[ilds] Fwd: RG Justine 1.12 -- mirrors

Marc Piel marcpiel at interdesign.fr
Thu Apr 26 16:08:46 PDT 2007


Surely this photo of Eve taken by LD himself is 
the supreme witness of his interest for mirrors?
Incidentally in Alexandria there are all sorts of 
mirrors everywhere!
Marc Piel

william godshalk wrote:

> 
>> Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2007 15:16:23 -0400
>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> From: william godshalk <godshawl at email.uc.edu>
>> Subject: RG Justine 1.12 -- mirrors
>>
>> There are 36 references to mirrors in Justine, the first in this 
>> episode: "As I was leaving I caught a glimpse of him [i.e. Cohen] in 
>> one of the long mirrors" (Justine 1.12). The narrator has been 
>> standing next to Cohen in a bar "for nearly half and hour" without 
>> talking. But now he notices -- in the mirror -- Cohen staring into his 
>> wineglass. I assume that the long mirrors are behind the bar.
>>
>> If we are reading Justine for the first time, we do not yet realize 
>> the importance of mirrors in the novel. But in Justine 1.15, the 
>> narrator (referring  to mirrors for the second time) remembers Justine 
>> sitting before the multiple mirrors at the dressmaker's, being fitted 
>> for a shark-skin costume, and saying: "Look! five different pictures 
>> of the same subject. Now if I wrote I would try for a 
>> multi-dimensional effect in character, a sort of prism-sightedness. 
>> Why should not people show more than one profile at a time?" And we 
>> begin to see how important mirrors are in this narrative.
>>
>> But why does the narrator (or Durrell, if you wish), begin this 
>> important sequence of mirrors with Cohen's face reflected in a barroom 
>> mirror? Why not begin with Justine's cubist observation?
>>
>> WLG
>>
>>
>>
> 
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> W. L. Godshalk           *
> Department of English         *
> University of Cincinnati            Stellar disorder  *
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