The Sheltering Sky
- Author: Paul Bowles (1910 – 1999)
- Title: The Sheltering Sky
- Published: 1949
- Theme: existential despair, determinism (fate)
- Trivia: Nr 97 on Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels
- Trivia: List of challenges 2017
- The story centers on Porter Moseby and his wife Kit
- …a married couple originally from New York.
- They travel to the North African desert with their friend Tunner.
- Port and Kit attempt to resolve their marital difficulties.
- Ironically in instead of saving a marriage….they create a love triangle.
Title: The Sheltering Sky
- This refers to a sky as a solid thing…protecting Kit and Port
- …from what’s behind.
- “But what’s behind?
- Nothing, I suppose. Just darkness (death) (ch 13)
- In chapter 23 there is another reference to death/dying.
- “A black star appears…in the night sky’s clarity.
- …piercing the fine fabric of the sheltering sky, take repose.” (ch 23)
Strong point: images of life
- Life is a cigarette …the first few puffs it tastes wonderful
- …and you don’t think if its ever being used up (ch 19)
- Life is a cliff…..you just never turn around and look back when you’re climbing.
- It makes you sick.
- This book felt like homework…a real chore.
- But that should not diminish its merit.
- I was just not up to the task
- …probing into the psychedelic inner world of Bowles.
- It’s also fairly well known that he took drugs
- (hashish known as kif, and majoun, a cannabis jelly)
- …and the effect on his writing is palpable.
- It glimmers with existential energy.
- This book should be on the top 100 novels list
- …but you should be #InTheMood….to read it!