Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend Is Laid
a novel by Malcolm Lowry, published posthumously in 1968, Under the Volcano
Its title is taken from Abraham Cowley's elegy ‘On the Death of Mr William Harvey’. The novel, which is largely autobiographical, and almost confessional in tone, concerns Sigbjorn Wilderness, a middle-aged writer with a serious drink problem who, accompanied by his wife, Primrose, journeys from his home in Canada to Mexico, on a kind of pilgrimage of self-discovery that is also a descent into hell. In theme and content, the book has many similarities with Lowry's greatest work, Under the Volcano (1947), although, unlike the earlier novel, it ends on a note of reconciliation and relative optimism, as Sigbjorn conquers the devils of his past and looks forward to a new life.