[ilds] palimpsest

James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Tue Jun 12 13:58:31 PDT 2007

Two points for Bruce:

> (Balthazar, by the way, has always been my favorite
> novel in the Quartet, perhaps for this very aspect,
> along with the introduction of Pursewarden's suicide.)

Just as an aside, I'm editing Henry Miller & Herbert Read's correspondence
just now, and Read takes the opposite stance.  He describes the Quartet as
they only kind of fiction he can bear reading anymore, but thinks Durrell
made a mistake by revising Justine in Balthazar.  He clearly considered
Justine the superior novel.  I would have greatly disagreed with that the
first few times I read the Quartet, but now I wonder...

> I don't think it profits much to examine Durrell's use
> of metaphor too closely or too logically.  If anything,
> he uses "fuzzy logic" and aims towards some other kind
> of reasoning

In his letters to Miller, he describes it as mixing his adjective and nouns
hot and cold (I think this happens with the metaphors too, in the same way).
The example he gives, and I often use this in the classroom for discussions
of metaphorical fusion, is a "mathematical strawberry."  As a 'readerly'
moment, however one combines those two words and their traits or
associations, it will be unique to the individual reader, as is every
instance of metaphoric fusion.  Personally "The hills are alive with the
sound of music" has always made me think of earthquakes -- I first saw the
film in childhood proximity to the eruption of Mount St. Helens, which we
could both hear and feel.


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