Showing posts from December, 2009

Tim Powers' Last Call and Crowley's The Ship

I wrote this a few years back, and realised that I had not blogged it here.


Review of Tim Powers’ Last Call, with reference to the formula of the Dying God as expressed in The Ship. Joseph Campbell wrote in Hero with a thousand faces that, “The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stand this afternoon on the corner of Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the light to change.” The ancient myths are all around us – we live them daily.The formula of the Dying God has been expressed in many guises (see Liber ABA, part 3, chapter 5) in such myths as those of Osiris, Jonah, Jesus, Adonis, Baldur, etc. I will assume that readers are broadly familiar with the formula. Tim Powers takes Campbell’s words literally, and in Last Call sets the myth of the Dying God in modern day California and Nevada. It is useful, however, to contrast the action in Last Call with that in Crowley’s short play, The Ship. This play expresses in dramatic form …