At the beginning of the story Bran Lynch, an Irish ex-poet, is living in a remote Gloucestershire farmhouse, playing unwilling host to an assortment of refugees from employment. They are preparing for a party which interrupts the quiet of the beautiful woodland with a raucous combustion of jazz, sex and cider. By the time it is over most of the characters have found themselves launched on voyages, both inner and outer, which are far stranger than they could have imagined when they set out.
It Never Gets Dark All Night was first published by Heinemann in 1964 on a list that included Anthony’s Burgess’s Nothing Like the Sun and Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of Gold. Worple are proud to put it back on the literary map, here prefaced and edited by Peter Carpenter, literary editor to the Hayward’s estate, and fronted with ‘All The Devils Are Here’, a brilliant introductory essay from celebrated polymath and cultural guru, Kevin Jackson.
In this essay Jackson traces the journey of the writer, William Curtis Hayward (1931-1968) as well as illuminating future readings. He highlights, for example, Hayward’s debts to Ulysses, an informing fascination with the occult, and a prophetic counter-cultural awareness in areas such as meditation, Tantra, communes and New Age environmentalism.
“Hayward’s comedy is stoic, melancholy; the world squeezes his heart… He associates himself with the landscape in which he lives, with traditional forms of knowledge. He fears: love and its loss.”
Iain Sinclair (London Orbital, 2002)
“A curious, ambitious and, in many ways, highly original novel… partly a study of bohemians, partly a novel of ideas… a modest British cousin of Kerouac’s On the Road. There are few other novels which offer such richly detailed reportage of British bohemia in those years which divide the Beat Generation from the Hippies. The more you re-read it, the more it yields up haunting treasures of thought and phrase.”