[ilds] The Lawrence Durrell reading group

Sumantra Nag sumantranag at airtelbroadband.in
Mon Apr 9 09:20:32 PDT 2007

Very glad to hear about the revival of the reading.


Sumantra Nag
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: william godshalk 
  To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca 
  Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2007 12:51 AM
  Subject: [ilds] The Lawrence Durrell reading group

  Welcome to the Lawrence Durrell reading group: Justine
  Some years ago, we opened the Durrell reading group with a careful and sequential reading of Justine. We had given ourselves the opportunity to read the novel episode by episode. The group was eager, and the comments and observations were excellent. However, the project was lost in the summer sun. We would like to revivify it. To begin, we welcome your observations, comments, and questions regarding the first episode of the novel. Please use RG in the subject line of your email so that future readers can simply search for "[RG]" to find the salient posts.  For example, a comment on the first episode of Justine would read RG Justine 1.1. Send all contributions to ilds at lists.uvic.ca
  There is, of course, the initial question of "which Justine will we read?"  As you may know, there are various editions of the novel with different page numbers. But Durrell divided Justine into four parts, and designated the episodes by dividing the text with asterisks or other printing symbols.  To negotiate the various pagination schemes of the printings by Faber, Dutton, Penguin, Cardinal, &c., we suggest that Durrell readers and scholars use a shorthand system (developed by Charles Sligh) by referring to Part and to Episode --e.g., Justine 1.3 starts with "Notes for landscape tones. . . ."; in Justine 2.2 Balthazar asks the unnamed Darley to look for his watch-key.  This system has the virtue of creating a translation code across most of the texts.
  We hope that the reading group will utilize this shorthand system as a starting point to elaborate and to ponder the peculiar textual diversity of Justine and, eventually, Durrell's other works.  We have long since shrugged off the illusion of constructing a "definitive" Justine, and our reading group at its best can remind us all that this work cannot be located entirely in a British Library notebook or in the fifth imprint of the Faber first edition or in the 1962 single volume Quartet.  Rather, Justine the work is all of these, as well as all of the past conditions and contexts for its production, the writing, revising, printing, marketing, reviewing, reading, teaching and scholarly attention. 
  We welcome your suggestions, contributions, and comments.
  The Moderators 
  Charles Sligh
  James Gifford
  Bill Godshalk

  W. L. Godshalk           *
  Department of English         *
  University of Cincinnati            Stellar disorder  *
  Cincinnati OH 45221-0069      *


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