[ilds] [RG 2003 Justine 1.1 - 3]

James Gifford gifford at ualberta.ca
Fri Apr 6 12:20:34 PDT 2007


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2003 21:24:41 -0400
From: James Gifford
To: Anna Lillios 
Subject: 

Hello all,

I made some comments on Cavafy in my last post and was reminded of another
significant text that accompanies these opening pages in _Justine_.  Cavafy
is given two asterisks to refer the reader to the endnotes in the first 3
pages, which is significant.  Since we're musing about linear and global
readings, I can't help but consider Durrell's "A Cavafy Find," which
appeared only one year before _Justine_ in a venue many readers of literary
fiction frequent, _The London Magazine_.

While I don't want to suggest that a reader must be aware of all the
connections to other texts, I believe a case can be made for a seemingly
deliberate provocation to intertextual reading on Durrell's part.  Durrell
'finds' and translates three Cavafy poems in this article during a time when
he was likely working on the two Cavafy poems that appear at the very end of
the Workpoints, on the page preceding the marked references to Cavafy.  A
mindful reader is going to find a number of 'jabs' to further reading just
in the first few pages of _Justine_, but not in the sense of an appeal to
authority; I would read this as more of multiplicity of perspectives, which
of course plays a significant role later in the novel.  Durrell is,
seemingly, telling the reader from the outset that his 'real' or 'unreal'
city is only one vantage on the place itself, and that others have already
given a variety of views that differ from the one the reader is about to
encounter.

Durrell, Lawrence. "A Cavafy Find." _The London Magazine_ 3.7 (1956): 11-14.
-- Contains Durrell's commentary on Cavafy and his
   translation of three early poems: "My Friends,
   When I Was In Love," "Flowers of May," and
   "Dounya Gouzeli."

Cheers,
Jamie
________________________
James Gifford
3-5 Humanities Centre
Department of English
University of Alberta
www.ualberta.ca/~gifford

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