[ilds] Plagiarism and borrowing -- some examples?

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Fri Jun 1 19:10:12 PDT 2007

I did in fact provide the details for Caesar's Vast Ghost, but I will 
do so again.

In the Faber hardback first edition see pages 130-131; in the Faber 
paperback edition see pages 129-131.  These probably match the pages of 
the American editions.  Or in the index look up Cleopatra and Actium.  
The relevant portion is from the paragraph beginning 'Antony's 
greatness was as a land-commander' to the paragraph ending 'the awful 
truth when it at last followed him to Egypt'.  The copying is virtually 
word for word throughout; where there are variations, and they are very 
slight, they are inferior to my version which is found in my notes to E 
M Forster's Alexandria: A History and a Guide, published by Michael 
Haag, London 1982, pages 246-7 (revised London 1986, pages 247-8).

I will be looking at the copy of Sophie Atkinson's An Artist in Corfu 
held at the British Library.

As for Fedden's introduction to the Personal Landscape, here Durrell 
merely borrows and adapts; I mention it on page 295 of my Alexandria: 
City of Memory, where I write: He {Fedden] became an extension of 
Durrell's own experience of the country, as when Fedden wrote in his 
introduction to the anthology of the resident foreigner's sense of 
"cultural" and "psychological isolation" in Egypt, where "the current 
of thought sets towards Mecca and the European is inevitably swimming 
all the time against the stream", which later found its way into the 
Quartet where Darley speaks of "our isolation from the warm Gulf Stream 
of European feelings and ideas.  All the currents slide away towards 

For Fedden, see PL, 10; for Durrell's version, see Balthazar, AQ 
(omnibus edition), 280.

Apart from adopting Fedden's prose, Durrell also adopted a fair measure 
of Fedden's sexual conquests as his own.


On Saturday, June 2, 2007, at 02:37  am, william godshalk wrote:

> It's all well and good to theorize about plagiarism. But perhaps what 
> we need are some concrete examples of Durrell's "borrowing."  Our 
> generalizations are in need of some specific examples.
> Michael, I don't recall that you told us which pages Durrell cribbed 
> from your writing. Could you tell us which ones? Did Durrell  alter 
> his borrowing at all? If so, could you give us a reference to your 
> work?
> Sophie Atkinson's An Artist in Corfu (1911) sells for around $300 
> nowadays.  I was going to buy a copy, but our Classics Library copy 
> will have to do. Richard, can you suggest where to begin?
> I have sent for a copy of Robin Fedden's anthology to check Durrell's 
> borrowing from it.
> That Bill Godshalk gives some examples in "Some Sources."
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