[ilds] Durrell adds to his sources

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Sun Jun 3 06:34:05 PDT 2007


Richard, I have just had a look at your footnote re Macon on page 104 
of your 2nd edition Mindscape.  It looks like quite an exercise in 
fancy on Durrell's part.  Yes, it is interesting that he knew there was 
a Council at Macon in 581, but the Templars had not yet come into 
existence (founded 1118), nor had the Freemasons (18th century), and I 
am not aware that the Church ever had doubts about women having souls 
-- explaining why none of these matters was discussed.  As you note on 
that page, Durrell had used the name Macon (and Masson and Mason too) 
in his earliest Justine notebook, which takes us back to 1943 or 1944.  
Many of the names he would use in those notebooks and novels at that 
time were those of publishing companies -- Methuen, Hogarth, Faber -- 
and possibly Masson or Mason (which is how he used it before he arrived 
at Macon) refers to a publisher too; for example there is a French 
medical publisher called Masson, though I do not know how old it is; 
but that is the line of enquiry I would pursue.

:Michael



On Sunday, June 3, 2007, at 08:14  am, Durrell School of Corfu wrote:

> 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.
> RP
>
> ----- 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
>
> Charlie,
>
> 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?
>
> Bill 
>
>
> 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.
>
> C&c.
>
>
>
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