[ilds] Justine 1.1 -- Ironic?

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Wed Apr 25 16:50:24 PDT 2007

On 4/25/2007 6:52 PM, Alejandro Adams wrote:

>I'm particularly sensitive to the Irony Question, and I fall in line with 
>Bruce's deliberately circumscribed orientation--that is, I make the effort 
>to take the novel as "serious," despite doubts raised by the possibility of 
>"multiple readings."  Whatever primal remnant of my being responds to 
>Justine demands a monolithic experience--of which I am more victim than 
>participant--rather than anything as self-conscious-sounding as an 
Why aspire to victimhood?  Why insist that irony and romanticism can't 
exist in flux and couterflux?  LD projects Darley and Pursewarden as his 
avatars.  To ignore one and claim the other is to miss the dynamic of 
the /Quartet/. 

I for one aspire to be a reader never too lazy to use a knife on my 
author.  (Cf. Pursewarden & the Buddha).  I for one am always nostalgic 
for the first encounter with these jewel-toned gem-bright words, this 
investigation of modern love in the days before I had any notion what 
love might be. 

I am only safeguarded by moving back and forth between the poles of 
romanticism and irony.  "The world is like a cucumber--today it's in 
your hand, tomorrow up your arse" (/Justine /2.6).  We'd all be better 
with more mindful handling of our cucumbers, in every sense that can be 

There is plenty of room..  Here's to liberty and plenitude.


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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