Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

BC novels: Spiritual panic/heaving chesticles genre

Bertrand Sinclair in his 1922 Vancouver novel The Hidden Places is so full of emotion for his character Hollister that he chokes him and us, the reader, with it. The novel may be the equiv of a literary earthquake.

Have to share this chunk, which is in fairness by its end an earnestly serious attempt to depict the character’s strife at returning home from the war with facial disfigurement. There is, however, a perplexing line in the middle:

“In the darkness of his room, with all the noisy traffic of a seaport city rumbling under his windows, Hollister lay on his bed and struggled against that terrifying depression which had seized him, that spirtual panic. It was real. It was based upon undeniable reality. He was no more captain of his soul than any man born of woman has ever been when he descends into the dark places. But he knew that he must shake off that feeling, or go mad, or kill himself. One of the three”

Are there men ever not born of women? And if so how do these men make their entrance into this world and navigate being captain of their souls? I’m intrigued. What Sinclair has given us here and admits handily to us is a classic example of the spirtual panic genre or to give it a more contemporary slant: the heaving chesticles genre.

Calm down laddie.

more snips to come! Have also chanced upon another weather snip in my old favourite The Nine O’Clock Gun by Roland Wild.

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