[ilds] "many fictions"/"many negatives"

Marc Piel marcpiel at interdesign.fr
Wed May 30 16:22:56 PDT 2007

Durrell wrote "we live selective fictions" I 
retained that from my first reading in the 1960's.
Marc Piel

Bruce Redwine wrote:
> Jamie, yes, that especially includes Blake and Shakespeare.  I'm beginning to think all of Durrell's characters are fictional, even the ones based on "real" people.  He did what Charles talked about earlier today -- he took "spare parts" of things and reassembled them to his own choosing.  I include people here.  Not at all surprising, most writers probably do this.  That's a great quote Charles found from the Ingersoll book of collected conversations, where Durrell says, "I'm a spare parts man" (Lawrence Durrell:  Conversations, 1998, p. 100).  Thanks for trying to dig up my "many fictions of ourselves," but my memory failed me again.  I actually had in mind, "I now move / Through the many negatives to what I am" ("Alexandria," ll. 8-9).  "Negatives" could mean feminine "negative selves," maybe in the sense of Jungian animae, but I also take it to mean "photographic negatives," alternate selves.  Interesting how the two meanings complement one another.
> Bruce
> -----Original Message-----
>>From: James Gifford <odos.fanourios at gmail.com>
>>Sent: May 30, 2007 10:25 AM
>>To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>>Subject: Re: [ilds] Arnauti as real
>>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
>>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
>>>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
>> 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?
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