[ilds] the genuine Durrell voice, what is it?

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 13 10:37:56 PDT 2007


Bill, I would not define authorial "voice" in this way.  Voice is word choice, diction, but much more than that.  It is the distinctive personality behind the diction.  Rather than list words such as phthisic, usufruct, desuetude, exiguous, palimpsest, uxorious, simulacrum, muniments, and the hundreds like these, usually Greek or Latinate, I would ask what kind of personality enjoys this kind of vocabulary?  What is he or she trying to achieve, aside from a love of exotic words, such as Poe also had?

Bruce


-----Original Message-----
>From: william godshalk <godshawl at email.uc.edu>
>Sent: Jun 12, 2007 12:14 PM
>To: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>, ilds at lists.uvic.ca, Durrell list <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
>Subject: the genuine Durrell voice, what is it?
>
>His voice and stylepredominate, which may only mean he's very good at absorbing otherinfluences and making them his own.  His unique poetry and vision iswhat holds everything together and gives it a Durrellian color. 
>MacDonald P. Jackson in his book Defining Shakespeare (p. 5) notesthat some choices in language usage are national and regional, but"we all have purely personal preferences as well." Mac goes onto analyze Shakespeare's ideolect. 
>
>I imagine that "voice" in a novel is a matter of language use,e.g. words that are rarely used, words that are regularly used,constructions that are seldom used or regularly used or never used,adjective and adverb use. (Note that I do not use "etc." after"e.g." Many American do.) 
>
>So let's get down to business and determine what the Durrellian style is,as it were. It's easy to generalize ("his sentences flow" -- astudent favorite, but they use it for every author). How can you tell (onthe micro-level) what has been written by Durrell and what has beenwritten by Roger Angell? And why? 
>



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