[ilds] RG Justine 1.1 - dedication

James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Mon Apr 9 12:56:04 PDT 2007


A lovely note Charles!  I¹m writing up a different response, but I can¹t
resist this one:

*Cf. the transformation of this line in different printings post-1957:
Does not everything depend on our interpretation of the silence around us?
(4.4)

Since Darley writes this after deciding not to answer Clea¹s letter, and he
specifically says it would be up to her to interpret his silence according
to her own needs, I think we¹re having ³silence² brought to out attention.
We, the readers, are in the position of reading according to our own needs
and circumstances, yet the Freudian epigram would seem to prompt us to
search out that which drives our own readings.

Also, the dangling bit of text that is lost in the US printings and the
French translation strikes me as crucial:

  ³So that...²

There¹s also the asterisk in the preceding sentence you quote (Does not
everything* depend...) that leads us to a note, which in turn leads to a
blank page.  This places us in a position of again interpreting silence, and
that silence is ³eveything.²  And, another silence is added to this ‹ the
³So that² is the same fragment that ends Ezra Pound¹s first Canto...
Allusion is profound in Justine, and Durrell seems to have been intent on
adding, subtracting, and emphasizing the role of allusion in the different
editions.  Just like the missing sentence from the Freudian epigram, which
is still there even in its absence, the allusions point us to enriched
readings while also contextualizing Durrell¹s ³intervention² in the literary
tradition he wants to reinterpret.

I also wonder why that line was cut from the US edition.  My students have
said it might be like Harry Potter, but I think Durrell¹s knowledge of
variants is behind the changes.  Durrell displaces his call for reading
silence with silence itself...

As for the Eve of the dedication, Durrell was no longer with her, and I must
admit that the Alexandria of Justine is not a city of which I would be
flattered to be a Œnative.¹  I wouldn¹t be inclined to read that as a
flattering dedication.  Also, that the narrator is never named, and as
Michael has so aptly demonstrated, Durrell hadn¹t necessarily planned a
series of books, all suggests that we¹re meant to blur Durrell and the
unnamed narrator.

Best,
James


On 4/9/07 12:03 PM, "slighcl" <slighcl at wfu.edu> wrote:

> On 4/9/2007 1:47 PM, Michael Haag wrote:
>>  
>> I wonder what people make of the dedication to Justine:
>> 
>> 
>> To Eve these memorials of her native city
>> 
>>   
>> For example, who is Eve, and what is the city?
>>  
> An important question, Michael.  Of course, as you and Bruce have noted, many
> of us on this listserv already know the biographical answers and a few even
> know about LD's special tailoring and tinkering of the dedication in his
> notebooks and typescripts.  However, the more I learn about Justine, the more
> I find an equal value in de-emphasizing that biographical knowledge and giving
> free reign to my imagination and intuition in a ludic sort of way.  Call it
> "setting the book free to dream," if you will.
> 
> Above all I fancy that the dedication sits in a rather strange sort of space
> within the total textual system of Justine.  How, for example, do we
> understand that we should start negotiating and differentiating between LD and
> his narrator in the following component levels, all of which demand
> interpretation?
> 
>> Cover (Art, blurbs, jacket notes, author bio, price &c.)
>> Binding Design
>> Paper, Ink, and Typeface
>> Half Title
>> List of Books "by the same author"
>> Title Page [declaring this book to be Justine | a novel | by | LAWRENCE |
>> DURRELL | FABER & FABER | &c.]
>> Title Page Verso
>> Dedication
>> NOTE
>> Epigraph
>> PART I
>> PART II
>> PART III
>> PART IV
>> CONSEQUENTIAL DATA
>> NOTES IN THE TEXT
> How do we map out when one "author" leaves off writing and another "author"
> begins writing  in Justine?
> * Who gets credit for the epigraphs?  for the dedication?  How do we know?
> * What happens when we "misread" them as the work of the narrator of Justine?
> Literally, creatively, or by willfully over-identifying the narrator with LD?
> * Who translates the Cavafy poems in the Consequential Data? Scholars
> regularly refer to those translations as LD's work.  It is not so simple, I
> think.  Note that the translator [the unnamed Darley?] "copied out and gave"
> them to "her" [Clea].  (And then the fact that they are translations embedded
> within a fiction reminds us that translation has much to do with all of
> this--a creative, interpretive, subjective act.)
> * Who puts those asterisks and those notes in the text?
> When does the "fiction" end and the "real" begin?
> 
> To say "LD wrote it all" is evasive and unhelpful and not in the spirit of
> Justine and the Quartet, I think.   Boundaries between texts and authors are
> not merely being crossed, but blurred. (LD, the narrator/Darley, Arnauti,
> Nessim, Justine, Clea, &c.)
> 
> Above I quote from Justine, Faber First Edition, First Impression.
> Considering Justine in its many other printings, its multiple revisions, and
> its relation to the larger Quartet changes these issues and questions in
> different ways.* 
> 
> CLS


___________________________
James Gifford
Department of English
University of Victoria
Victoria, B.C., Canada
http://web.uvic.ca/~gifford

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