Swinging the Maelstrom is the story of a musician enduring existence in the Bellevue psychiatric hospital in New York. Written during his happiest and most fruitful years, this novella reveals the deep healing influence that the idyllic retreat at Dollarton had on Lowry. This long-overdue scholarly edition will allow scholars to engage in a genetic study of the text and reconstruct, step by step, the creative process that developed from a rather pessimistic and misanthropic vision of the world as a madhouse (The Last Address, 1936), via the apocalyptic metaphors of a world on the brink of Armageddon (The Last Address, 1939), to a world that, in spite of all its troubles, leaves room for self-irony and humanistic concern (Swinging the Maelstrom,1942–1944).
Chris Ackerley's research area is modernism and his speciality is annotation, especially of the writings of Malcolm Lowry and Samuel Beckett. His first book (with Lawrence J. Clipper), A Companion to Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano (UBC Press, 1984), has become a standard reference.
Vik Doyen studied at the University of Pennsylvania and did archival research in the Malcolm Lowry Collection at UBC for his doctoral dissertation Fighting the Albatross of Self : A Genetic Study of the Literary Work of Malcolm Lowry (Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven, 1973). He also presented several papers on Lowry at international conferences.
Patrick A. McCarthy is the author or editor of 11 books or monographs, over 50 scholarly articles and numerous reference articles and reviews. His principal publications on Malcolm Lowry include Forests of Symbols: World, Text, and Self in Malcolm Lowry’s Fiction (University of Georgia Press, 1994); Malcolm Lowry’s “La Mordida”: A Scholarly Edition (University of Georgia Press, 1996); and “Under the Volcano,” in The Literary Encyclopedia.
Miguel Mota is an associate professor of English at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He has published on numerous 20th-century and contemporary writers and filmmakers, including Malcolm Lowry, Derek Jarman, Jeanette Winterson and Mike Leigh.
Paul Tiessen is the founding editor of the Malcolm Lowry Newsletter (1977–1984) and The Malcolm Lowry Review (1984–2002). Besides scholarly articles and chapters in books on the work of Malcolm Lowry, Tiessen wrote the Introduction for Malcolm Lowry and Margerie Bonner Lowry’s Notes on a Screenplay for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night (Bruccoli Clark, 1976).
Cover art: “Night” (1938) by Philip Surrey reproduced with permission by Nicholas Simpson