To crack open the cover of Paul Lynch's debut novel, Red Sky in Morning, and read the first paragraph is to hear the beginning notes of an old melody, resonant and echoing from an ancient landscape. The language seems to come from a time before the written word. It is sonorous, mystical and mythical, and with its forceful cadence, its vivid, startling imagery and word order, the reader is pulled immediately inside the dream:
Night sky was black and then there was blood, morning crack of light on the edge of the earth. The crimson spill sent the bright stars to fade, hills stepping out of shadow and clouds finding flesh. First rain of day and music it made of the land.
In his tome Orality and Literacy, Walter Ong says, "Written texts all have to be related somehow, directly or indirectly, to the world of sound, the natural habitat of language, to yield their meanings." This is...
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