The Flood


From THE GLASTONBURY ROMANCE (1933) by John Cowper Powys:

“One especial thing that struck his pragmatic and literal mind was the extraordinary difference between this murderous-looking flood-water and all other bodies of water he had ever seen or known. The brownish-grey expanse before him was not like the sea; nor was it like a lake. It was a thing different from every other natural phenomenon. A breath of abominable and shivering chilliness rose up from this moving plain of waters, a chilliness that was more than material, a chilliness that carried with it a wafture of mental horror. It was as if some ultimate cosmogonic catastrophe implying the final extinction of all planetary life had commenced. A wind of death rose from that mounting flood that carried a feeling of water-soaked disfigured corpses!”


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2 responses to “The Flood

  1. These Somerset Levels sadly have remained flooded by the serial storms for some weeks now as envisaged by this novel.
    More of my quotes from it:

  2. Also from ‘The Glastonbury Romance’ (and my sympathy to all who are flooded in UK at the particular moment):

    “…when darkness falls before people prepare for tea, that the symbolic essence of rain is most deeply felt. And that they should be realised in their essential quiddity, these whirling gusts of grey rain tossed obliquely across the darkening hills, they must not come in a steady, tropic downpour. *Floods* of rain destroy the quality and the significance of rain. Drops they must be, many, many drops; an infinity of drops if you will; but still numberless separate drops, grey or brown or whitish-grey, in order that they may retain that rain-smell, rain-taste, rain-secret, which separates rain from ordinary water.”

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