[ilds] RG Justine 1.4 -- active reading & Justine

andy nampilot at cox.net
Sat Apr 21 13:02:22 PDT 2007

the below comments refer to durrell's famous gaps.

i must come right out and confess i joined this group to gain a better 
understanding of durrel's use of time.

the lacunae are critical tools to his new quantum theory, no?

his avowed intent, if i remember correctly, was to use the quartet to flesh 
out and expand on eliott's time present, time past.

yet we are speaking on the subject of gaps, and i find no comments about 
durrel's attemp to create a new concept of time though the a quartet.  am i 
lost in space?

best to all

bs'er andy

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James Gifford" <odos.fanourios at gmail.com>
To: <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2007 3:40 PM
Subject: [Norton AntiSpam] Re: [ilds] RG Justine 1.4 -- active reading & 

> Between Rita and Bill:
>>> the book is there and says
>>> something what is not only subjective and without being
>>> something stable but in time.It does something , like a
>>> spirit of place, I guess even to the author.
>> I think Stanley Fish would argue that the book (or
>> narrative in the book) is an artefact, and the reader
>> is the archaeologist... I am in my library surrounded
>> by lazy books that refuse to do anything!!
> I like the image of the lazy books...  I must admit, while I'm packing 
> mine
> down to head back to Edmonton for the summer, they do very little to help
> move themselves.
> One observation -- Reed Way Dasenbrock (a familiar name in Durrell works)
> has one of the best send-ups of Fish I've seen.  "Is there a text in this
> classroom?" suggests we don't have texts, we only have communities of
> readers or different readings.  Yet, in order to say the readings differ, 
> we
> must have access to them, and are those readings not themselves texts? 
> So,
> we do have a text -- we just disagree about it.
> That's why I like the idea of Durrell giving a frame, providing a 
> direction,
> or a prompt, but those big gaps in the text are there for us to fill, and 
> I
> highly doubt Durrell was keen on lazy readers.  I've seen how he read, and 
> I
> think he expected marginal interventions from the reader.
> As for Rita's last word, which has vanished in Bill's new edition of her
> email (I'm reminded of the missing "So that..." at the end of Justine in 
> the
> Dutton edition), she notes "Difficult..."  Where's the following noun?
> Rita, you've posed, in your email, exactly the trap that I find so
> compelling in Durrell: ...
> Those missing gaps that become increasingly palpable as we re-read strike 
> me
> as being more than a style.  My Kant is pretty poor, but might we compare
> Durrell's ethical quandary in those opening epigraphs ('talking' somewhere
> between the noose of the superego or the crime of the id)?  Durrell's 
> "talk"
> seems like it assume an interlocutor, and in that assumption of an Other, 
> it
> seems the responsibility to listen and hear is born.  Does the unnamed
> narrator achieve 'hearing' his others by the end of Justine?  I suspect 
> not.
> Perhaps by Clea that responsibility has been born, but in the beginning,
> even the child is mute and unnamed.
> And, how do we as listeners hear those palpable gaps and lacunae in the
> text?  What is our responsibility to silence?  I sincerely doubt those 
> gaps
> are some kind of 'literature of exhaustion,' we might be inclined to
> typically think of silence in other writers.  For Durrell, I think they 
> are
> highly fertile silences, rich as an opening in the conversations where we
> are given the opportunity to speak back to the text, encouraged to do so,
> learning to interrupt it when we wish, as we wish, and for whatever 
> purpose
> we wish. ~~~so long as we purchase the next book...
> Just like a music score, it creates the horizon of possibility, but it
> remains mute until we speak for it, and like music, as readers we listen 
> to
> our own performance, not the score itself.
> But, I must get back to hefting about my lazy books.
> Best,
> James
> ___________________________
> James Gifford
> Department of English
> University of Victoria
> Victoria, B.C., Canada
> http://web.uvic.ca/~gifford
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