Leon Garfield Gerard Benson - Essay

Gerard Benson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In The Golden Shadow [Garfield and Blishen] have combined a number of stories from disparate sources into a literary whole. Gods, demi-gods and god-like humans strive, love, lust, inhabiting a landscape whose very rocks and stones, whose tides are alive with menace and promise. The stories are linked through the figure of an aged story-teller who wanders from place to place, always, like the hero of Ted Hughes's Bedtime Story, inattentive at the crucial moment; so that he is there when the events happen, but never sees them happen…. It is an interesting device, and a successful one, as if the authors had imaginatively become this archetypal figure, and tried to eavesdrop on the scenes they described....

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