Literary Techniques

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Last Updated on May 12, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 132

A sequence of novels presents special problems for the writer to overcome. Approximately seven years separate the publication of Aegypt from Love & Sleep, sufficient time for many readers to forget plot, character, and themes. Crowley has fashioned Love & Sleep in such a way that it can be...

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A sequence of novels presents special problems for the writer to overcome. Approximately seven years separate the publication of Aegypt from Love & Sleep, sufficient time for many readers to forget plot, character, and themes. Crowley has fashioned Love & Sleep in such a way that it can be read and understood independently of Aegypt. The novels are complimentary to each other, one detailing Pierce's failed romantic relationship, the other his youth in Kentucky. In addition to structuring this second novel so that it can be read independently of the first, Crowley has maintained the same level of interest in his material. Writers and readers must both continue to be engaged in the issues of a work started almost a decade earlier. Thus far, Crowley's sequence shows the same level of enthusiasm.

Social Concerns

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Last Updated on May 12, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 111

Pierce Moffet, the protagonist in Crowley's Love & Sleep, is in the process of trying to find out who he is. This quest for identity and fulfillment has led him to leave New York City for rural Blackbury Jambs. In the course of the novel, Crowley includes sections in which Pierce reflects on his past and how a number of key events have influenced his present character. Indeed, the interplay between Pierce's past and present parallels the larger theme of time in the novel. Pierce's search for purpose is a universal one, and his meditations on his personal development give the novel a central character with whom the reader can empathize.

Literary Precedents

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Last Updated on May 12, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 157

Startlingly original in conception, Crowley moves the reader back and forth through time while he tells a story with a complexity and skill reminiscent of John Fowles in The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969). Both Fowles and Crowley fuse historical figures and fictional ones while presenting the intellectual climate of an age, and both give special emphasis to the importance of place in their novels. At the end of Love & Sleep, Crowley includes an Author's Note in which he acknowledges a number of writers, among them Harry Caudill whose Night Comes to the Cumberland's (1963) helped him craft the section on Pierce's youth in Kentucky; John Bossy, whose Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair, along with Gerald Mattingly's The Armada (1959), and R. J. W, Evans's Rudolf II and His World, provided background on the sixteenth century; and loan Couliano, whose Eros and Magic in the Renaissance served as a source for much of the fantastic elements of the novel.

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