Here are brief Wikipedia descriptions of both:
The Turn of the Screw:
The reader is challenged to determine if the protagonist, a nameless governess, is reliably reporting events or instead is some kind of neurotic with an overheated imagination. To further muddy the waters, her written account of the experience — a frame tale — is being read many years later at a Christmas house party by someone who claims to have known her.
The Third Policeman:
The unnamed narrator of The Third Policeman is a student of a scientist/philosopher named de Selby, and, as is revealed in the opening paragraph of the novel, has committed a robbery and a violent murder. The narrator seeks a black box belonging to his victim, believing it to contain money which he will use to finance the writing and publication of the definitive critical work on de Selby. The ostensible setting is an Irish country parish, the features of which become increasingly unfamiliar and out of proportion through the course of the novel. The narrator finds a police barracks, hoping to enlist the policemen into locating the black box for him. There he meets two of the three policemen, who speak in a curious mÃ©lange of spoonerisms, solecisms, and malapropisms; and there he is introduced to various peculiar or irrational concepts, artifacts, and locations, including a contraption that collects sound and converts it to light, a vast underground chamber called ‘Eternity,’ an intricate carved chest containing an infinite series of identical but smaller chests, and a theory of the transfer of atoms between a man and his bicycle
I find it instructive that both novels feature unnamed narrators and are both fantastical in nature. Part ghost story or thriller, part science fiction and mystery. All elements of Lost.
In the first we have a potential love affair from beyond the grave and in the second we have discussions about the nature of reality.
Also, the character de Selby in The Third Policeman has a theory about black air – as Wikipedia describes:
(he believes the phenomenon of nighttime to be explainable as an accretion of ‘black air’)
The author Robert Anton Wilson changed this theory to one of “teratological molecules, which are said to cause stunting of growth and are banished by electric light” [Wikipedia again]
Could this ‘black air’ or ‘teratological molecules’ be the dark, smoky mist that abducted Locke at the end of the first season?
So many questions, but I would venture a guess that reading these books might shed some light on Lost.
Anybody else making an Amazon purchase or a late-night run to the library.
UPDATE: Don’t forget, I’m selling Dharma Initiative T-shirts