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Excerpt from “Ivan’s Corner” Newsletter

… In these newsletters, I will bring up unusual elements of the writing craft and my encounters with them….

Having read Dark of the Earth several times, I noted the concepts of orientation and direction are seeded in many places. I was aware of doing that to some degree, but not to the extent I found it to be. As an example, Bruni says Maw is much like Alice but oriented in a different but no less mystifying direction. In other places, events are described as going south, or Percy feels transformed but in an unknown direction….

The novel emphasizes disorientation as much as it does direction to underscore the disharmony and confusion that the malevolent and materialistic Cushmans bring to Rhinebeck. Even the simple act of serving champagne to newly arrived guests is disrupted when Stanley enters with four champagne glasses only to return to the kitchen with two untouched. Many of the usual traditions, such as the men congregating in the library after dinner, are modified. The novel also ends without all the cars leaving together as in the prior two. It can be disconcerting.

Added to this is a spiritual and temporal disorientation. Time moves strangely, and the mystical world that permeates Rhinebeck is more insistent and present. Nonetheless, all is not dark, and that is the message of this third in the series….

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