Some Literary Fireworks…

There are many, many mentions of fireworks in novels – but mostly in the metaphorical sense, so I went searching for some mentions of the real thing to share:

“Borkin: Ladies and gentlemen, why are you so glum? Sitting there like a jury after it’s been sworn in! … Let’s think up something. What would you like? Forfeits, tug of war, catch, dancing, fireworks?”
― Anton Chekhov, Ivanov

Of course we’d like fireworks!  And, from another Chekhov short story, we get them…

“At the water’s edge, barrels of pitch blazed like huge bonfires. Their reflection, crimson as the rising moon, crept to meet us in long, wide stripes. The burning barrels threw light on their own smoke and on the long human shadows that flitted about the fire; but further to the sides and behind them, where the velvet ringing rushed from, was the same impenetrable darkness. Suddenly slashing it open, the golden ribbon of a rocket soared skywards; it described an arc and, as if shattering against the sky, burst and came sifting down in sparks.
― Anton Chekhov, Easter Night

Another display happens in Moominvalley:

“Meanwhile the Hemulen was arranging firework set pieces in suitable places. They had Bengal Lights, Blue-Star Rain, Silver Fountains, and Rockets that exploded with stars.”
― Tove Jansson, Finn Family Moomintroll

In the US, fireworks are associated with the 4th of July, rather than the 5th of November:

Alden McCausland and his mother are what they call “accident rich”; thanks to an unexpected life-insurance policy payout and a winning Big Maine Millions scratcher, Alden and his Ma are able to spend their summers down by Lake Abenaki, idly drinking their days away in a three-room cabin with an old dock and a lick of a beach.
Across the lake, they can see what “real rich” looks like: the Massimo family’s Twelve Pines Camp, the big white mansion with guest house and tennis court that Alden’s Ma says is paid for by “ill-gotten gains” courtesy of Massimo Construction. When Alden’s holiday-weekend sparklers and firecrackers set off what over the next few years comes to be known as the Fourth of July Arms Race, he learns how far he and the Massimos will go to win an annual neighborly rivalry—one that lands Alden in the Castle County jail.
―Stephen King, Drunken Fireworks a short story included in Bazaar of Bad Dreams

If you can think of a scene in a short story or novel involving fireworks, do post a comment. However I shall leave you with a joke from the insanely brilliant Tommy Cooper…


“Police arrested two kids yesterday,

one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks.

They charged one and let the other one off.”

Tommy Cooper

6 thoughts on “Some Literary Fireworks…

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Can you tell it’s a fill-in post planned some time ago to give me more time for the Young Writer of the Year books. Busy writing my review of The Lauras…

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I’ve found my copy of Under the Net – hope I have time to read it this month (it’ll have to come after the Young Writer of the Year books though).

      • Liz Dexter says:

        Of course! It’s not that heavy or long a read and I will leave all the posts up, linked on the project page, so will welcome later review links if it takes extra time to complete and review!

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