Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto:  Message ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Buchan’s Witch Wood
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 9 October, 2020 11:40PM
This novel of the 17th century is atmospheric and a real work of historical imagination. It’s not a supernatural thriller. Does anyone want to begin to discuss it this month?

Re: Buchan’s Witch Wood
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 10 October, 2020 09:19PM
Right now I'm hung up in Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" (a mixed bag, if ever there was one--"Finnegans Wake", anyone?), plus I'm doing a bit of programming for a relative (scripting), but would be interested in going back to Kipling, later.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: Buchan’s Witch Wood
Posted by: Kipling (IP Logged)
Date: 11 October, 2020 10:16PM
Read it many years ago. The Scottish dialect would have thrown me had I not been in a seminar on New England Regionalism in the 1980s. It is a plodding novel that has convincing period atmosphere and characterization. The strange circumstances are eventually unraveled, if never entirely explained. If you comment on specific chapters I will reread; there's an obscure witchcraft novel I like better, a collaboration (Barry Pain & another author). It's included in the Hippocampus Press volume of Pain's weird fiction. Would be an interesting comparison, more overtly sinister than the Buchan book.

jkh

Re: Buchan’s Witch Wood
Posted by: Kipling (IP Logged)
Date: 11 October, 2020 10:26PM
The Shadow of the Unseen (1907), by Barry Pain and James Blyth.

jkh

Re: Buchan’s Witch Wood
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 14 October, 2020 10:56AM
"Witch Wood" is one of the books on my shelf I want to read but there always seems to be something more interesting, more inviting to read, so God only knows if I ever get to reading it ...

Re: Buchan’s Witch Wood
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 25 October, 2020 10:43PM
And now you’ve started it, Cathbad, and I’m so busy with other reading that I don’t suppose I’ll get to it soon.

Re: Buchan’s Witch Wood
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 26 October, 2020 06:16AM
I’ve reached the part where David comes upon a scene of pagan revelry, confronts the revellers and is attacked - only to wake up back in his own bed. I actually find the historical context more interesting tbh. I could check out the background (The Kirk, ’Montrose the Malignancy’ etc) on wiki but want to hear Buchan’s perspective on it first.

Funnily enough, I began reading an historical novel by a largely forgotten Irish author - ‘Seek the Fair Land’ by Walter Macken - a few weeks ago, which was not only set during the same period, but had much the same strengths and weaknesses, despite being written a lot later: a good grounding in history, and a lot of incidental details, but with pretty broad characterisation. I suspect this was typical of the genre, and that one was necessary to complement the other? (ie, if your characters are types, you need to compensate with a solid sense of period).



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 26 Oct 20 | 06:32AM by Cathbad.

Re: Buchan’s Witch Wood
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 26 October, 2020 12:04PM
Buchan wrote a biography of Montrose -- I have a copy but haven't read it yet!

Re: Buchan’s Witch Wood
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 26 October, 2020 01:06PM
David’s character arc seems to revolve around his attitude toward Montrose - at first he despises him, based on his reputation, then meets him in person (incognito) and is impressed. Then discovers the deception and is conflicted. There’s a lot more emphasis on his relationship with Montrose than there is on his burgeoning romance with the local laird’s niece!

Re: Buchan’s Witch Wood
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 26 October, 2020 08:21PM
I said I was busy with other things (I am) and wouldn't be taking up this novel now. But I just got an interlibrary loan copy of a different novel with a 17th-century setting and have begun that while I have it....



Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
Top of Page