David Lindsay Message Board

Paddy Mendez posts on 2/25/2009 9:24:10 PM I personally find David Lindsay's novels wonderful. 'A Voyage to Arcturus' was the name given by his publishers to his first novel which he titled 'Nightspore on Tormance'. Although some people have expressed disatisfaction with this novel this is because they have failed to understand that it is symbolic IN ITS ENTIRETY. The events, the settings, the characters, the names of the characters, the things they choose to say to each other are all letters in a symbolic language which Lindsay has created and is attempting to speak to us in. Those who accuse him of poor writing (a common slander) simply haven't realised that they are dealing with a different KIND of writing. To read Lindsay properly you have to read his books several times and read them as you would read poetry or listen to great music, if you do that you will not be sorry for the effort you put in. I love in particular Lindsay's third novel Sphinx which features a central character who has studied chemistry entirely without reference to the chemistry anyone else has studied (this is so that he can preserve his originality and symbolises Lindsay's approach to literature) and has discovered a method of recording dreams. It also features a character who has composed a beautiful and original piece of music . . .called 'Sphinx'. The symbolism and self reference and circularity reward almost endless re-reading. Devil's Tor is frequently slandered as ponderous and similar but if one actually starts by treating it as worth reading and PUTS SOME EFFORT IN then one gets the marvellous reward that one deserves. Lindsay tries to express the nature of all being in his novels, naturally enough they aren't 'light reading' and anyone who approaches them in that way would be better not bothering. 'The Haunted Woman' and 'Adventures of Monsieur de Mailly' are much the easiest of his books and I would recomend 'The Haunted Woman' as a 'way in' to an appreciation of his style. I'll just mention 'The Violet Apple', there I've done that. Now I suppose someone else should have a go.

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