[ilds] RG Justine 1.1 - dedication

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Mon Apr 9 14:33:36 PDT 2007

I agree that the dedication is not flattering.


On Monday, April 9, 2007, at 08:56  pm, James Gifford wrote:

> A lovely note Charles!  I’m writing up a different response, but I 
> can’t 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 Clea’s letter, 
> and he specifically says it would be up to her to interpret his 
> silence according to her own needs, I think we’re having “silence” 
> 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:
>   “So that...”
> There’s 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 “eveything.”  And, another 
> silence is added to this — the “So that” is the same fragment that 
> ends Ezra Pound’s 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 Durrell’s “intervention” 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 Durrell’s 
> 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 ‘native.’  I wouldn’t be inclined to read 
> that as a flattering dedication.  Also, that the narrator is never 
> named, and as Michael has so aptly demonstrated, Durrell hadn’t 
> necessarily planned a series of books, all suggests that we’re 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 | 
> Title Page Verso
> Dedication
> Epigraph
> 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.*  
> ___________________________
> James Gifford
> Department of English
> University of Victoria
> Victoria, B.C., Canada
> http://web.uvic.ca/~gifford
> _______________________________________________
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