maintaining a playful edge, absorb the viewer into meditative ruminations. Aglow with colour, they are assemblages on a human scale that take an initial attraction and hold it until it becomes an extended philosophic moment. The artist layers light and matter to create experiments in perception and transparency. Read more here

Under the Volcano: fuelling a thirst for Malcolm Lowry

As I mentioned in an earlier post - I have neglected the blog in the last year. One article I should have posted was the above published on the Guardian newspaper website which mentioned the 19th Hole!

Under the Volcano: fuelling a thirst for Malcolm Lowry: This book has whetted an appetite for more Lowry – luckily there are some fantastic online resources to aid further study

Read the full article by Sam Jordison here

Under the Volcano Street Art Los Angeles

Some intricate dream like graffiti from unknown artist in downtown Los Angeles saying 'Under the Volcano'. See more here on Melrose and Fairfax blog

Robert Sears: October Ferry To Gabriola

Robert Sears: October Ferry To Gabriola -  painted as a tribute to the novel by Malcolm Lowry-  Allison on the ferry with Gabriola Island in the background - also a homage to Alex Colville who was an influence on my work.

Read more about Robert Sears's work here

Goodbye to great Vancouver nights at the Cecil Hotel

Poets and writers and potters and artists and musicians and bar-room philosophers and existentialist cab-drivers and Malcolm Lowry fans and alcohol-impaired Ph.D.s and fine-arts majors turned carpenters would all congregate on Friday night and drink and talk until closing time and then often go around the corner to the old Arts Club on Seymour Street where you could drink and dance (maybe catch Doug and the Slugs Band) until early morning. Janet Mackie Goodbye to great Vancouver nights at the Cecil Hotel Read more


Read here

Malcolm Lowry’s outline for the unpublished “The Voyage That Never Ends”

Malcolm Lowry’s heavily annotated working typescript of his most complete articulation of his life’s work: his plan for an epic that would rival in scope the great literary undertakings of the 20th century of Proust, Joyce, and Pound. It is the immediate precursor – with substantial variations – to a foundational document of Lowry scholarship housed in the Lowry Archive at University of British Columbia.

Lowry envisioned The Voyage That Never Ends as his magnum opus: an epic cycle encompassing his existing novels and stories as well as projected works, with Under the Volcano as its centerpiece. This outline, typed on the verso of a partial typescript of Margerie Lowry’s unfinished novel The Castle of Malatesta, along with one typed draft leaf of Lowry’s short story "Elephant and Colosseum," opens with a three-page overview, to which 26 pages of individual treatments of the project’s component works and their significance to the whole are appended. The pages are copiously annotated, with Lowry’s lengthy manuscript additions and cancellations, and an additional five autograph leaves interpolated throughout. Read more at Glen Horowitz

Contact 7 : The San Fransisco Collection of New Writing, Art and Ideas

CONNELL, EVAN S. JR.; RYAN, WILLIAM H.; AND KENTFIELD, CALVIN, ED. - MALCOLM LOWRY Contact 7 : The San Fransisco Collection of New Writing, Art and Ideas
San Francisco: Angel Island Publications, 1961

Anyone know what works of Lowry were included?

Copy for sale here

Urban Renewal, Ghost Traps, Collage, Condos and Squats

In 1971, most of a squatter community on the Maplewood “intertidal” Mud Flats, near where Malcolm Lowry had written Under the Volcano, was burned to the ground by civic authorities, ostensibly to clear the way for private development. Squatting in the intertidal zone is as old as Vancouver and is an important part of the history of the city. (Finn Slough on the Fraser River is a squatting community still present in 2005; it was established in the 1890s.) Intertidal squats have been established and last largely due to the ambiguity of jurisdiction over the intertidal area. Urban Renewal, Ghost Traps, Collage, Condos and Squats by Scott Watson

Read the above about the 1960s and 1970s  Vancouver art scene

Swinging the Maelstrom

I have been pretty remiss with keeping up this blog over the last year! One major event that I failed to register on the blog was the publication of the above book.

Swinging the Maelstrom is Lowry’s story of a musician enduring existence in Bellevue, the psychiatric hospital in New York where Lowry himself spent some days in 1936. The novella, written in Canada between 1942 and 1944, during Lowry’s happiest and most fruitful years, reveals the deep influence on Lowry of the healing experience of his idyllic retreat at Dollarton.

The novella by Malcolm Lowry that appeared in Paris Review in 1963 under the title “Lunar Caustic,” and was published in book form in 1968 does not match the claims made for it by his widow Margerie Lowry of it being the final and definitive version of that work.  This text is neither the version which Lowry wrote in New York City in 1936 (“The Last Address”), nor the partially revised version he drafted in Vancouver in 1939 (still called “The Last Address”), nor the radically transformed version that he undertook in Dollarton between 1942 and 1944 (“Swinging the Maelstrom”).  In a long letter of January 1952 to the influential New York editor and publisher Robert Giroux, Lowry stated clearly that “Swinging the Maelstrom” should be considered as the final, completed version of the novella (which meanwhile had acquired its new title “Lunar Caustic”) and that “The Last Address” should be “looked on as simply the material from which I worked up ‘Swinging the Maelstrom’.”  

The present long overdue scholarly edition reveals the exact status of all the “Lunar Caustic” manuscripts, including the posthumous mix of two versions in published form.  The book includes scholarly editions of both “Swinging the Maelstrom” and “The Last Address,” thus offering the reader unique insight into Lowry’s work. The present edition will allow scholars to engage in a genetic study of Lowry’s novella and reconstruct, step by step, the creative process that developed from a rather pessimistic and misanthropic vision of the world as a madhouse (the 1936 version of “The Last Address”), via the apocalyptic metaphors of a world on the brink of Armageddon at the beginning of World War II (the 1939 revisions of the “The Last Address”), to a world that—in spite of all its troubles—leaves room for self-irony and humanistic concern (the radical transformation of the novella into “Swinging the Maelstrom” in 1942–44). New Lowry Editions

You can purchase a copy here

Malcolm Lowry by Michael Daye

Michael Daye is a video director and editor based in the south-west of England. Having graduated with first-class honours from University College of Falmouth in 2011, he is now working freelance and is currently in pre-production for an ambitious narrative project. As a music video director, he has worked with artists such as Charles Bradley, Nicola Benedetti and I Am Harlequin.

Aside from video production, Michael has had academic work published in Film Matters and Film International. He won the Excellence In Scholarship Award at Visions Film Festival & Conference 2012 for his presentation on the post-colonialist film Touki Bouki. He is also a keen artist and writes music on the side.

His influences include David Lynch, Chris Cunningham, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Andrei Tarkovsky, Béla Tarr and Björk. Michael Daye

Hotel Normandie Los Angeles

Hotel Normandie has deep roots in LA's Wilshire District - developed in 1926 by famed Los Angeles architects Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen.

The Walker & Eisen architectural duo produced many of Los Angeles' most iconic buildings during the 1920's and 30's including the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, United Theatre on Broadway and the Fine Arts Building. Hotel Normandie's façade was pure Renaissance Revival while the interiors held a distinct, Spanish colonial revival motif. Notable residents included English author Malcolm Lowry, who completed his pièce de résistance "Under the Volcano" here during the 30's, and Mrs. H.F. Bruner who famously prepared lavish turkey dinners each Sunday for just $1. Hotel Normandie

Lowry may not have completed Under The Volcano at the above hotel but he did work on an early draft there during his stay in LA in 1938-39 - read more here or see Gordon Bowker's Pursued By Furies Chapter X11.

See images of the hotel 

Down And Out At The Brown Derby By LIONEL ROLFE

To Aiken he wrote that Jan had left him a sort of Lear of the Sierra, dying by the glass in the Brown Derby, in Hollywood. "I don't blame her, I was better off in the Brown Derby." Down And Out At The Brown Derby by Lionel Rolfe

I recently came across the above article on Lowry's time in LA in the late 1930s - read more here

Mud Flat Squatter

Following on the previous post about Ken Lum's installation 'From shangri-la to shangri-la - I was reminded about what happened to the shacks at Burrard Inlet from a blog about Tom Burrows - an artist who has been featured on the 19th Hole for his work inspired by Lowry.

Ken Lum: 'From shangri-la to shangri-la'

Back in 2010, I posted about Ken Lum's installation entitled 'From shangri-la to shangri-la'.

I have since discovered that the installation has a permanent location:

The District of North Vancouver and the North Vancouver Arts Office unveiled Ken Lum’s sculptural installation, “from shangri-la to shangri-la” at the Maplewood Flats Conservation Area (2645 Dollarton Highway). Lum’s work takes its form from the architecture of squatters’ cabins located at Maplewood Flats on the north shore of Burrard Inlet during the early to mid-twentieth century.

 By the 1940’s, an informal but cohesive community of squatters was living in the ramshackle cabins that lined the area’s intertidal zone. The most acclaimed resident was the English-born writer Malcolm Lowry, who completed his novel Under the Volcano while living there from 1940 to 1954.

 By the 1960’s, the area had attracted an assortment of hippies, artists and displaced loggers who sought out nature and self sufficiency as an alternative to the accelerating pace of development in Vancouver and its suburbs. The longstanding tension between the squatters and the residents of North Vancouver came to a head in December 1971 when most of the mudflat dwellings were burned down by civic authorities to make way for development.

 Lum created from shangri-la to shangri-la in 2010 for the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Offsite large scale art program. The work consists of scale replicas of three squatter shacks: the dwelling occupied by Malcolm Lowry, one built by artist Tom Burrows, and one inhabited by Dr. Paul Spong, who later led Greenpeace’s “Save the Whales” campaign.

 The artwork was situated on West Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver surrounded by high rise buildings, and adjacent to the City’s tallest building, the Shangri-La Hotel. Considered in relation to the surrounding urban environment, the squatter shacks represented an acute contrast of a rustic conception of the ideal life with contemporary visions of perfection embodied in present day architecture.

 Ken Lum gifted from shangri-la to shangri-la to the District of North Vancouver in 2010. Situating the squatter shacks in their original Maplewood Flats location allows viewers to travel back in time and reflect on a foreclosed moment in the history of the Lower Mainland.

 Ken Lum is a Vancouver artist whose work questions the relationship between modernism and everyday experience often blurring the boundaries that separate high art and popular culture. Over the past 25 years, Lum has exhibited widely throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

 Explore the District of North Vancouver's Public Art Collection online.

See a collection of photos of the installation at