Literary Allusions in Folly…

Years ago I had to write a paper on Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient and in the course of my research I stumbled across an index to the novel compiled by Lisa Mirabile.  It was a marvelous research tool that proved especially useful, given the non-linear structure of the novel.  Since writing that paper, I’ve often thought how marvelous it would be if the nation’s English professors, instead of assigning mostly-useless group presentations, had their students compile indices.  It’s the sort of bull-labour that undergrads would be good at, it would foster their attention to close detail, and most importantly, it would be extremely useful for other scholars.  But I’m not holding my breath.

One of my goals for this blog is to produce an index for each of the major Canadian novels from the First World War.  As of today, I am nearly done an index to All Else is Folly, but I have to admit that it is a larger task than I thought it would be.  I’ve re-readFollytwice now, the index is compiled, and now I’m just editing it, cross-referencing entries, verifying page numbers, etc.  Hopefully when all is done, anyone interested in these novels will be able to quickly find, (for example), every female character that smokes, every mention of the Ross rifle, every rum ration, etc.

In the meantime here’s a teaser of the literary allusions I’ve compiled:

Literary Allusions:
Alighieri, Dante: Dante and Beatrice: (174)
Browning, Robert: The Last Ride: (105)
Falcon reads: (115)
Odi et amo (I hate and I love): (330)
Chaucer, Geoffery: (322)
De Bergerac, Cyrano: Falcon’s reconstructed nose resembles that of: (327)
Ellis, Havelock:
Psychology of Sex (189)
Hay, John: The Mystery of Gilgal (322)
Homer: The Odyssey (18)
Hughes, Thomas: Tom Brown’s School Days
film: (310)
book: (324)
Kipling, Rudyard:
: (173)
Referred to as “soldier’s laureate” (173)
Marvell, Andrew: The Garden: “A green thought in a green shade” (175)
Meredith, George:
Beauchamp’s Career
: One of Falcon’s ‘old favorites’ (327)
Falcon scribbled a verse translation of Catallus in his copy of: (330)
Moore, George: Memoirs of my Dead Life (8)
Neitzsche, Friedrich:
Rump considers he must resemble “one of those blond beasts that that fellow
Neitzsche wrote about”: (110)
Rump refers to himself as “a blond beast”: (112)
O’Shaughnessy, Arthur: Ode, (from Music and Moonlight) Falcon quotes: (76)
Orczy, Baroness Emma: (possibly).  Rump refers to himself as “The Laughing Cavalier” which could refer to Orczy’s novel, published in 1913, or just as likely, the Dutch painting by Frans Hals, which the novel refers to: (112)
Scott, Walter:
Bonnie Dundee: (29); (342)
Note: this appears to be the MacIntyre Highlanders’ regimental march.
Old Mortality
Note: the quotation “One crowded hour of glorious life” appears as an anonymous chapter epigraph in Scott’s novel Old Mortality (1816), the first of his Tales of my Landlord series.  It is taken from a poem called The Call by Lt. General Thomas Osbert Mordaunt (1729-1809), written during and about the seven-years war (1765-63).  Scott changes the wording slightly from the original, as in turn does Falcon in his quotation, referring to an hour of “glorious strife”: page (291).
Sir Walter’s Muse: (344)
Shakespeare, William: Sonnet 129: “Expense of spirit in a waste of shame” (343)
Shaw, George Bernard:
Falcon criticized by Phyllis for quoting “warmed-over Shaw”: (34-35)
As Desmond Law (124-128)
Swift, Jonathan: “Agonies of Gulliver”: (281)
Virgil: The Aeneid: Rump refers to Falcon as ‘Pious Aeneas’: (70)
Wilde, Oscar: “Life was an imitation of literature” (14)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s