[ilds] Durrell adds to his sources

Durrell School of Corfu durrells at otenet.gr
Sun Jun 3 00:14:52 PDT 2007

I'm still baffled by D's answer to my query about 'Macon', as set out on p. 104 of my book (2nd edn) or p. 401 (1st edn), which it appears no-one is able to explain.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: william godshalk 
  To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca 
  Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2007 4:27 AM
  Subject: [ilds] Durrell adds to his sources


  Yes, Durrell added his own touches, no doubt. Skeptical and/or salacious intrusions into chaste sources. 

  But (1) did Durrell have a tremendous memory? Or (2) did he take copious notes on his reading? Or (3) did he have books open on his desk (or on a book wheel) as he wrote? 

  Do we know his composition habits with certainty?


    On 6/2/2007 4:51 PM, william godshalk wrote: 

          "The long conversations held between Augusta and Spiridion" as they were smuggled "slung" in "two shapeless sacks."  

      You are safe on this one, I think. I wonder if this is a Jurgen-type conversation.
    I discern a bit of the knowing skepticism of Norman Douglas in the way Durrell has a lark with the petty histories of inanimate relics and their devotees. "I cannot believe however that such a long journey can have passed without some exchange of theological pleasantries."  "They must"/"the air must have"/"the incessant halts must have."  Very "musty," indeed.  That string of subjunctive marks out a  good bit of fancy or "belief."  And the writer is not one of the incurious "hagiographers."  Believers lack a certain imaginative flair necessary to bring the saints' lives to life, but the skeptic can do it.  A "mock" in the older and newer sense.  A wonderful passage.  An article of my belief.  Will it last?

    But since I am packing I am unable to unpack the memory with specific ND moments.  Strachey can also do this sort skeptical fantastic with his subjects' lives.  I am thinking about the life of Gordon, the way Strachey inhabits a believer's fanaticism--creatively supposing his moments of crisis--without believing himself.


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  W. L. Godshalk           *
  Department of English         *
  University of Cincinnati            Stellar disorder  *
  Cincinnati OH 45221-0069      *


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