[ilds] Questions, Digressions and Obfustications

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Mon Apr 23 15:36:12 PDT 2007


To Sumatra and others;

I have tried, in vain it seems, to broaden our discussion of LDs works to more than just a mere progression through and discussion of Justine. Have I erred in thinking that this is a more open forum than it appears to be?

For example there are stylistic connections to Prospero's Cell and Reflections on a Marine Venus; books that were written at the same time as Justine, that I put up on the list only to find this brief moment smothered by hefty returns to Justine by the 'big three' and some rather odd contributions from a man named andy lower case).

Be that as it may, the references to Durrell'ds intellectualism - or lack of it - and the influences on his style deserve further comment.

"Durrell was always conscious of never having made it to university 'the gateway to the world' and led him to pursue ever more esoteric knowledge - as many autodidactic writers have done, like his part-Irish contemporary George Barker, and like Henry Miller."

"From this point onwards, his university was to be wherever he located himself, and like a mendicant friar or scholar gypsie he sort the places and books that stimulated his mind and imagination."

These quotes from Bowkers' biography (p 36) give two clues to LD the writer. 1) his lifelong quest to make up for his lack of tertiary education by being eclectic and clever - and pursuing obscure fields of knowledge such as the early coptics and the heresy of the templars which allowed him to cut the mustard with high brows of the day and gave his big works a complex and rich texture: very impressive compared to the more conventional output of bookish oxbridge types then writing in the insular, medieval style of the British at the time.

2) that the influences on his work and themes are almost too vast to be listed. Durrell devoured, as it were, libraries everywhere he went and could speak and read several languages. Who knows what the little bastard read.


Denise Tart & David Green
16 William Street, Marrickville NSW 2204

+61 2 9564 6165
0412 707 625
dtart at bigpond.net.au
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