[ilds] [RG 2003 Justine 2]

James Gifford gifford at ualberta.ca
Fri Apr 6 12:54:17 PDT 2007

------ Forwarded Message
From: Sumantra Nag
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 09:08:30 -0400
Subject: [ILDS] ILDS:  Discussion Group--AQ2.  Nag.

The observation of Bruce Redwine regarding the importance of sound, when
selecting a mention of Arcturus, raises an important point about Durrell's
prose in the AQ. It has already been observed that it the poet in Durrell
seems to dominate at least the opening passages of Justine (and Balthazar)
at least. Recent quotes from his correspondence with Henry Miller also show
Durrell describing his writing as a prose-poem

__On 9 August 1956, LD writes "I have just finished a
book about Alexandria called Justine...  It's a sort
of prose poem to one of the great capitals of the
heart, the Capital of Memory, and it carries a series
of sharp cartoons of the women of Alexandria,
certainly the loveliest and most world-weary women in
the world."  (Dutton, pp. 303-304)__

Emily M. Siskin, Avid Reader of Durrell, 1st time
responder to e-forum

Durrell does not directly describe his work _Justine_ as a novel, although
that may be implied. And yet, it is not exactly autobiographical, in the way
that some of the works of Andre Gide (travel writings in a sense) are
autobiographical prose poems. Durrell is a major travel writer, and I have
often thought that there is a strong impetus or element of the travel book
in the Alexandria Quartet, although the work is certainly a beautiful and
powerful creation of intertwined novels. But think of the many visits to
Alexandria which have been spurred by readings of the Alexandria Quartet,
and you wonder whether it is not the "Spirit of Place" (Durrell's work?)
which is the haunting centre of the AQ.

Sumantra Nag

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