The enduring power and tragedy of Malcolm Lowry’s ‘Under the Volcano’, 70 years on by Mark Goodall
This article has been published on The Independent. It begins:
The book took Lowry years and many rewrites to complete, and even then faced many rejections. In a famous letter to Jonathan Cape, who eventually published the book in 1947, Lowry remains defiant. He was an expert letter writer and often spent more time on these than on his novels.
The publisher had suggested various rewrites to the manuscript, and Lowry replied with a 32-page response detailing precisely (and with consummate literary skill) how and why it was not possible for him to change a word, how all of it was “absolutely necessary”.
Incredibly, the publisher relented.