The Letters of Malcolm Lowry and Gerald Noxon, 1940-1952
Nancy Strobel, Paul Tiessen
UBC Press, Nov 1, 2011 - Literary Collections - 180 pages
The eighty letters, cards and other messages in this correspondence -- produced mainly by Lowry and Gerald Noxon but also by Margerie (Bonner) Lowry -- offer a fresh introduction to Lowry, a certain 'Canadian' Lowry. At the same time they give insight into two writing careers (Bonner and Noxon) closely intertwined with his and vigorously championed by him in the 1940s.
The letters observe the mind of Lowry at play on questions of literary technique, on films, and on the beauties and rigors of life in his Dollarton shack on an inlet near Vancouver. They reveal a warm, supportive, enormously sensitive and intelligent man, modifying somewhat the image of him now available. With their dramatization of Noxon's role in Lowry's writing career, they illuminate for the first time something of Lowry's method of actually solving the problems he encountered in re-writing Under the Volcano.
Noxon, CBC radio dramatist, novelist, and poet, emerges as a talented and perceptive writer who was able to encourage Lowry both morally and practically. Noxon's deftness in expertly combining the unofficial roles of devoted and spirited family member and literary editor gives the letters -- often brimming with high spirits and fond affection -- a relaxed and buoyant tone missing from much other Lowry correspondence.