[ilds] Arnauti as real

James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Wed May 30 10:25:45 PDT 2007


Bruce wrote:

> At the time of my primal event with M. Durrell (not Dr.
> Durrell), age sixteen of my youth, I never thought any
> "person" in his book was real.  They were all fictional
> characters. 

Does that include William Blake and Shakespeare?  I'm not being aggressive,
just trying to follow up on Charles' intentions (which I fallaciously assume
I can know).  Personally, just when I think I've learned how to spot
Durrell's creation of a 'ghost,' I discover he's talking about someone
'real.'

> The "many fictions of ourselves," or some such (Jamie
> can provide the proper quotation and citation to the poetry)

I think you mean the "Our view of reality is based on selected fictions"
from the Quartet, or perhaps from "In Rhodes" (and that "in" must imply the
city rather than the island, which appear below here, perhaps even on Odos
Fanourios):

  Naturally one must smile to see him powerless
  Not in the face of these small fictions
  But in the greater one they nourished
  By exhaustion of the surfaces of life,
  Leaving the True Way, so that suddenly
  We no longer haunted the streets
  Of our native city, guilty as a popular singer,
  Clad in the fur of some wild animal.

Strikes me that this is a wonderful way of implying the "fictions of
ourselves" or other notions of identity while also responding to his own
vision of Cavafy in the Quartet, although this poem came out at least in
1948.  Charles, any idea when that first notebook translation of Cavafy's
"The City" was penned?

--Jamie




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