infobox Book |
name = Silverlock
image_caption = First edition cover
John Myers Myers
language = English
E. P. Dutton
media_type = Print (Hardback &
pages = 349 pp
isbn = NA
"Silverlock" is a novel by
John Myers Myerspublished in 1949. It recounts the adventures of A. Clarence Shandon as he takes a trip through the land of great literature. It makes many allusions to famous works of literature including the Odysseyand Don Quixote. In fact every character (besides the protagonist) and every location visited is from another work of literature.
This novel follows A. Clarence Shandon, who is plucked from a life of gloom into an adventurous journey through the "Commonwealth of Letters", an allegorical land of major literature. Golias, his guide, is a man well versed in this land, and is in fact each of the great storytellers of the fictional world embodied in a single person.
Shandon is a bored thirty-something with a BA in business administration from Chicago who is stuck in a dead-end existence. While on a sea-voyage his ship founders and he is washed ashore in the mystical land known only as "The Commonwealth".
Shandon is referred to as "Silverlock" by his guide, Golias. Part of the reader's pleasure is in trying to identify the places and characters in the book, since they are all from other works of literature or mythology.
"In this richly picaresque story of a modern man's fruitful adventurings in legendary realms of gold, John Myers Myers has presented a glowing tapestry of real excitement and meaning. In essence, this is the tale of Silverlock's wanderings in the Commonwealth, the land of immortal heroes real and imagined, in search of his true destiny. In form, it is sheer headlong narrative, with occasional clangorous verses woven into its fabric. In content, it is something between a many-peopled, incident-studded story of high emprise, and a morality for our time. Always it is fresh and bold in concept, superb in its execution . . . How A. Clarence Shandon came to the Commonwealth, exchanging his everyday name and Chicago-bound life for that of a traveler beyond time; what great ones of old legend and modern story he encountered, and to what purpose; what loves he knew and what fights he fought; what trials befell him in the Pit, and what truth he discovered when at last he won to the Hippocrene Spring -- these are matters of such crowding variety and implicit significance as the reader must discover for himself . . . And in the discovering, the literate reader will have a wonderful time. He will be amused by the wicked wit that illumines the vast panorama, and intrigued by the challenge it offers his own learning. Most of all, he will be impressed by its profound knowledge, of our cultural heritage, and stirred by its vital interpretations."--From first edition the dust jacket [cite book | first=John Myers | last= Myers|title=Silverlock | publisher=E P Dutton | date=1949 ]
Characters in "Silverlock"
*A. Clarence Shandon, called "Silverlock" in the novel because of the silver streak in his hair: protagonist
*Golias: Shandon's guide. His name is that of the mythical patron saint of wandering bards. [cite web |url=http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/golias1.html |title= The Archpoet: The Confession Of Golias |accessdate=2008-08-10 |work=Medieval Sourcebook |publisher=Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies |date=Last Modified: Dec, 2006 ] . He is also identified as as
Orpheus, Taliesin, Amergin, Virgil, and other wandering poets.
Faustafter his damnation
*Pathfinder (from "
The Last of the Mohicans")
Don Quixoteand his squire, Sancho Panza
Don Juanas a friendly ne'er-do-well
The Mad Hatter
The Green Knight
Literary significance & criticism
"John Myers Myers is remembered [largely] for SILVERLOCK, a recursive fantasy that centres on a picaresque voyage by a shipwrecked protagonist through the 'Commonwealth' (of literature), where he encounters numerous characters and situations from world literature and mythology -- the Ass of Apuleius, Beowulf, the Green Knight, Robin Hood, Dante's Hell, Friar John from RABELAIS, and many more. The novel is light and pleasant, rather in the manner of Christopher Morley . . . " Grant [cite book | title=The Encyclopedia of Fantasy | date=1997 | last=Clute | first=Grant ]
" . . . Gulliverian fantasy in which a castaway is washed up on the shore of the Commonwealth, where all the great characters of literature are to be found; the hapless hero wanders around, repeatedly getting himself into difficulties and finding famous rescuers, eventually cultivating a kind of heroism. An amusing exercise in literary game playing . . . " Barron [cite book | title=Fantasy Literature | date=1990 | last=Barron ]
"Journeys of self-discovery appear in every genre, teaching us about the main character as well as ourselves. The journey takes many forms: Gilgamesh searching for immortality; Dante's trips to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory; and Wyatt and Billy's road trip in Easy Rider, among many others. These voyages speak to human beings' desire to answer fundamental questions about their place in the world. John Myers Myers takes a novel approach to this genre in Silverlock. His main character learns about himself by participating in the lives of other literary figures." Eller [cite web
title=John Myers Myers, Silverlock (Ace Books, 2005)
publisher=Green Man Review]
*1949, USA, E P Dutton, 1949, hardback (First edition) [ [http://lccn.loc.gov/49005070 Library of Congress listing] ]
*1982, USA, Ace Books (ISBN 0-441-76673-0), Pub date ? December 1982, paperback
*1992, USA, Buccaneer Books (ISBN 0-89968-409-2), Pub date ? December 1992, hardback
*1996, USA, Time Warner International (ISBN 0-441-76674-9), Pub date 1 April 1996, paperback
*2004, USA, Nesfa Press (ISBN 1-886778-52-3), Pub date ? February 2004, hardback (with Silverlock Companion)
*2005, USA, Ace Books (ISBN 0-441-01247-7), Pub date 30 April 2005, paperback
* [http://www.anitraweb.org/commonwealth/ Visit the Commonwealth of Letters]
* [http://abraxis.com/lverner/fantasy/silverlock.htm Lee's Silverlock Reading Journal]
** isfdb title|1211
** isfdb title|6356|The Moon's Fire-Eating Daughter
* [http://www.nesfa.org/press/Books/Myers.html "Silverlock", including "The Silverlock Companion"] : NESFA Press edition with annotations and further information
* [http://www.greenmanreview.com/book/book_myers_silverlock.html Review by Eric Eller]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Silverlock — This is a pre medieval English surname, generally recorded in the West Country, which perhaps should be better known. It is, or rather was, a either a name of status or a nickname for a person who perhaps was prematurely grey haired. In the 20th… … Surnames reference
The Hollowing — infobox Book | name = The Hollowing title orig = translator = image caption = First edition cover author = Robert Holdstock illustrator = cover artist = Geoff Taylor country = United Kingdom language = English series = Mythago Wood series genre … Wikipedia
Parallel universe (fiction) — A parallel universe or alternative reality is a hypothetical self contained separate reality coexisting with one s own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a multiverse , although this term can also be used to describe the possible… … Wikipedia
John Myers Myers — John Myer Myers (January 11, 1906 October 30, 1988) was an American author best known for his fantasy novel, Silverlock . He lived in Tempe, Arizona. FictionFantasy * Silverlock (1949) * The Moon s Fire Eating Daughter (1981) Historical Fiction * … Wikipedia
John Myers Myers — (* 11. Januar 1906 in Northport (New York); † 30. Oktober 1988) war ein US amerikanischer Autor von Fantasy und Western Romanen. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werk 3 … Deutsch Wikipedia
Gulliver's Travels — (1726, amended 1735), officially Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships , is a novel by Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a… … Wikipedia
Tyrfing — For other uses see Tyrfing (disambiguation) Tyrfing or Tirfing was a magic sword which figures in a poem from the Poetic Edda called Hervararkviða , and in Hervarar saga. The name is also used in the saga to denote the Goths and the form Tervingi … Wikipedia
Izaak Walton — Born 9 August 1593 Stafford, Staffordshire, England Died 15 December 1683(1683 12 15) (aged 90) … Wikipedia
Archpoet — This article is about the 12th century anonymous Latin poet. For the early Irish concept of arch poet , see Ollam. Archpoet Born circa 1130 Died circa 1165 Pen name Archipoeta Language Latin … Wikipedia
NESFA Press — logo NESFA Press is the publishing arm of the New England Science Fiction Association, Inc. The NESFA Press primarily produces three types of books: Books honoring the guest(s) of honor at their annual convention, Boskone, and at some… … Wikipedia