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Kalervo's unhappy offspring Uncouth boy and ever foolish

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N ay b u t tell m e of th y peo p le

O f th e b rave race w h en ce th o u com est.

M aybe a m ig h ty race h a s b o rn thee Fairest child of m ig h ty father.

A n d th e girl an sw ered quickly (nor let K ullervo see h er face),

N ay m y race is n o t a g reat one N o t a g reat one n o r a sm all one I am ju st of m id d le station W an d erin g m a id e n ever foolish W orthless child a n d g o o d for nothing.

T h en stood she u p a n d g azin g at K ullervo w ith o u tstretch ed h a n d an d h e r h a ir falling a b o u t h e r cried,

To th e w o o d s I w e n t for berries A n d forsook m y te n d e r m other.

O ver p lain s a n d he a th to m o u n tain s W an d ered tw o d ay s a n d a th ird one Till th e p a th w a y h o m e I fo u n d not.

For th e d e p th s led ever d eep er D eeper d ee p e r into dark n ess D eeper d ee p e r into sorrow Into w oe an d into horror.

O th o u su n lig h t O th o u m o o n b eam O th o u d ear u n fe tte re d breezes N ever n ev er w ill I see thee N ever feel th ee o n m y forehead.

For I go in d a rk a n d terro r D o w n to Tuoni to th e River.

A n d before h e c o u ld leap u p an d g rasp h er she sp ed across th e g lad e [...] like a shivering ray of light in th e d a w n light scarce seem ing to to u ch th e g reen d e w y g rass u n til she cam e to th e trip le fall a n d cast h e r over it d o w n its silver co lu m n to th e u g ly d e p th s even as K ullervo cam e u p w ith h er a n d h er last w ail h e h e a rd a n d stood h eav y o n th e b rin k as a lu m p of rock till th e su n rose a n d th e re a t th e grass g rew green, b ird s sang, a n d th e flow ers o p e n e d an d th e m id d a y p assed an d all th in g s seem ed hap p y : a n d K ullervo cu rsed th em , for h e loved her.

(36-39)

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A n d th e n , as D r. F lie g e r n o te s , "T h e n a rr a tiv e b re a k s off a t th is p o in t, a n d w h a t fo llo w s o n th e re s t o f th e p a g e is a n o te - o u tlin e o f th e e n d o f th e sto ry , w ritte n r a p id ly w ith a b e rra tio n s in s y n ta x a ttrib u ta b le to h a s te . I t is h e re g iv e n in fu ll" (39).

In h e r in tro d u c tio n , D r. F lie g e r w rite s:

T olkien h a d first re a d Kalevala in th e 1907 E nglish tra n sla tio n of W.F. K irby w h ile a stu d e n t at K ing E d w a rd 's School in B irm ingham in 1911 [JRRT w as 19]. H e th o u g h t K irby's tra n sla tio n unsatisfactory, b u t fo u n d th e m aterial itself to be like 'a n am azin g w in e ' [...]. These u n civ ilized a n d p rim itiv e tales so c a p tu re d his im ag in atio n th a t w h e n h e w e n t u p to O xford in th e fall [he attem pted] to teac h him self e n o u g h F innish to read th e original. H e w as largely u nsuccessful a n d ruefully confessed h e h a d b e e n 're p u ls e d w ith h e av y losses.'

T olkien w as p a rtic u la rly ta k e n by th e character h e called 'K ullervo th e h ap less.' (xi-xii)

T h e sto ry itse lf ta k e s u p o n ly 39 p a g e s o f th e b o o k 's 168. L ik e m u c h of T o lk ie n 's e a rly w o rk , it b re a k s o ff u n fin is h e d a t th e p o in t w h e r e W an o n a, K u lle r v o 's siste r a n d lo v er, flees fro m h im a n d ju m p s o v e r a w a te rfa ll cliff to h e r d o o m .

In a d d itio n to th e 2 3 -p ag e in tro d u c tio n , th e re m a in in g sectio n s o f th is v o lu m e in c lu d e "L ist o f N a m e s ," " D ra ft P lo t S y n o p s e s " w ith n o te s a n d c o m m e n ta ry , " I n tro d u c tio n to th e E ssa y s," " O n 'T h e K a le v a la ' o r L a n d of H e ro e s " w ith c o m m e n ta r y a n d n o te s , "T h e K a le v a la " w ith n o te s a n d c o m m e n ts , a n d "T o lk ien , Kalevala, a n d 'T h e S to ry o f K u lle rv o ' b y V erly n F lie g e r." A fo u r -p a g e b ib lio g r a p h y in c lu d in g n in e te e n s c h o la rly so u rc e s c o n c lu d e s th e b o o k .

Je w e ls o f in s ig h t a re s c a tte re d e v e ry w h e re h e re . D r. F lie g e r's n o te s p o in t o u t th e d e fin itio n a l sim ila rity b e tw e e n th e n a m e s o f W a n o n a , w h ic h m e a n s " w e e p in g ," a n d N ie n o r/ N in ie l, w h o se n a m e s m e a n , re s p e c tiv e ly ,

" m o u r n in g " a n d " te a r-m a id e n " in The Silmarillion sa g a o f T u rin T u ra m b a r. (53) In h e r la s t a p p e n d ix , "T o lk ien , Kalevala, a n d 'T h e S to ry o f K u lle rv o ' b y V erly n F lie g e r," th e a u th o r w rites:

I d o n o t p ro p o se a one-to-one e q u atio n b etw een K ullervo a n d Tolkien;

n o r d o I claim auto b io g rap h ical in ten t o n T olkien's p art. Parallels th ere certainly are, b u t F ather Francis M organ, T olkien's g u ard ian , w as no m u rd e ro u s U ntam o (alth o u g h h e d id sep arate Tolkien from th e girl he lo v ed [E dith Bratt]). Beatrice Suffield, th e a u n t in w h o se care Tolkien a n d his b ro th e r [H illary] w ere tem p o rarily p u t after th e ir m o th er [M abel Tolkien] d ied , w as n o t th e m alicious a n d sadistic sm ith 's w ife —th o u g h

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[H um phrey] C arp en te r n otes th a t she w as 'd eficien t in affection' (Biography, p. 33). Tolkien w as n eith er a c o w h erd n o r a m agician, th o u g h h e d id becom e a w rite r of fantasy. N or d id he engage in revenge-killing or com m it incest. A n d th o u g h u n lik e K ullervo h e w as n o t m istre a te d a n d abused, like K ullervo h e w as n o t in control of his o w n life. T here w as u n d e n ia b ly so m ething in K ullervo's story th a t to u c h e d h im d eep ly an d m a d e h im w a n t to 're o rg a n iz e [it] into a form of [his] o w n .' A n d th a t so m eth in g stayed viable as h is leg e n d a riu m to o k shape. (144-145)

F u r th e r on, sh e w rites:

T he m o st su rp risin g revelation is th a t H u a n th e H o u n d , th e su p e rn a tu ra l h e lp e r of B eren a n d Lú thien, d id n o t sp rin g fully fo rm ed from T olkien's brow , b u t h as a clear fo reru n n er in M usti. M u sti is p e rh a p s T olkien's m o st n o te w o rth y ad d itio n to h is Kalevala source, a n d H u a n is, after Tú rin him self, th e clearest av ata r carried ov er from th e earlier story to th e w o rld of the leg en d ariu m . Talking (an d helping) anim als are n o t u n k n o w n in th e w o rld of M iddle-earth. The fox (th o u g h h e is a n anom aly) in Book O ne of The Fellowship o f the Ring, th e talk in g th r u s h a n d th e rav en Roäc son of Carc in The Hobbit, th e eagles in b o th The Hobbit an d The Lord of the Rings an d th e d o g G arm from Farmer Giles are th e b est exam ples; th a t is u n less y o u co u n t talk in g d rag o n s su ch as S m aug an d G lau ru n g , w h o h ave solid p recursors. G la u ru n g is p lain ly d e riv e d from th e Fáfnir of th e Poetic Edda, w h ere S m aug a n d Farmer Giles's C hrysophylax are com ic exam ples, n earer in ty p e to K enneth G rah am e's R eluctant D rag o n th a n to Icelandic m y thology, a n d G arm belongs in th a t sam e p aro d ic category.

M u sti is a b it different; h e is T olkien's b est exam ple of a p articu lar fairy-tale archetype, th e an im al helper[.] (160-161)

In su m m a ry , n o t o n ly d o e s K illu e rv o 's s a d s to ry p re -e c h o T u r in 's tale, b u t it also e v o k e s th e h a r d liv es a n d h a r d tim e s o f B eren a n d T u o r in T o lk ie n 's le g e n d a riu m . B u t in d e e d , K u lle rv o m a y b e th e le a s t lik e a b le o f th e m all. In h is sto ry , th e re e k o f w ro n g fu lly sp ille d b lo o d is n o t re lie v e d b y th e p le a s a n t p e rf u m e of L o n g b o tto m L eaf. F e a s tin g n e v e r fo llo w s fear; re s t n e v e r fo llo w s test. T o a llu d e to O n Fairy-stories, K u lle r v o 's is o n e lo n g to r tu r o u s a n d to r m e n te d c ru cifix io n w ith n o r e d e e m in g E a ste r S u n d a y su n rise .

D r. F lie g e r h a s lo n g b e e n a p re - e m in e n t T o lk ie n te a c h e r a n d sch o lar.

A s re a d e r s w ill d isc o v e r, The Story o f Kullervo a d d s a n o th e r g e m to h e r tiara.

R e a d e rs s e e k in g a n o th e r h a p p y h o b b it h o lid a y h e re , h o w e v e r, w ill b e d e e p ly d is a p p o in te d . T h is sta rk s to ry is ste rn e r, s a d d e r stuff. Caveat lector.

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A o ife L eah y . N e w c a stle u p o n T y n e: C a m b rid g e S ch o lars P u b lis h in g , 2009. v iii + 203 p. ISBN 978-1-4438-0993-4. $58.99.

A o i f e L e a h y a r g u e s t h a t S a y e r s h a s e c h o e d V ic to ria n a u th o r s ' b o o k s a n d liv es in h e r m y s te r y fiction, in co n tex ts th a t a llo w th e m to c o m m e n t o n th e th e m e s o f m o d e r n is m . M o s t o f th e tim e sh e a s s u m e s th a t th e s e e ch o es a re d e lib e ra te o n S a y e rs 's p a r t a n d th a t in d ire c t d id a c tic p u r p o s e s a re S a y e rs' g o al. L e a h y is c e rta in ly rig h t a b o u t so m e o f th e a llu s io n s sh e p o in ts to, a n d sh e m a k e s in te re s tin g cases fo r th e p u rp o s e s . B u t th is re v ie w e r w a s left w ith th e b e lie f th a t m u c h is o v e rs ta te d in th e s e a rg u m e n ts .

T h e e a sie st e x a m p le fo r d is c u s s io n is th e se c o n d se c tio n o f th e first c h a p te r: it s u rv e y s th e a llu sio n s to L e w is C a rro ll's A l i c e ' s A d v e n t u r e s i n W o n d e r l a n d (a n d so m e tim e s T h r o u g h t h e L o o k i n g - G l a s s) th a t a p p e a r in T h e U n p l e a s a n t n e s s a t t h e B e l l o n a C l u b . T h e a llu sio n s in o th e r c h a p te rs a n d o th e r se c tio n s o f th is c h a p te r a re to th e n o v e ls o f W ilk ie C o llin s, th e fictio n o f O sc a r W ild e, a n d th e liv es o f G e o rg e E lio t a n d Jo h n R u s k in (a m o n g th e w ritin g s a n d liv e s o f o th e r V icto rian s). F o r m e m b e rs o f th e M y th o p o e ic Society, k n o w le d g e o f L e w is C a rro ll is m o r e c e rta in th a n o f th e V ic to ria n s g e n e ra lly , so it m a k e s a b e tte r illu s tra tio n h e re .

In a d d itio n , L e a h y say s th a t th e in flu e n c e o f C a rro ll o n T h e U n p l e a s a n t n e s s is th e s im p le s t e x a m p le sh e is d is c u s s in g b e c a u s e S ay ers in d u lg e s in th e fe w e st a llu sio n s (26). In r e a d in g th r o u g h S a y e rs' n o v el, th is re v ie w e r sees th r e e o b v io u s b o rr o w in g s fro m A l i c e ' s A d v e n t u r e s i n W o n d e r l a n d .

T w o o f th e m a p p e a r in sp e e c h e s b y Sir J a m e s L u b b o c k , " th e w e ll-k n o w n a n a ly s t," in C h. 7. (H e a n a ly z e s tra c e s o f m a te ria l a t c rim e scen es for te s tim o n y , if u s e fu l, a t c o u rt h e a rin g s.) W h e n L o rd P e te r W im se y te lls h im w h a t h e is to a n a ly z e a n d w h a t case it is re la te d to, Sir Ja m e s says, " C u rio u s e r a n d c u rio u se r. N e v e r m in d , it's n o th in g to d o w ith m e ." A lice ex cla im s

" C u rio u s e r a n d c u rio u se r!" a t th e s ta rt o f C h . 2 o f W o n d e r l a n d:

"C u rio u ser a n d curiouser!" cried A lice (she w as so m u c h su rp rise d th a t for a m o m en t she q u ite forgot h o w to speak g o o d English); "n o w I'm o p en in g o u t like th e larg est telescope th a t ever was! G ood-bye, feet!"

S lig h tly la te r in th e c o n v e rs a tio n in S a y e rs' n o v e l, Sir Ja m e s re a c ts to W im se y 's su g g e s tio n th a t th e a n a ly s e s m a y b e im p o r ta n t w ith o u t g iv in g a n y d etail,

"Y o u 're o n ly d o in g it to a n n o y , b e c a u se y o u k n o w it te a s e s." T h is is a s lig h t r e ­ h a n d lin g o f tw o lin e s o f th e " s o rt o f a lu lla b y " th a t th e D u c h e ss sin g s to h e r b a b y in C a rro ll's C h. 6:

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"Speak roughly to your little boy, A n d beat him when he sneezes:

H e only does it to annoy,

Because he knows it teases."

Since Sir Ja m e s is o n ly a m in o r c h a ra c te r in The Unpleasantness, p re s u m a b ly th e s e tw o a llu s io n s a re m e a n t to s u g g e s t s o m e th in g a b o u t h im o u ts id e o f h is science, m a k in g h im s lig h tly m o r e r o u n d e d as a p e rs o n a lity .

T h e th i r d a llu sio n is la te r in S a y e rs ' b o o k , C h. 12. W im se y h a s b e e n s p e a k in g a b o u t a " p e r s o n " w h o m a n o th e r c h a ra c te r h a s in v e n te d as a n o b fu s c a tio n . "W ell, y o u see, I h a d a fe e lin g th a t u n le s s w e d id s o m e th in g p re tty d e fin ite , O liv e r w o u ld k e e p v a n is h in g a n d r e a p p e a r in g lik e th e C h e s h ire C a t [...] " (T he C h e sh ire C a t a p p e a rs a n d v a n is h e s se v e ra l tim e s in C h. 6 of W onderland a n d m a k e s a fin a l a p p e a ra n c e a n d d is a p p e a ra n c e in C h. 8.)

So m u c h fo r w h a t th is re v ie w e r fin d s; n o w le t h im illu s tra te L e a h y 's c o m p a ra tiv e te c h n iq u e b y s im p ly c itin g th e first five e x a m p le s in " P o st-W a r A lice" (th e se c o n d se c tio n o f th e first c h a p te r, as m e n tio n e d ). H e r th e s is s ta te m e n t se e m s to b e th is one: " G e o rg e [F en tim an ] is a n A lice fig u re s tru g g lin g th r o u g h a w o r ld w h e re th e p e o p le a r o u n d h im s e e m in h u m a n e a n d u n c a r in g in th e face o f h is p a in ." (H is p a in is d u e to " s h e ll-sh o c k " [PTSD] fro m W o rld W a r I.) L e a h y c o n tin u e s, "S a y e rs c o n tin u a lly u s e s im a g e ry a n d re fe re n c e fr o m C a rro ll's n o v e ls to r e m in d h e r re a d e r s o f th is" (30). H e r re fe re n c e to th e p lu r a l "n o v e ls " d o e s a llo w h e r to s p r e a d h e r c o m p a riso n s , b u t sh e p rim a rily fo c u se s o n W onderland.

(1) W h e n G eo rg e, in th e B ellona C lu b , g e ts e x c ite d o v e r a n d lo u d a b o u t h is p o s t-w a r s itu a tio n , "A s h o c k e d v e te ra n , till th e n in v isib le in a

n e ig h b o u r in g a rm c h a ir, p o k e d o u t a le a n h e a d like a to rto ise a n d s a id 's h ' v ip e r is h ly " (Ch.1). O n e m ig h t ta k e " s h o c k e d v e te r a n " to b e a clev e r p u n , since th e m e m b e rs o f th e clu b w e re a lm o st e n tire ly v e te r a n s o f e a rlie r w a rs a n d th is o n e is s h o c k e d a t n o ise o n A rm istic e D ay ; G e o rg e is a s h o c k e d v e te r a n in a n o th e r sen se. B u t L e a h y g o e s e ls e w h e re , s a y in g th a t " I n s tr u c tio n in e tiq u e tte se e m s [...] c ru e l u n d e r th e circ u m sta n c e s" (3 0 ). S he m a k e s th is co m p a riso n :

Like th e tu rtle "called [...] T ortoise because he ta u g h t u s" [us = th e M ock T urtle a n d th e G ryphon] in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, th e o ld er v e teran in th e club teaches lessons th a t are skew ed a n d do n o t m ak e sense to every stu d en t. (30)

O f co u rse, S a y e rs m ay h a v e b e e n th in k in g o f th e to rto is e in W o n d e r la n d w h e n sh e c o m p a r e d th e clu b m e m b e r to o n e, b u t it se e m s a fa r-fe tc h e d a n a lo g y to th is re v ie w e r. T h e tu rtle /T o rto is e b e in g a tu to r (C h. 9) a n d a m e ta p h o ric

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te a c h e r p ro b a b ly h a s to s h u s h h is o r h e r p u p ils o c c a sio n a lly (n o t a c o n n e c tio n th a t L e a h y m a k e s).

(2) T h e g e n e ra l's b o d y is fo u n d in " a g re a t c h a ir w ith ears, a fte r th e V ic to ria n p a tte r n " (C h. 1). " E a rs " is th e c o m m o n te r m fo r th o s e fo r w a rd - s la n te d s id e s o f a rm c h a irs. L e a h y c o m p a re s th e d e a d b o d y in th e c h a ir to th e M a rc h H a re (of th e M a d T ea-P arty ) b e c a u se th e H a r e 's h o u s e is b u ilt to re s e m b le h im , w ith fu r o n th e ro o f a n d e sp e c ia lly w ith th e c h im n e y s s h a p e d to re s e m b le e a rs (th e e n d o f C h. 6). P re s u m a b ly th e g e n e ra l " d w e lls " in h is c h air a t th e clu b in th e sa m e w a y th e M a rc h H a r e can b e a s s u m e d to d w e ll in h is h o u s e (w h e n h e is fa v o r w ith T im e). T h is a ss o c ia tio n o f e a rs o f c h a irs a n d of c h im n e y s se e m s fo rced , a lth o u g h n o t q u ite so e x tre m e ly as th e tw o to rto ise s.

(3) In th e sa m e p a r a g r a p h w ith th e a ss o c ia te d e a rs, L e a h y o ffers a c o n tra st, n o t a c o m p a riso n , w ith n o c o m m e n t s h o w in g h e r a w a re n e s s th a t it is a n a r g u m e n t a g a in s t h e r p o sitio n . S h e w rite s,

[Alice] is u su a lly too b ig o r too sm all at an y g iv en m o m e n t an d changes herself [via th e m u sh ro o m , etc.] to fit in. G eorge's inability to keep ch an g in g him self to m eet society's d e m a n d s h a s m a d e h im desperate.

T here is no m agic p ill th a t h e can tak e [...]. (31)

T h e th e s is s ta te m e n t s a id th a t G e o rg e was a n A lice fig u re , n o t th a t h e c o n tra s te d w ith h er.

(4) T h e n e x t p a r a g r a p h c o n tin u e s w ith c o n tra s ts a n d c o m p a ris o n s of d w e llin g s a n d a d a p ta b ility . B u t o n e c o n tr a s t se e m s to in v o lv e s im ila r p h ra s in g . L e a h y q u o te s th is p a s s a g e a b o u t A lic e 's size in th e W h ite R a b b it's h o u se : "o n e a r m o u t o f th e w in d o w , a n d o n e fo o t u p th e c h im n e y " (Ch.4); L e a h y say s th a t it illu s tra te s " h u m a n s tu p id ity " in n o t h a v in g a p p r o p r ia te d w e llin g p lace s, as d o e s (in so m e sen se) W im s e y 's c o m m e n t a b o u t d e a d p e o p le : " D e a d p e o p le d o n 't g o a b o u t ja m m in g th e ir le g s in to th in g s a n d fo rc in g th e ir o w n jo in ts "

(U npleasantness, C h. 5). L e a h y tie s th e s e to g e th e r in h e r n e x t se n ten ce: "L iv in g p e o p le d o ja m th e m s e lv e s in to tra in s , offices a n d w a y s o f life th a t c au se d isc o m fo rt, ju s t as G e o rg e trie s to sq u e e z e h im s e lf b a c k in to 1920s B ritish so ciety ." P re s u m a b ly L e a h y r e a d s A lic e 's g e ttin g la rg e r in th e h o u s e as a sy m b o l sh e is g r o w in g in to a d u lth o o d a n d sh e h a s n o t f o u n d a n a p p ro p r ia te w a y o f life yet. But, o f co u rse, h e r a r g u m e n t o f th e sim ila rity o f c h ild re n a n d d e a d p e o p le as n o t h a v in g social d ifficu lties, is b a s e d o n th e c o n tra s t o f th e g ro w in g - u p A lic e 's " fo o t [re a d leg] u p th e c h im n e y " a n d th e d e a d G e n e ra l F e n tim a n 's n o n -" ja m m in g [his] le g s in to th in g s " (31). T h is is a clever c o m p a ris o n /c o n tra s t, b u t it se e m s u n lik e ly th a t S a y e rs w a s th in k in g a b o u t A lice w h e n sh e w ro te a b o u t th e co rp se, w ith o n e le g fo rc e d o u t o f rigor m ortis b e fo re th e stiffn e ss h a d n a tu r a lly p a s s e d off.

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(5) T h e n e x t p a r a g r a p h b e g in s th is w ay:

W im sey lifts G eneral F en tim an 's corpse carefully, n o tin g th e rigor m o rtis as "It cam e u p all of a piece, stiff as a w o o d e n p o k e r" [...]. Alice lifts th e W hite Q u e e n a n d W hite K ing living chess pieces in Through the Looking Glass [sic—n o h y p h en ] in a sim ilar fash io n [...]. (31)

W ith th e s h ift o f th e A lice b o o k s, th is n e e d n o t h a v e a n y th in g to d o w ith th e th e s is a b o u t th e s im ila rity o f G e o rg e a n d A lice, a n d , o f c o u rs e it d o e s n o t. H e re L e a h y h a s fo u n d a s im ila rity o f L o rd P e te r a n d A lice; s u r e ly sh e d o e s n o t m e a n th a t S ay ers d e lib e ra te ly g a v e th e G e n e ra l rigor m ortis in o r d e r th a t th e r e m ig h t b e a lik e n e ss to ch e ss piece s. In sh o rt, L e a h y se e m s to b e fo rc in g h e r a n a lo g ie s in o r d e r to h a v e s o m e th in g to say; if o n e e x p e c ts a w e ll- a rg u e d th e sis, th e d e v e lo p m e n t is b a d ly fla w e d . O n th e o th e r h a n d , L e a h y in h e r In tro d u c tio n , b e fo re th e firs t c h a p te r, d is c u sse s th e d r e a m a n a ly s e s o f F re u d (3), so n o d o u b t sh e can sa y a n y s o rt o f c o m p a r is o n o r c o n tr a s t can b e p a r t o f th e g e n e ra l re la tio n s h ip b e tw e e n w o rk s a t a d re a m lik e level. (In a n e n d n o te to th e se c o n d c h a p te r, L e a h y w rite s, "S o m e r e a d e r s w ill s ta rt th in k in g a b o u t A lice's A d ven tu re s in W onderland in th e e a rly p a g e s o f The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club w ith o u t im m e d ia te ly k n o w in g w h y . T h e first re fe re n c e s a re a lm o s t too s u b tle to b e n o tic e d o n a c o n sc io u s level, s u c h as th e e a rs o n G e n e ra l F e n tim a n 's c h a ir" [90n54].)

So m u c h fo r th e five illu s tra tio n s . P e rh a p s th is re v ie w e r s h o u ld a d d th a t L e a h y d is c u sse s " C u rio u s e r a n d c u rio u s e r" slig h tly la te r in th e c h a p te r (34) a n d m e n tio n s Sir Ja m e s L u b b o c k 's q u o ta tio n fr o m th e D u c h e s s 's lu lla b y in a n e n d n o te (56.n45).

T h e a b o v e d is c u s s io n is b a s e d on, as in d ic a te d , th e se c o n d sectio n of th e first c h a p te r. T h e th i r d section, " I n te rte x tu a lity a n d a v o id in g in te rte x tu a lity ," a lth o u g h to u c h in g u p o n L e w is C a rro ll to a d e g re e , h a s its m o s t in te re s tin g d is c u s s io n a b o u t " m o d e r n w r i t e r s " —w ith , as o n e w o u ld ex p ect, a c o m p a riso n , a lb e it a brief c o m p a riso n , o f S e p tim u s W a rre n S m ith , th e W o rld W ar I s h e ll-s h o c k e d v e te r a n w h o c o m m its s u ic id e in V irg in ia W o o lf's M rs. Dalloway, to G e o rg e F e n tim a n (41). In S a y e rs 's n o v e l, G e o rg e 's n e w b re a k d o w n , c o m in g fro m s tra in o v e r th e m y s te rio u s p o is o n in g o f h is g ra n d f a th e r, le a d s h im to co n fess to th e m u r d e r (C h. 21). A lso a co llectio n of m o d e r n n o v e ls, in c lu d in g W o o lf's, b y o n e o f th e p e rs o n s in U npleasantness is h e a v y o n th e w o m e n a u th o r s , b u t w ith " q u ite a ro w o f D .H . L a w re n c e " (41;

Unpleasantness, C h. 18) — L e a h y fin d s " th e list [...] as u s e f u l to d a y in id e n tif y in g g o o d a u th o r s to r e a d as it w a s in 1928" (41). (Jam es Joyce is n o t r e p r e s e n te d , b u t it is a w o m a n c h a ra c te r w h o s e co llectio n it is.)

R eview s

T h e o th e r th r e e se c tio n s o f th is se c o n d c h a p te r —"T h e C o n tra s t of Strong Poison” (44), "T h e Im p o rta n c e o f B ein g A lice" (47), a n d "A N o te o n Even the P arro t” — are, re s p e c tiv e ly a n d in b rief, a c o n n e c tio n o f th e m e s fro m Unpleasantness in to th e n e x t S a y e rs ' m y s te ry , a d is c u s s io n o f A lice a llu sio n s in o th e r o f th e m y s te rie s , a n d a d is c u s s io n o f S a y e rs ' d id a c tic fictio n (c o m p a re d b y L e a h y to L e w is C a rro ll's Sylvie and Bruno b o o k s). T h e s u b s e q u e n t c h a p te rs a re th ese:

2. V ictorians R eborn in The Documents in the Case

3. F rom th e F u n of S ensation Fiction to fin de siecle Fam ilies 4. F rom Late V ictorian to M o d ern ist —A n d On?

C onclusion

T h e se c o n d c h a p te r is su g g e s tiv e ly re la te d , in in v e rs e w a y , to th e a n n u lm e n t of th e w e d d in g o f Jo h n R u s k in a n d h is w ife Effie o n th e g r o u n d s o f h is fa ilu re to c o n s u m m a te th e m a r ria g e (she th e n m a r r ie d th e p a in te r Jo h n E v e re tt M illais a n d h a d e ig h t c h ild re n ). S a y e rs 's n o v e l s h o w s th e d a n g e r o f a lack of k n o w le d g e o f th e la w a b o u t a n n u lm e n ts . T h e th i r d c h a p te r is fo c u s e d o n th e in flu e n c e o f W ilk ie C o llin s' n o v e ls o n S a y e rs 's m y s te rie s . Since S a y e rs p la n n e d , b u t o n ly p a rtia lly fin ish e d , a b io g r a p h y o f C o llin s, h e r k n o w le d g e o f h is w o rk s is c ertain . T h e fo u r th c h a p te r e x a m in e s "S a y e rs' c o n n e c tio n s b e tw e e n th e fin d e siecle a n d m o d e r n is m , as sh e d e m o n s tra te s h o w 1890s w it a n d c y n ic ism tu r n s in to tw e n tie th c e n tu r y d e s p a ir a n d a n g s t” (125). O f co u rse, th e a c tu a l d is c u s s io n s a re m o r e c o m p lic a te d . F o r e x a m p le , W ilk ie C o llin s w ro te a n o v e l a b o u t a n u n c o n s u m m a te d m a r r ia g e —B asil—a n d S a y e rs' c o m m e n t o n it a p p e a r s o n th e se c o n d c h a p te r, n o t th e th i r d (65). A s u g g e s tio n th a t S a y e rs 's W hose Body? w a s in flu e n c e d b y S te v e n s 's Strange Case o f Dr. Jekyll and M r. H yde a p p e a r s a t th e s ta rt o f th e " I n tro d u c tio n ” (1), n o d o u b t as a n o p e n in g e x a m p le o f L e a h y 's a p p ro a c h (a n d sh e m a k e s a n in te r e s tin g —if fa r fro m c e r ta in —case fo r d e lib e ra te e c h o in g s). T h e fu ll list o f a u th o r s in v o lv e d in L e a h y 's c o m p a ris o n s a n d c o n tra s ts in c lu d e E d g a r A lla n Poe, C h a rle s D ick en s, S h e rid a n L e F a n u , M a r y E liz a b e th B ra d d o n , H e n r y Jam es, R o b e rt L o u is S tev en so n , Sir A r th u r C o n a n D oyle, H .G . W ells, Ja m e s Joyce, a n d T.S. Eliot, as w e ll as th o s e m e n tio n e d ab o v e (L e a h y 's list, w ith in tro d u c to ry sk e tc h e s, a p p e a r s in h e r

" I n tro d u c tio n ” [13-20]).

L e a h y 's " C o n c lu s io n ” b e g in s w ith a c e le b ra tio n o f th e r e a d in g of d e te c tiv e fic tio n as tr a in in g in lo o k in g fo r lite ra ry clu es o f a n in te rte x tu a l so rt (164-165). T h is re v ie w e r feels sh e is fin d in g , o fte n e n o u g h , c lu e s to m e a n in g s w h ic h w e re n o t in te n d e d . To s p e a k in critical ja rg o n , sh e fin d s w h a t sh e b e lie v e s to b e o b lig a to ry in te rte x tu a lity , b u t th is re v ie w e r b e lie v e s is m o s tly a c c id e n ta l in te rte x tu a lity (see " I n te rte x tu a lity ,” Wikipedia 15 F e b ru a r y 2016).

Mythlore 34.2, Spring/Sum mer 2016 217

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F re u d , in a la rg e ly n o n -s e x u a l w a y , is o n L e a h y 's side. (T his re v ie w e r re g re ts h is p o sitio n , fo r L e a h y re fe rs to th e tw o M y th o p o e ic P re s s v o lu m e s o n S ay ers w ith a p p re c ia tio n .)

—Joe R. C h ris to p h e r

W o r k s C i t e d

Carroll, Lewis, and A rthur Rackham, ill. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. 1907. New

Carroll, Lewis, and A rthur Rackham, ill. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. 1907. New

In document Reviews (Page 38-48)