[ilds] RG Justine 1.1-9-- active reading -- Durrell weighs in

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Thu Apr 19 17:44:00 PDT 2007

-----Original Message-----
>From: Michael Haag <michaelhaag at btinternet.com>
>Sent: Apr 19, 2007 4:54 PM
>To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: Re: [ilds] RG Justine 1.1-9-- active reading -- Durrell weighs  in
>Durrell cannot be trusted in his interviews, nor in his talks; it is 
>usually nonsense.  Much better to keep to the writing.

                                       * * * * *
>I agree with Haag.  And I disagree with Durrell on Joyce as a writer who "ties" everything up, presumably into some neat package of meaning.  When great writers start talking about their rivals, they tend to become combative and not always fair.  It was also D. H. Lawrence who said famously, "Never trust the artist.  Trust the tale" (Studies in Classic American Literature).

I don't have a problem with Godshalk's "active readers," although I question the quotation from Durrell.  I don't think Durrell really believed his work was "completely open for the reader."  I think he was getting carried away with that "completely."  And when Gifford says, "I'd also suggest that few good readings resolve themselves down to only one possibility," I agree wholeheartedly.  His discussion was very good.  My only proviso is that the possibilities of interpretation are not limitless.  Works of the imagination have constraints built into them.  This seems to me a rather small point and fairly self-evident.

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