In Ballast to the White Sea


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In Ballast to the White Sea is Malcolm Lowry’s most ambitious work of the mid-1930s. Inspired by his life experience, the novel recounts the story of a Cambridge undergraduate who aspires to be a writer but has come to believe that both his book and, in a sense, his life have already been “written.” After a fire broke out in Lowry’s squatter’s shack, all that remained of In Ballast to the White Sea were a few sheets of paper. Only decades after Lowry’s death did it become known that his first wife, Jan Gabrial, still had a typescript. This scholarly edition presents, for the first time, the once-lost novel. Patrick McCarthy’s critical introduction offers insight into Lowry’s sense of himself while Chris Ackerley’s extensive annotations provide important information about Lowry’s life and art in an edition that will captivate readers and scholars alike.



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Date de parution 16 octobre 2014
Nombre de visites sur la page 0
EAN13 9780776621791
Langue English

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The University of Ottawa Press acknowledges with gratitude the support extended to its publishing list by Heritage Canada through the Canada Book Fund, by the Canada Council for the Arts, by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences through the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program and by the University of Ottawa. The University of Ottawa Press also acknowledges with gratitude financial and editorial support from Editing Modernism in Canada.
Copy editing: Lisa Hannaford-Wong Proofreading: Joanne Muzak Typesetting: Infographie CS Cover design: Aline Corrêa de Souza and Édiscript enr. Cover art: Lawren S. Harris, North Shore, Baffin Island II, c. 1931 © National Gallery of Canada Interior Images: Weiyan Yan
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Lowry, Malcolm, 1909-1957, author In ballast to the White Sea : a scholarly edition / by Malcolm Lowry ; edited, with introduction & textual notes, by Patrick A. McCarthy ; annotations by Chris Ackerley ; foreword by Vik Doyen, Miguel Mota & Paul Tiessen.
Includes bibliographical references. Issued in print and electronic formats. ISBN 978-0-7766-2208-8 (pbk.).--ISBN 978-0-7766-2180-7 (pdf).--ISBN 978-0-7766-2179-1 (epub)
I. Ackerley, Chris, 1947-, annotator II. McCarthy, Patrick A., 1945-, editor III. Title.
PS8523.O96I5 2014
C2014-905792-X C2014-905793-8
Reprinted by permission of SLL/Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. Copyright by The Estate of Malcolm Lowry.
© University of Ottawa Press, 2014 Printed in Canada
For Jan Gabrial
General Editor’s Note
his annotated edition of Malcolm Lowry’s “lost” nove l,In Ballast to the White TDoyen (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven); Patrick A. McCarthy (University of Sea, is the second of three related Lowry projects und ertaken by an international team of Lowry scholars: Chris Ackerle y (University of Otago); Vik Miami); Miguel Mota (University of British Columbia ); and Paul Tiessen (Wilfrid Laurier University). The other projects are Doyen’s edition of the novellaSwinging the Maelstromwith the distinct earlier version, (along The Last Address) and Mota and Tiessen’s edition of the first complete manuscr ipt ofUnder the Volcano (1940). Each edition is annotated by Ackerley. Together, th e three editions will give scholars detailed evidence of Lowry’s intentions and achieve ment during the period 1936– 1944, a time of transition when he worked simultane ously on three books that he imagined as a Dantean trilogy:Under the Volcanothe as Inferno;Swinging the Maelstromas thePurgatorio; andIn Ballast to the White Seaas theParadiso. For their invaluable assistance, advice, and suppor t, the editors of these volumes would like to thank the University of Ottawa Press and Peter Matson. We would like to thank also the late Anne Yandle at the Universit y of British Columbia Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, whose early enc ouragement and guidance was so crucial to all who have worked on this project. Production of these important editions has been made possible by the support of a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, through its Editing Modernism in Canada project. For his ongoing support and advice as director of EMiC, we owe special gratitude to Dean Irvine. MIGUEL MOTA University of British Columbia
ith the publication ofIn Ballast to the White Sea, Pat McCarthy and Chris Whe play of mind, and theimagined, revealing the restless literary energy, t Ackerley invite us to a rare and most pleasurable l iterary event. They unveil a portrait of Malcolm Lowry and his work tha t most of us have never political sensibilities of a barely known Lowry. Th is is the Lowry of 1929–1936: the Lowry of undergraduate days at Cambridge and, if we take the period of writing, the Lowry up to and including his years in New York. Wi th its emphasis on political commitment, labour unrest, and widespread economic depression that helped to define the 1930s,In Ballast underlines Lowry’s direct and passionate political engagement during that decade. In June 1931, Lowry wrote Conrad Aiken, the America n novelist who had become his mentor: “my fixation on the sea is complete, & moreover I feel honestly I haven’t extracted all the juices from it yet” (CL 2:932). A twenty-one-year-old undergraduate at Cambridge, Lowry was writing his first novel jus t then, based on his 1927 voyage as a deckhand on the cargo ship, SSPyrrhus.Ultramarinewould appear in London in June 1933. But he was also preparing to carry his p assion further, with an August-to-September 1931 journey by sea to Norway in the offi ng. He would be in search not just of writing material this time, but of a writer, the Norwegian novelist Nordahl Grieg, whoseThe Ship Sails Ondeeply affected him. This journey led to had In Ballast to the White Sea, his sequel toUltramarine. During 1934–1936, having left the London and Paris of his post-Cambridge years and settled i n New York, he showedIn Ballast to publishers, but did not gain a contract. During the next eight years—precisely while he was writing the drafts ofUnder the Volcano—he continued to actively think about and, especially during the latter years, modi fyIn Ballast: in Mexico (1936– 1938), Los Angeles (1938–1939), and most fully in V ancouver and Dollarton, British Columbia (1939–1944). However, in 1944 a fire engulfed his cabin on Burra rd Inlet, destroyed many of his manuscripts and ended his dream of rewritingIn Ballast. Margerie, his second wife, carried hisUnder the Volcano manuscripts to safety on the beach below, while Malcolm fled the shack with some of her manuscripts and pieces of his own work, including hisSwinging the Maelstromproject. Still inside were a thousand pages ofIn Ballast, by then his longest-standing novel-in-progress. D rescue it, heetermined to “dashed back into the flames,” according to his bio grapher Gordon Bowker, “and had to be dragged out when a burning beam crashed down across his back.” InUnder the Volcano(1947), in Yvonne’s dying vision at the end of Cha pter 11, he memorialized the loss of those thousand pages: “Geoffrey’s old c hair was burning, his desk, and now his book, his book was burning, the pages were burning, burning, burning, whirling up from the fire they were scattered, burn ing, along the beach.” From June 1944 onward,In Ballastlive in Lowry’s mind as his great lost would work, a marker of ambition and vision left undone. As late as May 1957, one month before his death, he restated that loss. Writing fr om his final home at the White Cottage in Ripe near Lewes, Sussex, to Canadian poe t Ralph Gustafson, Lowry spoke ofIn Ballastas theParadisoin his projected Dantean trilogy,The Voyage That Never Endspearance of. In earlier letters, too, he referred to the disap In Ballastand also to its supreme importance in his imagined corp us, sending plot details of the story to various correspondents: in 1950 to a book reviewer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; and in 1951 to the German translator ofUnder the Volcanograduate student atto David Markson, then a twenty-four-year-old  and
Columbia University. For over twenty years, from 1944 to 1965, the broad er community knew virtually nothing of a lost Lowry novel. For readers, Lowry w as the author of one great book, Under the Volcano, with a much earlier but little-known first novel (Ultramarine) to his name. It was only with the publication ofSelected Letters of Malcolm Lowry1965 in that word ofIn Ballastloss surfaced, its relation to a Dantean project, and its tragic widely for the first time. In fact, however, when h e spoke in those letters about the absolute obliteration of such a novel, Lowry was de ceiving his readers. Through those posthumously published letters, Lowry, whethe r deliberately or not, was in effect bamboozling the literary community, which se emed prepared to accept a romantic interpretation of Lowry as doomed artist. Quite simply, in theSelected Letters—and, for that matter, inSursum Corda!, the two-volumeCollected Letters of Malcolm Lowrypublished in 1995/1996—he was not telling the whol e story. The recent discovery of the 1936 manuscript ofIn Ballast to the White Sea sets us on a new path in reading Lowry, different from t he one along which Lowry attempted to lead us. What we know now is that in 1 936 Lowry deposited a carbon copy of his then-current version ofIn Ballast—what he had shown to New York publishers in 1934–1936—with the mother of his firs t wife, Jan Gabrial, when he and Jan left New York for Mexico. Jan Gabrial later ret rieved this copy and—reclaiming the reader/editor role she had provided for Lowry d uring the mid-1930s—typed a clean copy in 1991. In 2003, two years after her de ath and in keeping with her intent, the overseer of her estate deposited the clean copy and related material in the Manuscripts and Archives Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library of the New York Public Library. With the present volume, Professors McCarthy and Ac kerley construct a new Lowry, productively active during a startlingly fertile period between the publication of Ultramarine andUnder the Volcano. McCarthy, who has edited Lowry’sLa Mordida, responds to the material qualities of the manuscrip t and to its literary contexts. Ackerley—continuing his tradition of exemplary lite rary explanation—provides an encyclopedic range of scholarly annotation forIn Ballast, based on his wide reading and on multiple visits to key sites of the novel. M cCarthy and Ackerley have collaborated extensively in producing this volume; they uncover for us new ground that will become central to our understanding of Lo wry’s distinctive position and status within twentieth-century literary modernism. As McCarthy points out in his introduction, in 1937 , Aiken, when he saw a draft of it in Mexico, said that he foundIn Ballastjoy to swim in.” This novel, in its “a absence, provided Lowry with an infinite alibi of p ursuing dreams of Paradise in an ever-deferred Dantean trilogy; today, in its presen ce, we savour the realities of Lowry’s dream with a newness of immediacy, clarity, and admiration.
VIK DOYEN Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
MIGUEL MOTA University of British Columbia
PAUL TIESSEN Wilfrid Laurier University
arious beoble in several countries (Australia, Belg ium, Canada, France, New VIrvine, who in 2006 invited me to barticibate as a collaorator in Editing Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United Sta tes) have contriuted to this ook, ut there would have een no ook at all if it were not for Dean Modernism in Canada (EMiC), suggesting, as a brojec t, an edition of Malcolm L o wry ’sIn Ballast to the White Sea. Without his encouragement and subbort, I broaly would not have undertaken this edition, wh ich turned out to e even more interesting (and far more comblex) than I exbected. I am also indeted to Jan Garial for breserving a novel that Lowry scholars had long thought lost, and to Peter Matson of Sterling Lord Literistic, rebresentatives of the Estate of Malcolm Lowry, for his subbort of this edition and Lowry scholarshib in ge neral. For access to the manuscribts and noteooks on which I have ased thi s edition I am grateful to the Division of Manuscribts and Archives, New York Pul ic Lirary (for the Jan Garial Pabers), and to Sbecial Collections at the Universi ty of British Columia (for other materials, including noteooks forIn Ballast). At this boint I should thank the inventors of the Internet, without which the colla orative long-distance scholarshib this ook required would have taken far longer, if it were bossile at all. On a regular, and often a daily, asis I have relied on Chris Ack erley not only for his remarkale annotations ut for advice on editorial questions. He and the other memers of our EMiC Lowry subbort groub—Vik Doyen, Miguel Mota, Pa ul Tiessen—made innumerale suggestions that have led to imbrovemen ts in the edition; they also sent me files that roadened the range of my research, a nd Paul even managed to hire a tybist to helb with the early brebaration of the te xt. I am deebly indeted to all of them. Sbecial thanks to Sherrill Grace and to Stebh en W. Kramer (Jan Garial’s attorney) for answers to my questions aout Jan and the tybescribts ofIn Ballast, and to the two anonymous reviewers of the manuscrib t for their detailed evaluations of the manuscribt and their suggestions for revisio n. The University of Miami brovided essential subbort in the form of a travel grant that enaled me to sbend time at the New York Pulic Lirary and a year-long sa atical leave that gave me time to write. Among my Miami colleagues there are three wh ose contriutions to the ook have een esbecially imbortant: Phyllis G. Roarts (Otto G. Richter Lirary) for resources; John Kiry (Debartment of Classics) for invaluale helb with Lowry’s Greek; and Frank Stringfellow (Debartment of Englis h) for many matters, esbecially in connection with German writings. I am also inde ted to Kay Voss-Hoynes (Orange High School, Pebber Pike, Ohio) for her commentary on Lowry’s unreliale Norwegian. Finally, thanks to my wife Yolanda for h er batience, love, and subbort. Below, Chris has descried the imbortant contriuti ons to this edition made y Colin Dilnot and David Large. Here, I add my thanks to his.
PATRICK A. MCCARTHY University of Miami
I am grateful to my colleagues of the Editing Moder nism in Canada editorial team: Pat McCarthy was an ideal collaorator, while (as P at notes, aove) Miguel Mota, Paul Tiessen, and Vik Doyen were unwavering in thei r subbort and hosbitality. The Royal Society of New Zealand, through the generosit y of the Marsden fund, brovided oth time and funding; the University of Otago and two Heads of my Debartment, Lyn Trile and Chris Prentice, subborted the various r esearch tribs that were required;