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Creole Chips (1937)
Corentyne Thunder (1941)
A Morning at the Office (1950)
Shadows Move Among Them (1951)
Children of Kaywana (1952)
The Weather in Middenshot (1952)
The Life and Death of Sylvia (1953)
Kaywana Stock: The Harrowing of Hubertus (1954)
The Adding Machine (a short fable) (1954)
My Bones and My Flute (1955)
Of Trees and the Sea (1956)
A Tale of Three Places (1957)
Kaywana Blood (1958)
The Weather Family (1958)
A Tinkling in the Twilight (1959)
Latticed Echoes (1960)
The Mad MacMullochs (1961)
Thunder Returning (1961)
The Piling of Clouds (1961)
The Wounded and the Worried (1962)
Uncle Paul (1963)
A Swarthy Boy (autiobiography) (1963)
The Aloneness of Mrs. Chatham (1965)
The Jilkington Drama (1965)
With a Carib Eye (travel)(1965)
On behalf of the Mittelholzer family and for my own research purposes I am looking to acquire anything regarding Edgar Mittelholzer and older books about Guyana. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are always accepting submissions for content
Monday, February 20, 2006
Curiosities by Dennis Lien
My Bones and My Flute, by Edgar Mittelholzer (1955)
GHOST stories in the M. R. James tradition rarely work at novel length, and at any length they seem to find dark, cold scenes most congenial. Here's an exception: a Jamesian novel that plays out in daylight at a jungle station in British Guinea, during a hot summer.
The narrator, a would-be Bohemian, accompanies the Nevinson family (father, mother, and adolescent daughter) on their trip upriver to the camp. Mr. Nevinson has come into possession of a manuscript left by an occult-dabbling Dutchman who died in the jungle almost two hundred years ago. Anyone who touches the manuscript falls under a curse and begins hearing music of a flute where no flute can be found. It gets nearer each time, until the victim feels compelled to follow the music.
Narrator Milton is the only person Nevinson knows who might possibly believe so wild a tale. Credence grows, however, as each of the main characters handles the manuscript and falls under the spell. The only way to free themselves is to find and bury the Dutchman's bones and flute — but the search seems hopeless, even before sinister entities begin to manifest themselves in their dreams:
"And then just suddenly that bony hand clutched my arm and something whispered in my ear. It said ‘No farther today.' And then I woke up."The flawed characters are prone to petty disputes, and all the more believable for that, and for the fact that some of them have read Poe and other fantasists and try to base strategies on lessons learned thus. Mittelholzer (1909-1965), like his characters, was a British Guinese of mixed race; his successful literary career soured, and, like his ghostly Dutchman, he died a suicide.