Thursday, January 04, 2007
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog: If Dylan Thomas Wrote Mysteries
I was just perusing Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, Dylan Thomas's lovely collection of stories chronicling the days of his youth. Of course, he never really got to be anything much more than a youth, dying as he did at the age of 39. And what a loss to the world of literature!
I sometimes wonder what Thomas would have done with the mystery genre; certainly he captures many mysterious moments in his prose.
For example, this bit from a story called "Just Like Little Dogs:"
" . . . I was a lonely night-walker and a steady stander-at-corners. I liked to walk through the wet town after midnight, when the streets were deserted and the window lights out, alone and alive on the glistening tram-lines in dead and empty High Street under the moon, gigantically sad in the damp streets by ghostly Ebeneezer Chapel. And I never felt more a part of the remote and overpressing world, or more full of love and arrogance and pity and humility . . . I leant against the wall of a derelict house in the residential areas or wandered in the empty rooms, stood terrified on the stairs or gazing through the smashed windows at the sea or at nothing, and the lights going out one by one in the avenues. Or I mooched in a half-built house, with the sky stuck in the roof and cats on the ladders and the wind shaking through the bare bones of the bedrooms . . . "
He packed his paragraphs with mood and mystery, as well as a heartbreaking understanding of the loneliness of humanity. But the words above speak for themselves, don't they?