[ilds] RG Justine 3.1 Pursewarden and King Lear

James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Wed May 30 08:29:18 PDT 2007


Bill and Charles wrote (some time ago):
 
>> Darley leaves his copy of King Lear on the dune -- and
>> Nessim's telescope is trained on the forgotten volume.
> 
> Would it help in making sense of the Lear reference if you
> knew that Durrell had originally written Macbeth and then
> struck it out, Bill?  He did.

I think this may be justifiably called a trend.  The references to Blake in
_Balthazar_ were initially to Keats, yet having a character by the same name
was apparently too confusing to manage.  My hunch, given Durrell's
frequently plays on Shax (ahem...), is that the MacBeth reference was just
too obvious, so some fiddling was necessary.  I'd argue that any reference
to Shakespeare (in particular) is a reference to the oeuvre in general,
which may or may not specifically align with the play mentioned or alluded
to.  Of course, just what Shax meant for Durrell I can't say, but I can
imagine far more than one erudite article on the topic...  I'm dabbling on
some things for _Prospero's Cell_, but nothing I plan to really get into any
time soon.

That said, this is going into my teaching notes for the Fall!!  I was asked
by a student about that scene this year, and I don't think I gave an
adequate answer -- this helps a great deal.

Best,
James




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