[ilds] Durrell and The Good Soldier

Alejandro Adams hungerist at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 25 23:41:25 PDT 2007

I'd like to reiterate that I'm not a scholar and have very limited range of 
movement in these matters, but I'll gladly cite the applicable portion of 
the interview as it seems to be of interest.  The book is Lawrence Durrell: 
Conversations, edited by Earl G. Ingersoll.  The title of the piece is The 
Poet Who Stumbled into Prose by Kenneth Young.  It appeared in the December 
1959 issue of Encounter.

Durrell: If the experiment comes off, if you have all four [books] held in 
your cranium, you should get a notion of the continuum.  I am using human 
beings instead of figures.  Consequently, subject to all the problems of 
just pure novel writing, I am trying to illuminate them from five or six 
different sides.

Young: At this point, I suggested that much of what he was after had been 
done, and in purely literary terms, by Ford Madox Ford.  I lent Durrell 
Ford's The Good Soldier; he read it overnight, and then wrote:

Durrell: I'm so glad I didn't read The Good Soldier before writing Justine 
or I might never have finished her!  This novel is an eye-opener with its 
brilliant organization and gathering momentum; it's fit to put beside the 
best of our time.  How the devil didn't I know his work?

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