Sunday, February 7, 2016

Erskine Childers, the Gay Pursuit of a Perilous Quest, and "The Letter"

I've posted before that infinitely alluring passage on the perilous quest.
But a few words about the first chapter.

Chapter 1, "The Letter," in THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS starts with a racial allusion you have to deal with as best you can then it goes on for half a dozen pages which bewitch me every time I read them. Who can rival the tone of these pages? Henry James a few times, Herman Melville, John Buchan (not for six pages at a time?), William Faulkner. Who can draw you in like Childers, making you wince, laugh, sympathize, and give yourself over into his hands?

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