[ilds] cento, pastiche, palimpsest?

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Tue Jun 12 09:02:23 PDT 2007

Bill, ah, you asked a serious question about style.  I don't think of Durrell's style as a cento, a term which I'm not that familiar with and can't think of any examples.  In fact, I'm not too keen on the other terms either, pastiche or palimpsest.  Why?  Primarily because I'm not aware of the other writers when reading Durrell.  His voice and style predominate, which may only mean he's very good at absorbing other influences and making them his own.  His unique poetry and vision is what holds everything together and gives it a Durrellian color.  Palimpsest has some appeal (as it does for Gore Vidal), and I believe Durrell uses it in Balthazar in the context of the Interlinear.  Durrell likes layers of time and history; he sees the world in those terms, much like Cavafy.  He's not sentimental and does not indulge in nostalgia, but he always seems acutely conscious of history.  He looks at a landscape as though it were a palimpsest, where ruins are the partial erasures of time.

What's The Recognitions and who's Leeder?


-----Original Message-----
>From: william godshalk <godshawl at email.uc.edu>
>Sent: Jun 11, 2007 7:52 PM
>To: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>, ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: Re: [ilds] cento, pastiche, palimpsest?
> I think"Durrellian" will do quite nicely.
>Well, could we refer to the Durrellian cento? From what we all have beenillustrating for the past few days, weeks, the rags of time, Durrell'sstyle ran to pastiche or cento. As a former medievalist, I see palimpsestas a piece of vellum that has been scraped to make way for new material.As a metaphor it will do. But obviously not really. Is any one elsethinking of The Recognitions? 
>PS I got a copy of Leeder's Modern Sons of the Pharaohs in themail today. 

More information about the ILDS mailing list