[ilds] [RG 2003 Justine 2]

James Gifford gifford at ualberta.ca
Fri Apr 6 13:00:04 PDT 2007


------ Forwarded Message
From: Bruce Redwine
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 00:44:54 -0400
To: <DURRELL at NEWS.CC.UCF.EDU>
Subject: [ILDS] ILDS:  Discussion Group--AQ2.  Redwine.  Re: LD Paintings.

Re Durrell's ideas on painting and writing.   I'll go out on a limb here.
Like his friend Henry Miller, LD was a painter of course and painted under
the
pseudonym of Oscar Epfs, the surname being a joke because it's
unpronounceable
in French, which I assume is the case, not speaking the language.   The only
watercolors I've seen are his endpapers for Caesar's Vast Ghost, profuse and
colorful but bordering on the abstract.   In The Mediterranean Shore, LD
praises Paul Hogarth's watercolors highly, deservedly so; they complement
his
writing beautifully and remind me of the evocative Faber & Faber dust
jackets for
the Avignon Quintet and later paperbacks editions of AQ (sorry, I forget the
artist).   Durrell surely approved of this kind of painting.   Re ut pictura
poesis, does LD take the painting/writing analogy seriously?   I think he
uses
painting as a metaphor for writing, as A. J. French describes well, the
emphasis
being on the process of painting ("the city and the characters are slowly
being sketched in . . . only later is colour added").     Durrell's
figurative use
of language also has a tremendous visual and emotive impact, as paintings
do.
  A picture has its limitations, however.   It's two dimensional and fixed
in
time.   In AQ, LD announces he's creating a "word contiuum" in four
dimensions, time being the fourth.   So the painting/writing analogy can
only go so
far.   Now, I can hear objections being raised!

Bruce Redwine

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