[ilds] RG Justine 1.1 and 1.2

Ken Seigneurie kseigneurie at lau.edu.lb
Fri Apr 20 06:21:26 PDT 2007



  Re:  "Capitally"

  I see no reason not to hear echoes of Durrell's liberal-humanist (i.e., not Marxist) criticism of capitalism in this term, i.e., "Capitally, what is this city of ours?" = "What is this city of ours in terms of capital?"  His use of the anti-Semitic topoi around Jewishness fits here as well.  These echoes will increase and find their full thematization in Clea, revealing, in my view, a growing (albeit not full avowed) frustration on Durrell's part with the course taken by postwar Britain and the rest of the West.
  Yours,
  Ken Seigneurie
  Assoc. Prof. of English and Comparative Literature
  Lebanese American University - Beirut


  * * * * *


  Interesting.  But this interpretation doesn't fit with the context of the rest of the paragraph -- i.e., those "dust-tormented streets," "[f]lies and beggars," and those enjoying an "intermediate existence" -- unless you want to say those are the victims of capital or capitalism or British imperialism.  I've always taken this paragraph as a prime example of Durrell's or Darley's Romanticism, ironic or not, and Edward Said may have had, somewhere, some nasty things to say about it.

  Bruce

  At the risk of oversynthesizing, as far as the AQ is concerned, I think capitalism, Brit. imperialism and Romanticism are of a piece and that Durrell was groping toward that insight in his own way. So I would agree with everything said in this comment except that the interpretation doesn't fit. 

  Ken
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