[ilds] RG Justine 3 -- dreaming historically and the great duck shoot

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Fri Jun 8 16:06:55 PDT 2007

On 6/8/2007 12:38 AM, william godshalk wrote:

> *
> *So it appears that these two sequences (the historical dreams and the 
> duck hunt) are different in tone and/or mannerism. Let's accept these 
> observations for the sake of argument. What further observations can 
> we make about these two differently mannered passages? Why the dreams 
> and why the duck shoot? Could you make a case that they mirror each 
> other? 

A round of applause from Ghent, Bill.  Nice tracking and trekking in the 
/Anabasis /connection.  Would anybody speak up if Durrell's reading in 
Xenophon has been known before?  Credit to Bill.  Very nice.  A coup.  A 
good example of how at its best this list might accelerate the 
Durrellian conversation.

The dusk shoot and the dreams are distinct, but not in a paired way.  
The duck shoot could be a set piece on its own--it does not rely on 
retrospect &c.--and I followed that theory when I suggested it for 
inclusion as one of the representative Durrell texts in the new 
Broadview anthology of British Literature.  (I also selected Darley's 
opening impressions of Alex and Scobie's anecdotes from /Justine/.)  But 
the editorial board stood hard against including /any /Durrell--this 
resistance came despite pronounced advocacy from the highest level--it 
seemed a matter of principle that Durrell was not worthy--so we still 
have no major text in an anthology.

Thinking about all of this while away from my books, I also recall 
thinking that Durrell's flashing back and forth between Melissa/Nessim 
and Darley/ Justine is narrative of a high order.  A sense of 
singularity, coalescence of the various strands of the possible, and 
that sense of a quickening is important arriving right before the duck 
shoot, where the situation is primed to explode.


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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