Notes on Contemporary Literature

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 3, May

A Critical Clue: The Life and Times of Pynchon's Shale Schoenmaker
Thomas Pynchon's novel V. is often compared to detective fiction, and a critical clue to the story arguably lies in the history of Shale Schoenmaker, a character generally neglected by critics. Shale's life, however, can be read as a capsule version...
Domenichino and Huxley's Antic Hay
On the opening page of Aldous Huxley's Antic Hay (1923), the teacher Theodore Gumbril speculates during school prayers "about the existence and nature of God." He can accept God in his heart as a physical and emotional force, but not in his head through...
Echoes of Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 in Yeats's "The Indian to His Love"
Critics have assiduously identified almost all the allusions to Shakespeare in W.B. Yeats's poetry. However, they have not so far heard the dormant resonances of Shakespeare's well-known sonnet 116 in Yeats's rather lesser known poem "The Indian to...
Sources for LeCarre's Pyms
John LeCarre's epistolary novel A Perfect Spy draws its central conflict from the battle between the British Parliament and Charles I, as recounted in Winston Churchill's four-volume A History of the English Speaking Peoples. The conflict may be familiar...
T.E. Lawrence and the English Patient
The life of T.E. Lawrence and his epic account of the Arabian campaign, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926), though not mentioned in the acknowledgments, had a powerful influence on Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient (1992). Both Lawrence and Ladislaus...