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Special reality: Malcolm Lowry's last notebook

Tookey, H (2023) Special reality: Malcolm Lowry's last notebook. New Writing The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing. ISSN 1479-0726

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How does it feel to encounter a writer through his or her archive? In this piece of creative non-fiction, I explore my encounter with Malcolm Lowry through his archive at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver: specifically, through a set of love-notes written to his wife, Margerie Bonner, and through his 'Last Notebook', a tiny notebook kept during the Lowrys' trip to Northumberland and the Lake District in summer 1957, just weeks before Lowry's death. I reflect on the sense of connection across time created by this encounter with a writer's archive, and connect this to the way that Lowry himself explores the same sense of connection in his short story 'Strange Comfort Afforded by the Profession'. I consider what type of text a writer's notebook might be, particularly whether or not we might agree with Kirsty Gunn's claim that a writer's notebook is the 'most private' type of writing, and I reflect on what my own responses to Lowry's notes to Margerie and 'Last Notebook' might tell us about our relationship, as readers, to those writers who matter the most to us.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Malcolm Lowry; writers' archives; writers' notebooks; 'Strange Comfort Afforded by the Profession'; 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy; 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing; 2005 Literary Studies
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CD Diplomatics. Archives. Seals > CD921 Archives
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
Divisions: Screen School
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2023 14:26
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2023 12:15
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/14790726.2023.2223180
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20316

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