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By L. J. Davis

L.J. Davis's 1971 novel, A significant Life, is a blistering black comedy concerning the American quest for redemption via actual property and a gritty photo of latest York urban in cave in. simply out of faculty, Lowell Lake, the Western-born hero of Davis's novel, heads to ny, the place he plans to make it vast as a author. in its place he reveals a role as a technical editor, at which he toils away whereas ardour leaks out of his marriage to a pleasant Jewish lady. Then Lowell discovers a gorgeous crumbling mansion in a crime-ridden component of Brooklyn, and opposed to all recommendation, let alone his wife's will, sinks his each penny into procuring it. He quits his task, strikes in, and spends day and evening on demolition and building. ultimately he has a undertaking: he will dig up the misplaced background of his condominium; he'll fix it to its prior grandeur. he'll make reliable on every little thing that's long gone improper together with his existence, and he'll even homicide to do it.

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She and her dream companions make a long journey to the land of Oz which takes several weeks, as we reckon. The film itself lasts an hour and a half in the watching. So when Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow skip up the yellow-brick road, how long does it take? In Dorothy's unconscious mind, it can occupy only a microsecond or two. In implied narrative time, the journey will take several days. On screen, the yellow-brick road sequence is abbreviated into ten or so minutes.

It was Victorian folklore that all idiots had massive penises (something that features in depictions of the age's favourite mascot, Mr Punch, and his phallic truncheon). Every schoolboy would have a sniggering awareness of the double entendre in Mr Dick's name. Joss Lutz Marsh, in a perceptive article,3 notes another interesting echofromFanny Hill in Dickens's Dombey and Son. When Florence Dombey loses her way in London she is abducted by a horrible crone who calls herself'Good Mrs Brown'. 'A very ugly old woman, with red rims round her eyes', Mrs Brown deals in rags and bones in a small way.

Does he want his daughters to be scalped, or worse? Why does he release one of his senior aides, Major Duncan Heyward, to bring his daughters to him instead of a junior officer? It is the more mysterious since Heyward, as it emerges, does not know the route and gets hopelessly lost. Why does Heyward employ as scout the treacherous Magua, whom he knows to have a burning grudge against Colonel Munro? If ever a trip through the woods was destined for disaster, this is it. Such questions fade with the series of exciting events which ensue—particularly after Heyward's little band picks up with the frontiersman Hawk-eye (Natty Bumppo) and his two Mohican comrades, Chingachgook and Uncas.

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