[ilds] RG Justine 1.7 -- Waiting and fragmentation

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Fri Apr 20 19:57:31 PDT 2007


Thanks for that link.  I have had a quick look at it and will read it 
through later.  It does seem interesting.  Durrell uses sets of objects 
throughout his writing, brimming with potency, in Justine the key, the 
rings, etc.

I was thinking of fragmentation as a break up among intimates but also 
as an inner fragmentation.  The intimates are few; by this point (1.7) 
we have only 'the four of us' and Balthazar, and as 'Darley' 
specifically refers to Melissa and Justine not offering any remission, 
I think of the fragmentation, outer and inner, involving those four -- 
four who are in a sense one.

By the way, earlier about Capodistria, I have chased up a nagging 
recollection and yes, I find in 1.17 that he is 'obscurely related to 
Justine', which could make him Jewish (but elsewhere I think he may be 
described as Greek, and mentioning the name to any Greek would 
immediately conjure up the first president of Greece).  That being 
said, I think that description -- 'obscurely related to Justine' -- is 
not meant to tell us anything about his ethnicity, rather about 
propinquity, a soupcon of incest.


On Saturday, April 21, 2007, at 03:18  am, william godshalk wrote:

> Oh, Michael!  Waiting for Godot. The waiting motif in 20th century 
> literature -- everything must wait -- including my capitulation. We 
> await silent Tristero's Empire. (Okay, it's really the sun, and 
> Hortensio is tired of waiting.)
> But Michael, you mention the "fragmentation" -- "the first great 
> fragmentation of my maturity." He seems to mean the breaking up of his 
> group of intimates in Alexandria -- gone, all gone. At least for a 
> little while. But the word seems to have interesting reverberations, 
> e.g. the fragmented style which (fictionally) relies on the 
> fragmentation of the narrator's memory. And I find that I am not the 
> first to mention that "Durrell's synecdochic technique sometimes 
> resembles both the pointilliste stippling of neo-impressionism and the 
> multifaceted planes of cubism" ( 
> www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-66496012.html ) -- a kind of 
> fragmentation.
> At 09:42 PM 4/20/2007, you wrote:
> Waiting for you to capitulate.
> On Saturday, April 21, 2007, at 02:34  am, william godshalk wrote:
> We've explained the passage with urbanity and wit, but I'd still like 
> to read a fairly literal paraphrase. Everytime I read the passage, I 
> feel that the "meaning of the pattern" evades me. Why, for example, 
> does the joyous compromise "wait"? Does the compromise hover on the 
> edge of being?  Waiting for what?
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