[ilds] Plagiarism - and Caesar's Vast Ghost

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Fri Jun 1 17:32:57 PDT 2007

Actually we know for certain that Durrell did not write two pages of 
Caesar's Vast Ghost.  How much of the rest he did write, I do not know. 
  I certainly have no preconceived view about that.  But if one finds 
out that Durrell is not entirely the author of Caesar's Vast Ghost, and 
that he is not entirely the author of Prospero's Cell (which I am 
accepting from Richard Pine but will check myself), and when one reads 
Bill Godshalk's academic article about 'borrowings' in the Alexandria 
Quartet, then questions arise.  I am not particularly objecting to this 
practice of Durrell's, but I am interested in identifying it, and I am 
also interested in understanding why it happens.  Biography requires a 
spirit of inquiry.


On Friday, June 1, 2007, at 10:43  pm, Marc Piel wrote:

> We do not know either how much he did not write!!!!!
> let us be a little balanced in this!!!!
> Michael, to my regret, I am beginning to wonder
> how you can pretend to write a biography of LD. It
> appears that you have preconceived ideas, that are
> not compatible with a non biased opinion! Surely a
> biographer must be neutral!!!
> Marc Piel
> Michael Haag wrote:
>> This begs the question of who wrote the book and why it is being read.
>> Leaving aside textual criticism, there is the simple matter of the
>> reader buying a book which he thinks is by Lawrence Durrell.  As
>> Richard Pine himself wrote in his review of Caesar's Vast Ghost which
>> appeared in  Deus Loci in 1992, this is 'a beautiful book ... which
>> will entrance and engage the general reader: for avid Durrellians it 
>> is
>> a powerful restatement of many of his recurring themes. ... It touches
>> all his previous work'.  And yet we do not know how much of Caesar's
>> Vast Ghost Durrell actually wrote.
>> :Michael
>> On Friday, June 1, 2007, at 09:45  pm, Durrell School of Corfu wrote:
>>> As M H will know, (I'm sure) LD was, in ill-health, very much helped
>>> by Mary
>>> Byrne (is this in MacNiven? I dont have a copy to hand) in editing 
>>> his
>>> CVG
>>> text into something that Fabers would accept. Most authors accept 
>>> such
>>> help.
>>> I dont think the book requires too much textual criticism - just read
>>> it for
>>> its great text! - how much textual criticism is 'too much'?
>>> RP
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