chapter  XXII
William Golding
Pages 16

William Golding is unlike many modem writers in his willingness to state the 'programme' of his book; but he does not pretend that what seems to him simple must be so explicitly and directly set down that the reader will not have to work. His simplicity is a quality best understood as intellectual economy. His theme takes the simplest available way to full embodiment. Golding once called himself 'a propagandist for Neanderthal man'; his way of looking at the world has something of the candour of Lascaux. Golding's real power, the true nature of his mythopoeic obsession, became evident only with the publication of the second book. Golding's novels are simple as they deal in the primordial patterns of human experience and as they have skeletons of parable. Golding is fascinated by the evidence in the nature of the case ubiquitous that human consciousness is a biological asset purchased at a price; the price is the knowledge of evil.