"In The Green Isle of the Great Deep", Gunn continues the adventures of the two protagonists from his 1942 novel "Young Art and Old Hector". The unlikely friends, representing the extremes of age and youth, are out on an undercover poaching trip when they become swept up in the currents of a salmon pool. When they awaken they have been transported ...
"In The Green Isle of the Great Deep", Gunn continues the adventures of the two protagonists from his 1942 novel "Young Art and Old Hector". The unlikely friends, representing the extremes of age and youth, are out on an undercover poaching trip when they become swept up in the currents of a salmon pool. When they awaken they have been transported from the Highlands of our world to an alternative Highland universe: a beautiful, fertile land called the Green Isle. Despite the abundance of the land, and the trees dripping with fruit, the population are subdued and miserable, ruled over by a strict upper class and forbidden to touch the fruit. Young Art, however, is not so easily controlled and his actions begin a chain of events which will change the Green Isle forever. Gunn draws many parallels in this tale, from the biblical references to Eden and the Tree of Knowledge, to contemporary commentary on the Nazi situation in 1940s Europe. Told fully in Highland dialect, 'The Green Isle of the Great Deep" is a both a wonderful Scottish parable and a warning of the dangers of power and its abuse.
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Publishers Weekly, 1995-03-20 Limned in a gnarly, homespun Scots dialect, Gunn's earnest parable again features the two eponymous characters of Young Art and Old Hector, whose companionship illustrates the best aspects of youth and age. During WWII, eight-year-old Art and his octogenarian friend Hector have an adventure that allows Gunn to ponder the question of how God could allow the Nazis to inflict the horrible atrocity of mind control. Embarked on a slightly illegal fishing excursion, the poachers fall into the depth of the Hazel Pool and regain consciousness in a wonderfully fertile land called The Green Isle. Though the trees in the orchards are laden with apples, grapes and oranges, the subdued and obedient inhabitants are forbidden to eat the fruit because it is poison. This distorted version of Paradise is controlled by a hierarchy ensconced at The Seat on the Rock. Refusing to be enslaved by the system, Art defiantly takes some fruit, a metaphor for the truth, but he is subject to instant retribution. His name a clear portent, Art thus becomes a symbol of artistic freedom, ``the living poem and the eternal legend.'' The late Gunn (1891-1973) doggedly presses home his warning message about the abuses of knowledge and power, but, despite its passages of lyrical description, the narrative lacks the subtlety and grace characteristic of his earlier work. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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